The Emmys put numerous Ted Lasso actors against each other in the Best Supporting role category — who should win?
Ted Lasso is a heart-warming comedy about an American football coach who ends up coaching the fictional soccer (well, football) team AFC Richmond in England. It’s simply fantastic, which is due in no small part to the excellent acting on the show. With the Emmy awards rapidly approaching and Ted Lasso nominated in various categories, it’s time for some of our favorite actors to get their due.
Ted Lasso scores big in 2022
Ted Lasso benefits from an incredible supporting cast (an ensemble, truly) as evidenced by the whopping six nominations (three actors and three actresses) for supporting roles. I recently spoke with NPR TV Critic Eric Deggans, and we discussed who should — and who likely will — win the Emmy awards.
Apple TV+ is maturing as a streaming service, with 52 Emmy nominations across 13 titles this year. Ted Lasso leads the pack with 20 nominations including Outstanding Comedy Series (after winning the Emmy last year) and Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy Series (Jason Sudeikis in the title role; he won the Emmy last year.) But what I find most interesting is that the show is up for six acting awards in the supporting roles, which speaks to what a great ensemble cast Ted Lasso has.
The nominees are …
Ted Lasso dominates the Television Academy’s supporting actor categories. For Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series, Brett Goldstein, Toheeb Jimoh, and Nick Mohammed all earned Emmy nominations. In the Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series category, Sarah Niles, Juno Temple, and Hannah Waddingham are all up for the Emmy.
Brett Goldstein plays the wise-cracking, foul-mouthed, grumpy retired footballer Roy Kent. Over the course of two seasons, Roy has evolved and shown us his softer, kinder side. Playing a multi-faceted character like this isn’t easy, and Brett does a fantastic job.
Toheeb Jimoh is the incredibly sweet football player, Sam Obisanya. You can’t help but love his character as he navigates tricky situations with integrity and charm. Toheeb is utterly believable (and loveable) in the role.
Nick Mohammed as waterboy-turned-coach Nate Shelley has had a difficult job this season. In case you’ve seen the first season but not the second, I don’t want to spoil anything, but the Coach Nate character takes some bizarre twists this season, which is certainly challenging for an actor.
Sarah Niles plays team therapist Dr. Sharon Fieldstone with grace. While the character seems rather uptight and brusque when she is first introduced, we get to know her better throughout the season. Sarah does a great job showing us her vulnerability.
Juno Temple plays Keeley Jones, ex-girlfriend of Jamie Tartt, current girlfriend of Roy Kent, and a woman whose career is on the rise. Juno is delightful in this emotion-filled role, as Keeley is often torn between her career and her love life but is always loyal.
Hannah Waddingham plays Rebecca Welton, the wealthy divorcée who wins AFC Richmond in her divorce settlement. While Rebecca is first seen as a brittle ice queen, Ted’s relentless kindness and charm as well as Keeley’s devoted friendship help her evolve into a much warmer character.
The nominees on other shows
Anthony Carrigan (Barry), Tony Shalhoub (The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel), Tyler James Williams (Abbott Elementary), Henry Winkler (Barry), and Bowen Yang (Saturday Night Live) round out the Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series category. As for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series, the other nominees are Alex Borstein (The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel), Hannah Einbinder (Hacks), Janelle James (Abbott Elementary), Kate McKinnon (Saturday Night Live), and Sheryl Lee Ralph (Abbott Elementary).
A TV critic’s take
NPR TV critic Eric Deggans told me that shows that get a lot of nominations are more likely to win a given category, so Ted Lasso has a good shot at these Supporting Role Emmys. So who will win? Who should win?
Eric thinks that Brett Goldstein is probably a shoo-in for Outstanding Actor in a Supporting Role, as he gets the most attention. However, Eric would personally choose Nick Mohammed, because he would like to see Nick rewarded for the turn he takes with the Nate character. As for Outstanding Actress in a Supporting Role, Hannah Waddingham is most likely to win, but Eric would like to see it go to Juno Temple. After all, it’s easy to say that Roy and Rebecca have grown and become more dimensionalized, but it’s really Keeley who is the catalyst for both of them.
There are no wrong picks in this bunch — truly all of them did their part to make the show what it is. If I had a vote, I’d choose Brett Goldstein and Hannah Waddingham, both of whom won the Emmy in their respective categories last year. I find their characters to be the most interesting, and they’ve shown the most growth over the course of the season. Of course, much of that is due to the writing, and Ted Lasso is also nominated for a well-deserved Best Writing for a Comedy Series Emmy. Still, I give them credit for their phenomenal acting and I’d be happy to see them win Emmys for their work.
That said, both categories have some stiff competition from other shows, most notably, Hannah Einbinder in the excellent HBO show, Hacks. We will find out soon enough, as the Emmy Awards air on Monday, September 12.