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]

Feature: Brett Goldstein for Fast Company

07 Dec 2022

Brett Goldstein likes to talk about death. On his weekly podcast, Films to Be Buried With, he asks guests to imagine their own demise.

Since he’s a stand-up comedian—and many of his guests are, too—the more ghoulishly funny the death, the better. But the point of the show is to talk about movies, so guests must then regale heaven’s residents with the story of their life, told through the films they loved most.

Given this preoccupation, Goldstein is delighted to meet me at the Academy Museum of Motion Pictures in Los Angeles, a sort of heaven on earth for cinephiles. It’s two days after he won his second Emmy for his performance as Roy Kent on the series Ted Lasso. Tomorrow, he’s flying back to London to finish shooting Lasso’s third season finale—which is reportedly running so far behind schedule that the show will not return until 2023. “We’re obsessively perfecting the final script,” Goldstein says.

His voice, higher and gentler than Kent’s South London growl, betrays none of the stress you’d expect from someone whose job it is to script the perfect denouement for what, according to multiple reports, would be the series finale. “It could be the end,” he says cryptically. “Could be.”

Goldstein, 42, has been doing stand-up and appearing in British sitcoms for 20 years. He was moderately famous in the U.K., and not at all in the U.S., until Lasso premiered in 2020. The heartwarming sports comedy created by Jason Sudeikis (who plays the titular head coach), Brendan Hunt (Coach Beard), Bill Lawrence, and Joe Kelly had been turned down by every major streamer before then-newbie Apple TV+ scooped it up. No one, creators included, expected that a show about a struggling U.K. football team (Goldstein visibly cringes at the word soccer) would become a hit in America, let alone a global phenomenon. But turns out that in dark times, positivity wins.

pub’s Greek chorus of AFC Richmond fans, but none may be more beloved than Goldstein’s hard-charging, gooey-centered captain-turned-coach Roy Kent: the man every guy wants to be, and every woman wants to be with. Or, in keeping with Lasso’s fondness for referencing iconic romantic comedies: He had us at no.

Goldstein and Kent are so entwined that upon meeting the actor, I expected the character’s rigid demeanor, the threat of a header. He is wearing black and does enjoy the F-word, but Goldstein is all smiles and warmly deferential. As we enter the museum, he reverently removes his baseball cap, as if entering a holy place.

We check out a dark room off the lobby, an amuse-bouche of flickering screens playing clips from classic films. Goldstein, an avowed lover of musicals, makes a beeline toward a screen playing “Good Morning” from Singin’ in the Rain, one of his own films to be buried with. Above his mask, Goldstein’s emotive eyebrows (Roy Kent’s best assist) seem to dance along, like animated hedgerows. [More Source]

Feature: Brett Goldstein for The Wrap

25 Aug 2022

Last year, Jason Sudeikis’ Apple TV+ comedy “Ted Lasso” dominated the Emmy’s comedy categories with 20 nominations and seven wins, including Outstanding Comedy Series, and this year it led all comedy shows with the same number of noms. Half of those are for the remarkable ensemble cast that fleshes out the story of a bruised but resilient American coach at the helm of a British soccer team — and while it’s hard to single out anybody in a company this consistently strong, there’s a reason why Brett Goldstein won an Emmy last year for his performance as Roy Kent, a hilariously profane and angry footballer who has to adjust to life off the pitch in Season 2.

Hell, the guy deserves a room full of trophies just for what he does with the most expressive pair of eyebrows on TV.

On the morning nominations were announced, you pretty much won the best-reaction sweepstakes with your statement that began, “Holy fxxxing xxxx, this is fxxxing insane!” When you’re crafting that kind of statement, do you carefully calibrate how much swearing you have to do so as not to disappoint Roy Kent fans?
(Laughs) I can’t speak for people’s expectations. How many swears? It’s, you know, the amount of swears that comes from the heart. When the Emmys happened last year, it was so incredible, and obviously I swore a lot, but I didn’t swear that much. But what I didn’t realize is that the live show was silenced.

So my family was watching in England, and all they heard was the first line, and then it went to silence. They thought I was saying, “f— f— f— f— f— f—!” They thought it was much worse than the nuanced amount of swearing I did.

When we talked last year, you said you were initially hired on “Ted Lasso” as a writer with a vague suggestion that maybe you could play Leslie Higgins, the ineffectual director of football operations. Ever since then, I’ve been wondering: If Jeremy Swift didn’t exist and didn’t get that part, what kind of Higgins would you have given us?
Oh, man. That’s unimaginable. I mean, hopefully it’s all right to say I’d be a bit younger. My Higgins probably would have been less likable. But I honestly don’t know, because when Jeremy appeared it was 100% him, and the part became molded around him.

And you knew that Roy was the character for you when you sent them a self-taped audition?
I always get nervous talking about this because I’m sure I sound like a weirdo, but I’ve never felt this way before about any part. It was like a calling, like Roy is inside me. People say, “Oh, it was quite brave to send that tape,” and I knew there was a gamble because the worst-case scenario was that I make everybody feel uncomfortable and don’t get asked to come back as a writer for Season 2. But I also knew I would hate myself if I didn’t try, because I felt very, very strongly that I got this character in such a deep way. [More at Source]

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