The Untold Truth Of Brett Goldstein

A comedy about an NFL coach landing a job in the British type of football he knows nothing about? On paper, "Ted Lasso" sounded like a pretty average fish-out-of-water sitcom which would lean into all the cross-cultural cliches about Americans and 'soccer.' Instead, it turned out to be one of the sharpest, funniest, and most resolutely feel-good shows of the decade. Much of its success can be attributed to Brett Goldstein.

Yes, the Londoner not only co-stars as Roy Kent, the aging AFC Richmond midfielder with anger management issues; he also helped to co-write and produce the Emmy and Golden Globe-winning show that even those completely baffled by the offside rule have become completely addicted to.

Goldstein may appear as though he's come from nowhere, but he's actually been a fixture of the British comedy scene for years (viewers of "Derek" may recognize him as care home visitor Tom). From strip clubs to social activism, here's a look at his untold truth.

Brett Goldstein grew up in a strip club

In 2011, Brett Goldstein headed out to the world-famous Edinburgh Fringe Festival for a month-long run of shows with an attention-grabbing title. "Brett Goldstein Grew Up In a Strip Club" sounds merely like the set-up for a series of raunchy jokes, but, in fact, there was actually some truth in there, too.

Goldstein was already pretty much a grown-up when he emigrated to Marbella with a father undergoing a full-blown mid-life crisis. But the experience of running a strip club at such a young age certainly put a few more hairs on his chest, particularly when "the underworld," he told Three Weeks Edinburgh, became regular clients. Luckily, the stand-up comic doesn't regret being taken along for the ride.

"It was a hell of an adventure and I feel very grateful for having had it," Goldstein said in his promotional interview with Three Weeks Edinburgh. He also explained, "Once you get past the darkness, with a little perspective the whole thing is utterly ridiculous. It's like a farce. It's about a series of stupid men who wandered blindly into a fantasy world they had literally no idea about and how they stumbled about causing trouble and destruction and trying not to get killed."

Brett Goldstein is far from an overnight success

Brett Goldstein might have been unfamiliar to most Apple TV+ viewers before bagging the role of Roy Kent on the streaming service's breakout hit, "Ted Lasso." But he's been plugging away on the British comedy scene for the best part of two decades.

The actor first pursued a career as a stand-up comedian, regularly gracing the Edinburgh Fringe Festival and the London comedy circuit. He then came to wider attention in 2012 when he landed the part of Tom in Ricky Gervais' "Derek." Roles in other sitcoms, including "Drifters," "Uncle," and "Hoff the Record," followed.

In 2015, Goldstein made the step up to the big screen with a part in indie horror "Howl" and pulled double duty a year later as a writer and star of low-budget superhero flick "SuperBob." Other credits include a guest spot on "Doctor Who," a supporting role in Tribeca Film Festival favorite "Adult Life Skills," and two episodes of "Drunk History," while in 2016, he both wrote and performed in "The Catherine Tate Show Live." Reflecting on his perceived status in a 2021 chat with Backstage, Goldstein remarked, "It's so funny, this thing of 'overnight success.' I've been doing this for 20 years, but yes, sure, it happened overnight!"

He is a social justice warrior

Brett Goldstein isn't your average British male comedian. The "Ted Lasso" star studied feminism at the University of Warwick (alongside film), and you're just as likely to see him on a protest march as you are at a stand-up club.

In 2018, for example, he headed out with members of an LGBTQ+ charity to voice his displeasure at a visit from then-POTUS Donald Trump. The star captioned an Instagram pic of the occasion, "There was a giant racist dictator blimp baby that came to England or something (I don't know all the details, I'm delirious with heatstroke). Anyway, I went on a walk with @stonewalluk to protest him and it turns out we weren't the only ones. Apparently he's really unpopular. Like ... a lot."

Goldstein took to the same platform to champion the Black Lives Matter movement. He captioned a snap of another peaceful protester (in part), "Such a clear feeling of community and a desperate desire for change and so good to see it coming from all different generations and races, all in clear agreement that black lives matter."

The actor feels privileged to win an Emmy

In 2021, Brett Goldstein joined (deep breath) Jason Sudeikis, Brendan Hunt, Nick Mohammed, Jeremy Swift, Juno Temple, and Hannah Waddingham on the list of Ted Lasso actors to get a Primetime Emmy Award nod. And like several of his co-stars, he then got the chance to make an acceptance speech when the big night came around, after being crowned outstanding supporting actor in a comedy series. 

