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]