Ted Lasso fans may have a big reason to thank Olivia Wilde today.
As Jason Sudeikis prepares for a second season of his critically acclaimed comedy, viewers may be surprised to find out how the idea came about.
In Variety's latest installment of "Variety Studio: Actors on Actors" series, Kathryn Hahn asked Jason to confirm if Ted Lasso came from a commercial. While that's certainly part of it, the support of ex-fiancée Olivia also had an influence.
"Me and two of my buddies—Brendan Hunt, who plays Coach Beard on the show, and Joe Kelly, who's one of the producers and writers on the show. And we've all been friends for 20 years," Jason began. "NBC Sports was going to start showing Premier League soccer on their channel. How do we get Americans to watch it? They're like, ‘We should have someone play an American football coach.' I was like, ‘I know who that is. I know how I'd like to do it.'"
The actor continued, "I knew very little, and I still know very little. There is this very complex, beautiful game that's been around for hundreds of years. Those commercials were received well, and it was Olivia [Wilde] who was like, ‘You should do it as a TV show or movie.' 2015, we sat down to write the pilot, and it wasn't until about 2018 that we came back."
Back in November 2020, news broke that Jason and Olivia had ended their 10-year relationship.
In addition to remaining friendly exes and co-parenting their two children Otis, 7, and Daisy, 4, the proud parents have continued to speak highly of the other during life's biggest moments.
When accepting the Critics Choice Award for Best Actor in a Comedy Series, Jason gave a shoutout to his children and his ex. As he explained, "I want to thank their mom, Olivia, who had the initial idea to do this as a TV show."
And after the awards were handed out, Olivia, who is now dating Harry Styles, kept the celebration going on social media.
"Congrats to Jason and the entire Ted Lasso family on your @CriticsChoice wins!" the Booksmart director wrote on Twitter, tagging a few of Jason's colleagues. "So happy for you guys. I hope this means we all keep wearing hoodies when the ceremonies are in person next year."
During his latest interview, Jason was asked how Ted has changed him. As it turns out, the character has had a profound impact on his outlook.
"I was glib about it early on, sort of not being able to appreciate that question or what people were getting out of it," he explained. "I used to say, ‘Oh, he's the best version of me. He's me on a beer and a half on an empty stomach. On a friend's boat. Doing mushrooms.' I think it's the best version of me, but it might be a version of me I don't realize I'm more capable of being. It might be a way to truly go about doing this gig called life."
Ted Lasso returns to Apple TV+ on July 23.