Hannah Waddingham Talks 'Ted Lasso' Season 3 and Her Super Bowl Commercial Debut (Exclusive)

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TeamTed Lasso is gearing up to start production on their third season, but even Emmy winner Hannah Waddingham has no idea what to expect!

"They are just brilliant, brilliant brains, but they know better than to tell me anything at all," said the actress, who plays AFC Richmond team owner Rebecca Welton, of the beloved Apple TV+ show's creative team, which includes creator and star Jason Sudeikis.

Waddingham confirmed to ET that after some delays, the show is due to start production on season 3 in early March. Much ado has been made about the series' planned three-season run, which would make the upcoming episodes their last, but, given that the show has been such a hit with fans and critics alike, many, Waddingham included, can't help but wonder if Sudeikis might end up changing his mind.

"He has always said that there is a beginning, a middle and an end," she recalled, "which is why he was very specific about telling everyone that [season 2] was the middle, Empire Strikes Back kind of vibe."

However, Waddingham admitted, "If I were Apple and Warner Bros., I'd be leaning on him like a lunatic and putting him in a corner in a little cage and giving him a notebook and a pen... It's too beautiful."

If the series ends up extending its run, it would be far from the first surprise for the actress, who earned acclaim on the West End before breaking through in television with her role as the ice queen-turned-supportive team owner. When it comes to Ted Lasso surprises, Waddingham admits with a laugh, "I didn't see myself in bed with Toheeb Jimoh, either!"

Rebecca's secret romance with young defenseman Sam Obisanya, played by Jimoh, was a crucial storyline for her chracter's growth in season 2. However, while Jimoh recently told ET that he was rooting for Sam and Rebecca to rekindle things in season 3, Waddingham seems less certain about the romantic pairing.

"I love him for that," she said fondly. "We're great pals...we absolutely just love each other to bits, but I don't know, if I'm perfectly honest, if it's right for Rebecca. I feel like [Sam] might have been some kind of transition."

Waddingham admitted that while Rebecca's romance with the young star athlete certainly has "given her her confidence back," she's not sure if she sees a future for them, wondering if her character might be compelled to seek out someone older.

"If I'm speaking on Rebecca's behalf, I feel like he has been the door opening to her finding her confidence again," she explained. "But knowing Rebecca's way of doing things, I don't think she would think she'd be able to keep hold of him."

Rebecca is also sure to butt heads with another former partner in season 3, as the season 2 finale showed that her scheming ex-husband, Rupert Mannion (Anthony Head), has become the owner of West Ham United -- and went so far as to poach Richmond's former kit man-turned-assistant, Nate (Nick Mohammed) to be their manager.

"Remember the fact that the whole of season 2 was about fathers and about trying to get the father to think the best of them, ill-managed relationships with fathers," Waddingham said of the formerly faithful friend turning coat on Ted and the team. "Maybe he doesn't want to be like that in the first place. So I think we need to have a kindness and an understanding towards him going to the dark side."

While we continue to wait on season 3, Waddingham can be seen in her first-ever Super Bowl commercial, a stunning ad for Rakuten, in which she plays a scheming high-roller in an upscale casino, complete with her very own Disney villain laugh!

"It's their first commercial for Super Bowl, which is a big deal for them, it's a big deal for me -- my first one!" the actress raved. "It looks sumptuous, this commercial... It's all set in a big beautiful casino in Hatfield House, and it was literally like we were making a mini movie. It really was no stone unturned."

And while the U.K. is certainly more into Ted Lasso'stype of football than the American kind, for Waddingham, her ad during the big game is an extra special moment. 

"I don't know why, we had a Minnesota Vikings helmet and shoulder pads in my house when I was 10, and I used to walk around in them," she recalled with a laugh, "so I feel like things have come full circle!"

Ted Lasso seasons 1 and 2 are streaming now on Apple TV+. See Waddingham's new Rakuten ad during the Super Bowl on Sunday, Feb. 13. 


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