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13 Facts About Ted Lasso's Brett Goldstein

What a bleeping ride Brett Goldstein has been on. Sorry for (sort of) swearing, but his journey has been remarkable, and given Goldstein's affinity for curse words, it seemed an appropriate outburst.

Just before his opportunity with "Ted Lasso" arrived, bringing with it a tidal wave of Emmys for the show's cast and crew, Goldstein thought his career had plateaued prematurely. "In terms of my career, I was definitely at a point where it felt like the train had passed me by," the actor told Rolling Stone. "I had been working consistently but never to much notice from the industry. I loved the work but I was beginning to think it was all over. Then 'Ted Lasso' happened. It really feels like magic."

Now he's got a best supporting actor Emmy, which he earned for playing Roy Kent on the Apple TV+ hit, and probably can write his own ticket from here on out. Here are 13 facts to know about the actor, writer, comedian, and director Brett Goldstein.

Goldstein wasn't originally going to play Roy Kent

Imagining someone other than Goldstein playing Kent, the gruff but grounded "Ted Lasso" character, is like learning Tom Selleck was first in line to play Indiana Jones or Emily Blunt was the original choice to play Black Widow. Would those choices have worked? Possibly. But would those roles have been as iconic? Doesn't seem likely.

It's the same with Goldstein and Kent. Goldstein is one of the writers on the show and recalled in an interview on "Jimmy Kimmel Live!" that playing the aging footballer was not a part of the initial plan.

"We were like five episodes into writing it and I started to think, 'I think I'm Roy,'" Goldstein told Kimmel. "But I also thought, no one writing around this table thinks I'm Roy because I'm soft-spoken and I love the Muppets." So as not to put any of his fellow writers on the spot, Goldstein shot five scenes of himself as Kent, including one with the line, "If I don't hear silence, I'm gonna start punching d***s!" and emailed them to his colleagues, per Rolling Stone. That did the trick.

"We wrote it in LA and I flew back to London. When I landed, there was an email saying, 'Do you know what, we can't be bothered to keep looking. That will do.'" Goldstein continued, "It was like a calling. You know, like a priest has a calling? This was like a calling but for no good."

His skills extend beyond acting

Before breaking through on "Ted Lasso," Goldstein had done a bit of everything. He started acting in 2003, later landing a recurring role on the Ricky Gervais-led series "Derek" from 2012 to 2014 and a guest spot on "Doctor Who" in 2018. He's been a stand-up comedian since 2006 and produced a special called "Brett Goldstein Grew Up In A Strip Club" in 2011. He also starred in the 2015 film "Superbob."

Goldstein's Emmy is not even his first acting award, as he previously earned a best supporting actor trophy at the British Independent Film Awards for his role as Brendan in 2016's "Adult Life Skills." The way he accepted that award is noteworthy and hilarious. He was unable to attend, so he had the movie's headliner, Jodie Whittaker, read his speech. "If she comes across as arrogant, it's not all in the way I've written this. It's just her," she read before turning to the body of the speech, which concluded with Whittaker reading, "I know I should be nonchalant and pretend I don't care about awards and all that b***ocks, but really this is cool as f***." You know you've got chops as a comedian when you can crack up a room when you're not even there.

Goldstein next teams up with Jason Segel and "Ted Lasso" co-creator Bill Lawrence on an Apple TV+ series called "Shrinking," via Variety, in which Segel plays a therapist who tells his clients exactly what he thinks.

He's a real person. No, seriously!

If there's one thing people have heard about Goldstein other than that he's on "Ted Lasso," it's the bizarre conspiracy theory that the character might be computer-generated.

Typing "Roy Kent CGI conspiracy" into Google yields a litany of results, including related searches such as "Is Roy Kent CGI?" The rumors started not long after the show premiered in 2020. Goldstein officially responded to the nonsense a little over a year later via Instagram, naturally knocking it out of the park. "I did want to clear up something once and for all," Goldstein said. "I am a completely real normal, human man who just happens to live in a VFX house and does normal human, basic things like rendering, buffering, and transferring data." However, Goldstein was in full-on cartoon mode when he made the statement, so, case not closed?

"The Roy Kent character looks and acts like he was dropped from 'Grand Theft Auto,'" Jimmy Kimmel said while interviewing Goldstein, reading one conspiracy theorist's thought. "When I found out I was CGI, it's quite, like, disconcerting because I've seen a lot of sci-fi films, and I started to be like, maybe I am, because they'd implant memories to make me think I wasn't," the actor responded. "And then I was thinking about how I have ex-girlfriends who were always calling me the tin man, which I assumed they meant emotionally, but they may have meant an actual robot. It's very difficult to disprove!"

He created Soulmates while working on Ted Lasso

Goldstein explores the darker side of relationships in "Soulmates," an anthology series he co-created for AMC with William Bridges, a writer on "Black Mirror" and "Stranger Things."

The premise: In the near future, science has developed a test that can identify a person's ideal match. But this series leans into conflict, and viewers should not expect a sugary take on love.

