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Ted Lasso Stars Reveals Their True Thoughts On Keeley's Awkward Kiss With Nate

"Ted Lasso" is proof that sports media doesn't have to be traditionally masculine. In a delightfully wonderful twist, the 2020 Apple TV series features one of the only current protagonists in today's TV landscape, Ted Lasso (Jason Sudeikis) who earnestly spreads empathetic positivity wherever he goes, all while coaching football (the British kind). The themes therein cover the importance of therapy and honest communication. All in all, the show (and its array of likeable characters) contains a startling amount of emotional maturity for a production of this sort.

Now, the second season of of the London-based series features a plotline where one of the assistant coaches, Nathan Shelley aka Nate (Nick Mohammed, who's also a writer for the series), deals with his crumbling self-esteem and burgeoning anger issues, both of which seem to be exacerbated by his friends' kindness. One of Nate's most memorable moments of the season sees him forcibly kissing Keely Jones (Juno Temple) when she helps him improve his wardrobe. Obviously, the sequence left fans with thoughts, and the cast has since taken a moment to dissect the story for anyone interested in a little background information.

Juno Temple, like Keely, feels bad for Nate

In an early 2022 "Half Hour With" interview with members of the Ted Lasso" cast, in which both Juno Temple and Nick Mohammed were present, the topic of the Nate's villain arc was broached by way of mentioning the kiss he forced upon Keely. Fortunately, while the actors involved positively described the behind-the-scenes buildup to the sequence, they vehemently admonished the character's actions, which were quite literally an assault. Temple said, "There was a moment of improv that came out of my mouth which you then called me out on, Nick ... I went, 'don't worry about it, it happens...' and you were like, 'that was genius, like it just happens to Keely all the time.' "

For clarity, Keely is a minor celebrity, as she's both a professional model and dating an ex-professional football player so, as the cast accurately notes, she probably does deal with that kind of behavior all too frequently. Temple went on to note how her character's honest nature and genuine kindness was likely misconstrued by the socially inept Nate, who was already on a journey towards self-destruction in the guise of personal growth. "It was devastating, letting someone down like that," added Temple, when she described Keely's immediate — and understandable — rejection of Nate's advances.

Nick Mohammed admits that Nate is pretty messed up

In response, Mohammed added, "It's gross what Nate does, to a degree ... he's really inappropriate. I can see why he misinterprets it and I can almost empathize and sympathize with him but I can't condone the action ... he's really messed up by that point." The two then went on to note how Nate is so selfishly focused on himself that he's more worried about Keely's boyfriend, Roy Kent (Brett Goldstein), finding out than he is about Keely's personal feelings. "The right reaction would be like, 'I can't believe I betrayed Keely's trust.' All [he] can focus on is [his] own sort of rejection." 

It's this exact twisted notion, in which Nate is more hurt by Roy brushing off the kiss than anything else, which indicates the true depths to which Nate has sunk.

For those who haven't seen the second season yet, Nate deals with a number of moments just like this, where he betrays everyone who cares for him with deep-rooted, intentional malice. It's a stark juxtaposition to the kindness which permeates the series, thanks to Ted Lasso. As the season wraps up, it's revealed that Nate has gone to work for Rupert Mannion (Anthony Head), the only clear-cut antagonistic force in "Ted Lasso." Perhaps the third season will see redemption for Nate — and fans are nervous and fascinated to see how it plays out – but at this point? Karma might be a little better.