A clearly delighted, and occasionally foul-mouthed, Goldstein told the star-studded audience, "It has been one of the greatest honors, privileges, and privileges ... I just said that twice, but it's a double privilege. It's the most privileged privilege and pleasures of my life."

Goldstein may have been super-excited about being recognized at such a prestigious event. But he also told Backstage in 2021 that he knows accolades aren't the be-all and end-all: "Fame and success and awards should never be the aim. The aim should be: Are you enjoying the making of the thing? Because the making of the thing, whatever level you're at — if it's a short film you're making with two friends, or it's a massive Apple TV show — it's still the same. You're still creatively making a thing. And if that makes you happy, then you'll be all set."

Brett Goldstein wouldn't take the Soulmates test

In 2021, Brett Goldstein became a show creator alongside William Bridges for AMC's "Soulmates," a near-future drama in which individuals can find their 100% perfect love match by taking a scientific test. When asked whether he'd sign up if such a cheat existed in real life, the actor seemed pretty sure he'd let nature take its course instead, telling Observer, "I don't think I would, because I like the journey. In my head, it's like, 'Oh, the ending is spoiled.'"

The Emmy winner also explained how he and Bridges, who'd worked together on "SuperBob," had conceived the show: "We were in very different stages; he was married and was about to have his first child, and I was kind of dating the wrong people," Goldstein told Observer. He continued, "We were talking about how the very sort of notion of soulmates as a romantic ideal has existed for thousands of years, but what does it actually mean? Is his wife his soulmate? Was the person I was with my soulmate? And the more we talked about it, we were like, 'What if you could prove it?'"

According to his "Ted Lasso" co-star, Hannah Waddingham, Goldstein doesn't need to rely on algorithms to find his real-life soulmate, anyway. Waddingham no doubt broke the hearts of many viewers when she revealed to People magazine that yes, Roy Kent was already taken. Page Six reports that the lucky lady is comedian Beth Rylance.

Brett Goldstein has been inspired by both Ricky Gervais and Jim Henson

Unless you managed to spot his two-episode stint on long-running police soap "The Bill," dramedy "Derek" was TV viewers' first real introduction to Brett Goldstein's talents. And the actor will always remain thankful to its creator for helping to put him at ease during the early days on set.

In 2020, he recalled to Esquire, "On my first day I was quite nervous — big f*cking deal, working with Ricky Gervais, and it was my first big TV job — and I did take one, and he said, 'Perfect! Let's move on.' I was like, 'What?' He went, 'It's great, we got it.' Don't you want to see something else? And I think he said, 'I trust The Force: it looked good, felt good, I liked it.' ... That's really inspiring."

Gervais isn't the only comedy favorite who's been a major influence on Goldstein's career. Indeed, it's fair to say that the Brit is a fan of "The Muppets" creator Jim Henson. He named the late puppeteer as his favorite person during a 2017 chat with Beyond the Joke: "He was a saint. I think what he did with his work is truly inspirational and magic and perfect and something to aspire to. I love everything he created, and it works at whatever age you are at."

He nearly lost out on his breakthrough role

You'd think that as one of the chief writers on "Ted Lasso," Brett Goldstein would have been able to take any part he liked. But the double threat initially didn't have any plans to join the cast. And when he slowly came around to the idea of appearing in front of screen, the Brit was unusually reluctant to put his name forward.

In a 2020 interview with Vulture, Goldstein explained that he was deep into the writing process when he began to realize he was the perfect man to fill the boots of AFC Richmond's most foul-mouthed player, Roy Kent. However, the Warwick University graduate also believed his history of playing more easy-going characters may make it harder for audiences to accept him in the part. 

Goldstein eventually worked up the courage to throw his hat in the ring at the final hour: "So on my last day in the writers' room, the night before, I [recorded a tape], five scenes as Roy, without telling anyone, and then I sent an email to Bill [Lawrence] and said, 'I've been thinking I could play Roy ... but if this is embarrassing, you can pretend you never got this email, and I will never ask you about it.'" Luckily, Lawrence liked what he saw, and the rest is "Ted Lasso" history.

Brett Goldstein is a real, normal, human man

It seems an entirely unnecessary thing to clarify to anyone who hasn't burrowed themselves deep down a Reddit "Ted Lasso" wormhole — but, yes, Brett Goldstein is very much of the human race and not simply an ultra-realistic CGI creation.

In one of the more bizarre conspiracy theories to emerge about a TV character, some Reddit users argued that Roy Kent was nothing but zeros and ones. His unusual body movements, slow-motion eye contact, and general all-round glow were enough to convince some viewers that the AFC Richmond player had essentially been plucked from a FIFA video game.

