Feature: Brett Goldstein for Variety

11 Apr 2023

Here’s the quickest way to make Brett Goldstein speechless: Ask the “Ted Lasso” star and “Shrinking” co-creator how he feels about becoming a sex symbol. “This is the first I’ve heard of it,” he tells me, after almost doing a spit-take when I bring up what I’ve dubbed “Sexy Brett Goldstein.”

“I’m flattered you’re telling me this, and I will expect you to address me as such from now on,” he says, grinning at the madness of me broaching such a silly topic. “How do I feel about becoming a sex symbol? I don’t know. You can say, ‘He blushes, looks confused, his head explodes.’”

Sexy Brett Goldstein blushes and looks confused. His head explodes. “Listen,” he says, “If that’s a thing, that has nothing to do with me. That has to do with the show, right? Because of the character.”

The way Goldstein distances him self from the hoopla all around him says something about how he’s grappling with his growing fame. He’s been a successful actor and writer in the U.K. for nearly two decades, but everything’s changed since 2020, when Apple TV+’s “Ted Lasso” became the definition of a sleeper hit.

Goldstein is a two-time Emmy winner for playing the gruff footballer-turned-coach Roy Kent in “Ted Lasso,” now in the middle of its third (and potentially last? More on that in a moment) season. Roy, known for his forceful use of the word “Fuck!” to punctuate his feelings, is the kind of angry yet sensitive character that causes audiences to melt — and swoon.

“Yeah, the grumpy guy,” Goldstein says. “Maybe it’s hairy men. I seem to be the only person in L.A. in the last 15 years who has body hair. Maybe that’s a thing. Like, ‘Whoa, what’s this? This is new!’”

Goldstein is also riding high on the success of “Shrinking,” the Apple TV+ drama series that he crafted with “Ted Lasso” co-creator Bill Lawrence. And he’s getting a lot more inquiries for high-profile film roles; Goldstein sparked shrieks of delight from Marvel fans online after he appeared as a super buff Hercules in one of the bonus scenes at the end of 2022’s “Thor: Love and Thunder.” Earlier this year, the producers of the animated series “Harley Quinn” featured a ripped and hairy cartoon Sexy Brett Goldstein as the star of the one-man show “Brett Goldstein Reads the Works of Lord Byron Shirtless While Polishing His Trophy.” “I really worked out for that,” he jokes.

Mae Martin, a friend of Goldstein and a fellow comedian, has watched his rise to boldface-name status. “I think he has a healthy level of embarrassment and bewilderment about it,” says Martin, who hosts a weekly comedy show with Goldstein at Los Angeles’ Largo where they lean into the whole sexy thing — closing the act by taking off each other’s shirts and pretending to make out. [More at Source]

Feature: Brett Goldstein for GQ Hype!

15 Mar 2023

Performing stand-up has become a bit trickier for Brett Goldstein of late. He’s been doing live comedy for the best part of 20 years, since long before Ted Lasso, Apple TV+’s sugary football hit in which he stars as AFC Richmond’s gruff, ageing midfielder Roy Kent, made him a recognisable face. But the show’s popularity means that Goldstein’s audiences are now full of fans whose expectations are dramatically different to that of the average comedy club patron. Some nights, he’ll hear the “He’s here, he’s there, he’s every-fucking-where, Roy Kent” chant emanating from the crowd. On other occasions, people will heckle him: “Do Roy Kent!” “[I] really have to practice empathy, forgiveness, whatever the word is,” Goldstein says, alternating between a black coffee and a fancy juice at a London members’ club. “You think, ‘You are being nice. You’re not trying to piss me off.’”

Goldstein’s crowds weren’t always like this. At 42, he’s played the Edinburgh Fringe 11 times. He made his first film, SuperBob, in 2015, at the age of 35, but it failed to dent the public consciousness. But when Ted Lasso – the series about a struggling English football team coached by a relentlessly positive American, played by Jason Sudeikis – dropped in 2020, it brought with it a tidal wave of deep, obsessive fandom on both sides of the Atlantic. Now, nearly three years on and with a Marvel debut under his belt (he appeared in the end credits of Thor: Love and Thunder as the MCU’s new Hercules) he’s making two Apple shows at once, the supposedly final season of Ted Lasso, and Shrinking, a comedy about a psychiatrist trying to piece his life back together after a period of grief-induced recklessness.

But stand-up has historically been where Goldstein exorcises his demons. Across hundreds of nights on stage, he’s learned that while comedy demands a level of artifice, being truthful – sometimes brutally so – is the most cathartic way to connect to an audience. “It’s where I put the ugly thoughts I have, the bad parts of myself. Every time I go, ‘I shouldn’t say this, is this gonna work?’, those are the best bits.” This will go some way towards explaining the content of some of his early Edinburgh fringe shows, which delved into his relationship with pornography (he gave it up years ago) and, in one case, detailed the time he moved to Marbella to manage his dad’s midlife-crisis-buy strip club.

But now, he has to wrestle with the fact that he has a public persona to contend with. The cultural products he’s tied to – Ted Lasso, Marvel – are earnest, sweet, family-friendly. It means, whether he likes it or not, that people will have expectations of what he’s going to say and do that might not align with his own. “I think there was a brief period of time where I thought, ‘Oh, maybe I have to be more careful now.’ But then I’ve thought, ‘No.’ Otherwise, why am I doing this?” [More at Source]

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