'Ted Lasso' Star Toheeb Jimoh Teases What's to Come in Season 3 (Exclusive)
By Meredith B. Kile
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‘Ted Lasso’ Cast Teases Season 3 and Future of Series (Exclusive)
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Ted Lassois gearing up to start production on their third season, but not even Sam Obisanya knows what lies ahead for the beloved comedy!
"Nobody is telling me anything," series star Toheeb Jimoh told ET's Nischelle Turner in a recent interview. "Everybody's keeping stuff close to the chest. But I have ideas, they've dropped me hints. I've got clues, none of which I will share with you today!"
Jimoh was a breakout star in Ted Lasso season 1 as AFC Richmond's cheerful and talented young defenseman, and shone through once again in season 2, as Sam spoke out against a team sponsor that was wreaking environment havoc in Africa and weighed a tempting offer from a Nigerian tycoon hoping to build a powerhouse team in his home country.
While born and raised in the U.K., Jimoh's parents are of Nigerian descent and he spent time in the country growing up. The actor told ET that he was "in conversation" with the Ted Lasso creative team -- including creator and star Jason Sudeikis -- through season 2, and was asked for input when it came to shaping Sam's specific storylines.
"They ran like a lot of stuff by me, and they really encouraged me [to speak up] if there was anything that didn't quite feel like it was like entirely right," he recalled, while noting that most of the time, the writers were "100 percent on the ball with all of that stuff."
"It is very sensitive and something that's really close to my heart, so I wanted to make sure we got it right," he added. "But yeah, we spoke about it, and I'm really proud of what we put out in the end."
Sam also saw some new complications in his love life in season 2, as he began a secret relationship with the team's owner, Rebecca Welton (Emmy winner Hannah Waddingham). The pair anonymously chatted on a dating app before meeting in person, and while they hooked up once before calling it off, the season 2 finale showed Sam making the decision to stay at Richmond -- leaving open the possibility of a romantic future.
"I will fight for it, 100 percent," Jimoh said of Sam and Rebecca's potential romance. "But listen, wherever the story goes, it goes... [Sam and Rebecca] are so close, they have an insane chemistry, but I'm also like, if that's a friendship then, and it's platonic as well, then that's also really [great]. I think whatever's best for them, whatever makes them happy in the end, like, I'm rooting for them."
The 24-year-old actor joked that his DMs have been "on fire" following his romantic storyline in season 2, adding more earnestly that he's excited that people are "showing love" for his character.
"I mean, it's not like it's hard to be sexy or to feel sexy when you're with Hannah Waddingham, who's like, sex in Louboutin heels, do you know what I mean?" he added with a laugh. "She's so cool. It's awesome. I'm enjoying it, I can't lie."
No matter how his romantic storyline plays out, Sam and the rest of the Richmond team will see some major conflict in season 3, as the finale teased a move to the dark side for kit man-turned-assistant coach Nate Shelley (Nick Mohammed), who has left the team to work under Rebecca's ex, Rupert Mannion (Anthony Head), at West Ham United.
"When I watched that, I watched it for the first time as an audience member and it was insane," Jimoh recalled of the reveal, in the final moments of season 2. "I thought Nick killed this entire season, and where he's taken Nate as a character is incredible."
As for how Nate may try to meddle in Richmond's affairs now that he's coaching one of their opponents, Jimoh mused, "I think that's the thing that's brilliant about his character, is that you understand why he's in the position that he's in now. Like, he spent his whole life being slept on. He's never been good enough to do anything, nobody's taken him seriously, and he's finally like, latched on to power now."
"It's interesting, this is why, like, as much as he's turned into a bit of a prick, we can still root for him and I'm hoping he can be salvaged," he continued. "That's the Ted Lasso way. We don't give up on people. He's still a greyhound."
Of course, the "Ted Lasso way" begins with Sudeikis himself, who developed the Emmy-winning comedy based on a character he did for an NBC Sports commercial nearly a decade ago, parlaying Ted's nice-guy All-American football coach into a complex character, who is shaped by the supporting players around him just as much as he molds them in return.
"Jason is like-- he is a wizard, he's a guru, like, his mind is insane, but he's also the nicest guy," Jimoh marveled of his co-star and boss. "He's like a big kid -- he tells jokes, he's messing around a lot of the time. For somebody who's as busy as he is and who has as much on his shoulders as he does, I'm surprised he can still crack a joke, like, in between scenes and stuff."
"He's taught all of us how to lead a project and how to be lead actors," the young actor added. "Whenever I'm on a show and I've got a bigger role, the Jason Sudeikis model of leading a show is the model that I definitely employ."
Ted Lasso seasons 1 and 2 are streaming now on Apple TV+.