Nate’s “downfall” will be explored in season 3 of Ted Lasso — and according to Nick Mohammed, it’s going to be a bumpy ride.
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“All I can say is expect more of a roller-coaster and there’s some brilliant and lovely twists and turns along the way,” the British actor, 41, exclusively tells Us Weekly. “I think his actions are villainous. I think he’s got all the makings to be a villain because like almost all villain origin stories, they come from a place of neglect, insecurity. Nate has got bag fulls of that. And we know already that his relationship with his dad is quite toxic and that he doesn’t really have a support network. And particularly in season 2, that’s really evident because part of the reason why he feels abandoned by Ted is because he doesn’t have anybody else. And so it’s not Ted’s fault. Ted is busy with his own issues and his own demons. And so perhaps if Nate did have that support, whether it be a relationship or better family support or Ted was more on the scene with him, he wouldn’t be making so many bad decisions.”
Nate’s behavior “sadly informs who he becomes,” Mohammed adds. In the season 2 finale cliffhanger, it’s revealed that Nate has jumped ship from the AFC Richmond team to West Ham. Mohammed knew about his character’s development “for a while” since season 1.
“I just absolutely relished every moment of it because it just felt really fun as an actor to try and sort of take the audience on that journey because I think season 1 Nate was quite not happy go lucky. Season 1 Nate is sort of troubled in his own way in that he’s insecure and he’s picked on and he’s a bit of an introvert. Ted obviously brings him out of his shell. But there were sort of plenty of spaces for humor along the way,” he explains to Us. “But then I feel like in season 2 there were increasingly fewer comedic moments for Nate and increasingly more dramatic or emotional sort of storytelling beats. And so they were certainly more challenging to play. But I was delighted that they were going this way with the character. It felt very bold.”
Mohammed is tight-lipped about what’s to come, but noted that Nate and Ted “absolutely” need to chat about their falling out.
“There has to be some kind of reckoning, right? Whether it’s a positive or negative outcome. There was a lot of going on in that season finale in season 2 where Nate lays into Ted and Ted just sort of takes it and is sort of deeply shocked by it,” he says. “In terms of working with Jason [Sudeikis], that has been an absolute dream and I was a huge fan of his before Ted Lasso. On this character, he’d always sort of said [Nate’s] gonna go on this journey and now true to his word, years later, we’re now kind of doing these scenes that he was talking about so early on. I feel very lucky really to be in that position where there’s a bit of pressure on that character.”
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He adds: “Where he’s at now with West Ham, he’s in a very pressured position as well. And there’s a sense of loneliness there I think because he’s left Richmond. … I’m certainly not gonna be hanging out in the Richmond locker room anytime soon. So as an actor, I’ve not been seeing as much of those people, and I’ve been again trying to sort of use that sort of feeling of abandonment.”
Sudeikis, 46, has hinted that the show will end after season 3, with costar and fellow writer Brett Goldstein (who plays Roy Kent) recently saying that they are writing season 3 “as its last.” Mohammed, however, isn’t even sure himself.
“I genuinely don’t know. And I’m not being coy. They’ve been very open about saying when they created the show, they had mapped out three-season arcs for the chief players, but that’s quite common I think for a show to have longevity and so on when you’re pitching a show,” he tells Us. “Genuinely, who knows? It might just have a break and then come back or it might be the end, but I don’t know.”
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And if it does, Mohammed and the rest of the cast are in good hands. “They’ve got a fantastic writer’s room, and Jason will always do his kind of overnight pass. We sort of started to call it that. We’ll get the scripts [for] the scenes that were coming the next day, but there’s sort of no point in learning them because Jason will [rewrite a] little bit in the morning, first thing. But that’s fine because it keeps it all fresh,” he reveals. “It takes such a long time to film a season there. There are definitely times when a spontaneous idea might happen on set might then inform a latest script and so on. It’s quite rewarding, actually, to be part of that process as an actor. Things do constantly evolve, but I think the broad sort of story ideas and backstory and overall season arcs, they’re pretty set in terms of what they’re going to be.”
Ted Lasso season 3 is reportedly set for a 2023 release. The series earned 20 Emmy nominations earlier this week, with Mohammed picking up his second nomination in the supporting actor category.