Ted Lasso is all concerning the underdogs and among the many present’s biggest underdog tales has been that of waterboy-turned-coach Nate Shelley.
Nick Mohammed‘s character took a flip to the darkish aspect in Season 2, however Mohammed’s efficiency earned him his second Emmy nomination for the sequence and deservedly so. Whereas he could have been one of many most-hated characters by the tip of the second season — for betraying former mentor Ted (Jason Sudeikis) and staff AFC Richmond — there’s loads to admire about Mohammed’s portrayal which sees the previous sidekick rework after gaining some energy.
Beneath, Mohammed displays on his Excellent Supporting Actor in a Comedy Collection nomination and takes a deep dive into Nate’s psyche as we head into Season 3 with the controversial character.
Congratulations in your Emmy nomination. What does it imply to be nominated in your efficiency alongside a number of of your costars?
Nick Mohammed: We’re all delighted and so happy for the present as an entire. It means the world, actually. I completely didn’t see it coming. Clearly, there’s fairly a big throughline for me in Season 2. Fairly a difficult one to tug off. I feel the writers did an unimaginable job of feeding that flip throughout the entire season. And in addition, feeding it even in Season 1 to an extent. I used to be simply delighted that had all come collectively and to be acknowledged is a dream come true and nonetheless a little bit of a shock actually.
Do you could have any particular Emmys celebrations deliberate?
I by no means attended final yr, and from what I gathered it was a smaller-scale occasion by way of COVID protocols and so forth. Whereas I feel this yr it’s a bit of bit extra again to regular. We’ll nonetheless be taking pictures really. However I feel we acquired two or three days off filming in order that we are able to attend and get again in time so we’re not too jet lagged or something. It will likely be an actual deal with and I’m actually wanting ahead to it. I really feel actually grateful to be part of such a pleasant solid and we’re all like household now.
I wish to confer with Nate’s journey in Season 2 as his “villain” origin story. Was it a enjoyable problem taking over his darker aspect or have been you hesitant to convey him there?
I’d recognized about it for a very long time. Even earlier than Seasons 2 and three had been commissioned within the first place. Jason [told me] about his plans for the three-season arc of Nate. [We have] such good writers. So I used to be conscious of Nate’s “villain” origin story. [I was told] this was going to be the type of Empire Strikes Again season so far as Nate is worried. And we’re going to see him go to the darkish aspect. I clearly can’t give away what occurs in Season 3, nevertheless it’s one other rollercoaster.
Nate is that this underdog, Ted empowers him after which he comes out on high. He will get promoted to educate and it means absolutely the world to him. And as an viewers, I feel we actually type of relate to that and really feel that euphoria in the best way that Nate does, so when he finally betrays Ted and the membership and makes so many incorrect selections in Season 2, together with being deeply inappropriate with Keeley… As a result of the autumn from grace is even better, we really feel like, F**ok, now he’s simply betrayed all of us, and allowed all of the poisonous vitality inside him to return to the highest.
I used to be hesitant in that I knew that audiences would have a response right here, whether or not that’s constructive or destructive. I feel for essentially the most half individuals have been actually upset in Nate, however that’s right. I feel the writing wanted and wished them to really feel that we’ve been portrayed in that method. And I used to be conscious that it will be a problem for me in that sense as a result of I assume I hadn’t actually accomplished emotional or dramatic appearing earlier than in Ted Lasso.
Nate goes from an underdog to a high canine. What precisely is it that turned him to the darkish aspect — his poisonous relationship along with his dad, Ted’s lack of consideration, or being bullied up to now?
I feel it’s probably a mixture of a number of these issues. A lot of [the show] is about, relationships with mentors or fathers or moms, that’s examined rather a lot thematically. However I feel he’s by no means actually had a assist community. I imply, his mother loves him, and probably coddles him a bit of bit, however that relationship along with his dad has by no means actually been there. He’s at all times been a disappointment in his dad’s eyes. And that replicates within the office as a result of in Season 1 he’s bullied. And so in Season 2 with an ideal place of accountability and a bit of bit extra energy, Nate immediately [reverses roles].
With out a respectable assist community, he’s feeling alienated and deserted by Ted. And Ted form of fulfilled that position of a father determine in Season 1. Ted isn’t actually there in that type of method in Season 2 as a result of he’s coping with his personal points. And consequently, Nate simply feels fully deserted. He’s by no means had that place of energy or accountability earlier than. So he simply begins to behave inappropriately and there’s nobody there conserving him in verify. That mixed with the social media factor as properly, he’s self-obsessed with how he’s introduced and all these items are paranoia driving him mad actually.
What type of betrayal was worse: Nate becoming a member of Rupert’s membership or tearing Ted’s “Consider” signal?
I fully assume the signal. As a result of after I was instructed concerning the signal, that felt essentially the most impactful level. As a result of the signal has been used all through all of Season 1, and a number of Season 2, as simply this absolute emblem of hope and positivity. So the concept that Nate leaves it on the desk for Ted to see, I feel that actually packs a punch and I feel it says rather a lot about the place Nate is. Rupert’s actually not going to be a constructive affect on this life. I can’t give away the place that heads, however the imagine signal undoubtedly felt for me like the largest intestine punch by way of betrayal.
Is it enjoyable taking part in into Nate’s “evil” aspect? Will we see that extra in Season 3?
It’s enjoyable as a result of as an actor you at all times relish a possibility to do one thing a bit of bit completely different and tougher. I keep in mind after I began taking part in it in Season 2, I used to be nervous that there wasn’t sufficient within the shade. Season 2 was taking a personality that everybody had type of grown to like after which slowly permitting individuals to show in opposition to him and form of see that there’s no hope. And in Season 3 I virtually need them to try to see the place he’s coming from a bit of. He’s nonetheless making unhealthy selections, however I at all times wished an viewers to form of nonetheless empathize with him.
We’ll see or not, I don’t know, it’s at all times been this type of fixed tightrope of figuring out that he’s making these excruciating, incorrect selections, but additionally that it comes from a a lot deeper troubled place. And that he’s probably not wholly responsible, that possibly components of his dad in there and so forth which have type of allowed him to turn into who he’s.
Clearly, the followers have had a number of emotions about Nate after Season 2. Has it been tough listening to their criticism or do you simply recognize that they care?
Oh yeah, undoubtedly the latter. Earlier than, all of the angst that folks have felt witnessing Nate’s downfall and clearly various social media as properly, simply being so offended at Nate for making these selections, however that’s completely right. The writers have been very clear as to the place they wished to take Nate and so they pushed him to this excessive finish. I feel all of us barely anticipated that folks wouldn’t be thrilled with the place Nate was going, however everybody has at all times been very respectful to me. They’re capable of separate the character from the actor up to now.
It’s fully proper that folks have been feeling this, as they need to. And we additionally know that we’re in the course of Nate’s story as properly. Not saying that there’s redemption essentially, however we all know that we’re in two out of three seasons. And so there may be extra to return at it actually is a rollercoaster for Nate. So watch this house.
Ted Lasso, Season 3, TBA, Apple TV+