"If you ask the right question, I believe everyone has an amazing story," Goldstein told Collider, regarding the writers they've met and how he and Bridges approach the show. "They'll tell you such a unique, specific love story from their life and they'll blow your mind — everyone has a different take on it. It's really fascinating."

However, Goldstein did tell the Observer that "Soulmates" is not focused only on despair.

"I think as much as I think there's definitely dark elements in the show, I also think it's sort of positive in that it's kind of pro-relationships," he said. "It says that the history and the time you spend with the person matters and the things that you build together matter. I think that's actually a nice part of the show."

At the very least, the AMC powers be must like it, as it was renewed for a second season.

Goldstein's dad wanted him to play soccer

Goldstein grew up in a soccer-crazed (or football-crazed, if you prefer) household. His father is an enormous fan of English Premier League team Tottenham Hotspur, and several of his parents' friends played for the team. Goldstein joked on "Jimmy Kimmel Live!" that had he or his sister been born on a match day, his dad would not have been at the hospital.

"If I dated someone from a rival team, he'd be like 'you're marrying out,'" Goldstein said on the show. He continued, "I think he was quite disappointed that I went into comedy and writing. He wanted me to be a footballer. And so now, many, many years later, he's finally proud of me. This Christmas is the first time I'm going home and he's finally welcoming me back."

It's clear Goldstein is in good shape; Roy Kent takes his shirt off occasionally on "Ted Lasso," after all. However, he told Esquire that even though the show focuses on how the AFC Richmond squad is a family, being able to at least fake it at football was a requirement. "We had boot camps with [former England defender] Chris Powell, who was the [football] adviser," Goldstein said. "There's set pieces in the show that are choreographed, and we'd have football rehearsals where we'd practice these dances of set pieces that would then take 25 takes to get right."

Good thing Goldstein has this whole writing/acting/comedy/directing thing to fall back on.

He's friends with his (fictional) archrival

Roy Kent spends much of "Ted Lasso" fuming whenever he's in the presence of Jamie Tartt, AFC Richmond's young superstar, played by Phil Dunster. If anyone has noticed that Goldstein's scenes with Dunster were on the shorter side in Season 2, there's a good reason for that. "I can't do scenes with Phil Dunster, who plays Jamie Tartt, without losing my s***, and as I was writing 'you're an ugly boy' [for a scene] I thought, 'This is going to take days to shoot,'" Goldstein said on "Late Night with Seth Meyers."

Not that it's terribly surprising given how well the cast meshes on screen, but Goldstein and Dunster seem very much at ease doing interviews together — and there have been quite a few of them. "Fortunately, they didn't audition me, like they did with some other people, based on my football skills, because I would have been found wanting," Dunster told the Hollywood Critics Association. "He's lying, he's very good," Goldstein interjected. "I'm enthusiastic, but I would buckle under the pressure!" Dunster countered, trying to split the difference.

For the record, both actors find it annoying when Americans refer to football as soccer.

Goldstein starred on a (fake) dating show

Some people learned to bake sourdough bread while quarantining during the COVID-19 pandemic. Others got themselves in serious shape. Goldstein, meanwhile, went looking for love. Well, sort of. You see, in spring 2020 he debuted a 1990s-set reality show on YouTube called "Lone Island."

Goldstein stars as Bradley Pee, a bachelor looking to amp up his love life at a London villa, otherwise known as his apartment. Goldstein fully committed to the bit for 12 episodes, complete with a narrator and "Next time on Lone Island ..." segments. Among the "bachelors and bachelorettes" on board: Plant, who is all about reading; Ball, who constantly gets drunk; Buddy Gee, a puppet with an overdeveloped sex drive, especially when it comes to Bradley Pee, and Kelly Tee, "a pansexual unicorn who used to, back in the day, go out with Buddy Gee."

There are dinner dates, breakups, makeout sessions, and drinks thrown in faces. Stop reading here if you want to avoid spoilers, but the show ends with Bradley Pee and Plant apparently on the road to a relationship. "I remember editing the season finale and I was crying, and I was like, 'You have lost your damn mind,'" Goldstein said, laughing, as he recalled the story on "Late Night with Seth Meyers."

He dated Beth Rylance

Much like other celebrities, Goldstein's dating life has been anything but an open book. But Page Six connected the dots that he was in a relationship with Beth Rylance.

The British comedian, who got her start as an actor as a young teen when a teacher helped her break out of her shell, is known for her stints on "School of Comedy," "The Ministry of Curious Stuff," and "Every Blank Ever." She also did voiceovers for Goldstein's "Lone Island" reality show series on YouTube.

Rylance's relationship with Goldstein inched into the spotlight during the 2021 Emmys. When he took home the prize for best supporting actor, he used part of his speech to mention his love for his girlfriend.

Rylance, meanwhile, left a trail via social media. During COVID-19-related lockdowns, she posted selfies while wearing a Roy Kent jersey. Before the ceremony, she joked via Twitter that "Today is the day that my boyfriend goes to the Emmys as a Best Supporting Actor nominee and I am at home on my second load of laundry." Later, she posted a clip of Goldstein's speech on Instagram with the caption: "I wanna cry so bad, but I don't think I can spare the moisture."

