Juno Temple Thought Jason Sudeikis Tried To Cast Her On Ted Lasso By Mistake

It's safe enough to assume that, prior to the summer of 2020, most U.S. audiences didn't really know who Juno Temple was. That's hardly a reflection on the actor herself, as she'd already logged an impressive list of screen credits including roles in "Atonement," "The Dark Knight Rises," "Maleficent," and "Unsane," among many others. Despite boasting a vast and wildly varied resume, Temple had never quite landed a legit breakout role. But that all changed when she booked Keeley Jones on "Ted Lasso."

The brainchild of stars Jason Sudeikis and Brett Goldstein, along with "Scrubs" mastermind Bill Lawrence, "Ted Lasso" follows the hilarious and often surprisingly heartfelt story of the titular American college football coach who's unexpectedly recruited to lead flailing English Premier League soccer team AFC Richmond. Culture clashes abound, of course, even as Ted (Sudeikis) endears himself to both his team, and the various characters in their orbit. That indeed includes Temple's Keeley Jones, a former model and influencer turned PR guru for AFC Richmond.

As far as journeys go on "Ted Lasso," Keeley's has arguably been one of the series' best to date. It remains one of the funniest as well, with Temple delivering show-stopping (and twice Emmy-nominated) work in the role. And in a suitably silly twist of fate, the actor initially didn't think she would ever play the part, because she was certain Sudekis had tried to cast her by accident.

Temple wasn't sure she could even be funny before Ted Lasso

Juno Temple told that hilarious tale on "The Tonight Show" last August, quipping to host Jimmy Fallon she wasn't sure about taking her role on "Ted Lasso" because she'd hardly tested herself as a comedic actor during her career. "Yeah, I've played like, lesbian werewolves ... I've spent quite a lot of time in trailer parks going through some s***," the actor deadpanned before detailing how she was cast as Keeley Jones.

Per Temple, that process began with a text from "Ted Lasso" creator Jason Sudeikis. "And there was this moment where I thought, 'Oh gosh, this is gonna be awkward because I'm pretty sure he has texted the wrong actress," Temple recalled. She dryly added that she dreaded having to write back and verify if Sudekis actually knew who she was. To Temple's surprise, that text was not a mistake.

"And I think that ... he has this ability, with a lot of people that were cast in the show, to see something in all of us that we didn't necessarily think we had in us at all," she added. Though she may have initially doubted her own comedic chops, Temple continues to be one of the series' legit comedic highlights.

In a fittingly funny flight of self-awareness, Temple goes on to say, "That being said, a lot of the time I'm telling jokes on 'Ted Lasso' I don't know they're jokes, so..." Whether she knows where the punchlines in "Ted Lasso" are or not, Temple continues to hit them with the skill of a seasoned comedian. In doing so, she's helped make Keeley one of the funniest and most memorable personas in today's television landscape.