Funny stuff all around, though as of summer 2022, all her lovestruck posts had been scrubbed. Oh well. Surely Cupid will shine on these two someday.

He's got death on his mind

Goldstein has a specific lens through which he helps other entertainers view their lives. On his "Films to be Buried With" podcast, which debuted in 2018, he begins by telling his guests they've died and proceeds to explore their experiences and careers through the movies they enjoy. He presents the same dozen or so questions to each, such as "What film scares you the most?", "What film makes you cry?", and "What is the film you found arousing but thought you shouldn't?"

The parade of star-studded guests includes Kevin Smith, whose 2018 heart attack caused him to reframe the "Jay and Silent Bob Reboot" as a personal narrative. Other highlights are a conversation with "Ted Lasso" writer Ashley Nicole Black, who bonds with Goldstein over the occasional bleakness of stand-up comedy, and an interview with Sharon Stone, who reveals she was struck by lightning in her own home.

A note of caution for those who plan to tune in — the podcast can get a bit dark. Goldstein asks his guests how they died in the hypothetical scenario, and their answers, though meant to be comical, can be gory. Ditto for the host's lead-in to each guest's preparation for their heavenly journey.

He's the Picasso of profanity

When Goldstein was asked not to curse during his 2021 Emmy acceptance speech, he took that as a challenge. He dropped one F-bomb within seconds and bookended his victory lap with another: "This is the f***ing icing on the cake. I'm so sorry, please have me back!" Of course, he can't be that sorry, as nary an interview with Goldstein is void of profanity. By now, anyone who chats with him on a public forum needs to have a working knowledge of censoring tools.

Those who listen to his podcast will know he considers it an art form, and that sensibility has extended to "Ted Lasso." One YouTuber puts Roy Kent's F-word count at 164 through the TV show's first two seasons. How did profanity become Goldstein's calling card?

"It's always been a dream of mine to get paid to do it," Goldstein said on "Jimmy Kimmel Live!" The actor explained, "It's something I've got good at, and you've got to use your talents. It's another dream to be able to swear in front of kids legally." He elaborated while laughing with Kimmel, "Now, I'm not telling you how to live your life, but it's funny swearing in front of a bunch of kids."

Baseball and American football baffle him

If a studio were to create a show about a British soccer fanatic who flew to America to take a job coaching a strange sport — a reverse "Ted Lasso," if you will — Goldstein would be the perfect lead.

His soccer fanaticism is well established. Football and baseball, on the other hand, are basically foreign languages to him.

"You call it football, but you use your hands, so ... what are you doing?" he said on "Late Night with Seth Meyers." "I've watched the Super Bowl five times. It stops every three seconds, then there's an advert, then something happens, then there's a chat and mics, people talking ... Americans must be geniuses because I've watched it five times and still have no idea what's going on."

Then there's America's pastime.

"I love baseball because of the baseball films, but what I realize about baseball films is they cut out all the game shows and the adverts," he said on Meyers' show. "There's an advert every minute, people brought on the field to fire a T-shirt at you."

And if flying apparel wasn't treacherous enough, Goldstein has a warning to any fans in U.S. sports arenas. 

"The worst of all the American sports is at any point you're in danger of being put on camera and you have to get off with the person next to you. It's not safe."

Goldstein loves the Muppets

It's hard to understate Goldstein's love for the Muppets. There is no better example of his affinity for the felt legends than when he performed a 6-minute medley of the songs from "The Muppet Christmas Carol," which can be viewed on YouTube, to an excited audience that was more than happy to sing along with him. It even includes costume changes and voice impressions of the film's characters. "That's my ultimate goal, is work with the Muppets," he told Esquire. "I do that, then I'm dead."

Three things to note on this topic. First, Frank Oz, who provides the voices of Fozzie Bear and Miss Piggy, tweeted that he's a fan of "Ted Lasso," so that bodes well for Goldstein. Second, now that Goldstein is working with Segel, who co-wrote and starred in 2011's "The Muppets," that dream might be closer to reality than ever. Lastly, if you close your eyes and listen to Goldstein speak, it's easy to picture him voicing a Muppet — and that's meant as a compliment. Not that an entertainer of Goldstein's skills would limit himself to just one aspect of any such production.

He found his way to Sesame Street

From belting out the songbook from "The Muppet Christmas Carol," it's a short (figurative) walk to Sesame Street.

Goldstein took full advantage of his appearance on the beloved children's show; the episode aired in April 2022. Getting comfortable with Oscar the Grouch (including a stay in a garbage can), chatting with Bert and Ernie, and baking with Tamir and Cookie Monster were all part of an experience he described as "more wonderful than I could have imagined."

Predictable as it might have been, Goldstein's best line came when he tells his baking buddy that he "loves the letter F." Wink, wink. All the while, it was a clever verbal path to spotlight "fairness" as the word of the day.

Perhaps almost as impressive as refraining from using the more infamous F-word: Getting Cookie Monster to do chores. And speaking of words that begin with "F," apparently when he's not wolfing down desserts, Cookie Monster is darn good at football footwork.