The theory gathered such pace that Goldstein felt compelled to address it on Twitter. After reacting with an emoji of a robot, the actor then issued a statement which cleared up the matter once and for all. Well, kinda. Adopting an animated filter, he said, "I am a completely real, normal, human man who just happens to live in a VFX house and does normal, human, basic things like rendering and buffering and transferring data. I don't know what everyone's f*cking problem is."

Did you know Brett Goldstein has a hit podcast?

Like seemingly every other forty-something man these days, Brett Goldstein has a podcast. "Films to Be Buried With" commenced in 2018 and, as its title suggests, sees the host ask various celebrities about the movies that they have most connected with. Oh, and he also gets them to ponder how and when they will die.

Alongside several fellow comics, Goldstein has also welcomed the likes of Coldplay frontman Chris Martin, "Game of Thrones" star Maisie Williams, and none other than Sharon Stone onto the hit podcast to discuss both their movie tastes and their mortality. In a 2018 interview with British Comedy Guide, the "Ted Lasso" star explained why his addition to such a crowded field is worth an hour of your time each week: "It is a show about life, death, and films, and hopefully it's funny and also very illuminating. I've had episodes that were pure laughs and some that were really heavy, all depends on the guest and the stories told."

And if you're wondering what makes Goldstein such an authority on all things cinema, well, it turns out he's obsessed: "If I'm not thinking about comedy, I'm thinking about films. It's very detrimental to my human relationships, but what's more important? I try to see as many films as I can, and sometimes fit them around my weird schedule. Nothing better than seeing a film at midnight after a gig, in an empty cinema."

Soccer runs in Brett Goldstein's family

Brett Goldstein may have joined the cast of a Ricky Gervais sitcom, appeared in "Doctor Who," and written his very own superhero feature film (which he also starred in). But it took playing a fictional soccer player with anger management issues for his father to be truly proud of him.

Speaking to People in 2021, the actor joked that the success of "Ted Lasso" has finally seen him earn the approval of his sports-mad dad: "He always wanted me to be a footballer. He is a football hooligan, a true obsessive, if I had been born on match day he would not have been at the hospital, so for me to be able to at least pretend to be a footballer, means I'm finally allowed home at Christmas."

And Goldstein Sr.'s love of the beautiful game certainly appears to have rubbed off on his son. When Esquire asked him whether he'd have preferred to ply his trade on the football field or the stand-up circuit as an 18-year-old if given the choice, he replied firmly with the former: "... In America, I think most actors wish they were rock stars, but I think in England most people wish they were footballers.

Brett Goldstein wanted to be a stuntman

Actor, writer, stand-up. Brett Goldstein appears to have many strings to his bow. And you can add another skill to that ever-expanding list! Yes, the multi-talented star has performed his own stunts on several different projects over the years, fulfilling a childhood ambition in the process.

Goldstein told People in 2021, "I wanted to be a stuntman first, and I used to pretend to be Indiana Jones and jump off roofs and slide under garage doors. I was 29 at the time." You might think that the Brit would need a true professional to execute all the moves on the soccer field while filming "Ted Lasso." But as he explained to Esquire in 2020, even that's mostly his own work, too.

After attending a boot camp with the show's soccer advisor, Chris Powell, a former England and Charlton Athletic defender, Goldstein gained most of the skills needed to convince viewers he was a Premier League player. The actor said, "There's set-pieces in the show that are choreographed, and we'd have football rehearsals where we'd practice these dances of set pieces that would then take 25 takes to get right. But most of the actual team are semi-pro players, so it was really the main cast having to do their best to fit in." However, the actor did admit that when it came to the more complex techniques, he'd grab a stunt double.

The writer and actor loves working on Ted Lasso

Writing and starring in a Golden Globe-winning sitcom (that is widely hailed as one of the decade's most meaningful shows) can actually have a downside. For Brett Goldstein, the man who plays and pens the "Ted Lasso" character of professional soccer player Roy Kent, it's the fear that nothing else you ever do will be as good.

In a 2021 chat with MovieMaker alongside Phil Dunster, aka AFC Richmond pin-up Jamie Tartt, Goldstein was asked what he'd learned while working on the hit show. And his answer took an unexpected turn: "I've learned that I'm a f*cking spoiled little s*it, because this show is so good to work on that I worry I won't be able to be on a different thing. Because if it's not as good as this, I'll be like, 'No, it sucks..."

And it's not just the work that Goldstein enjoys; the behind-the-scenes "Ted Lasso" friendships seem to be just as important. "The entire cast, the entire crew, everyone. It's boring to say, but there's so much love for each other, and for the show. ... Everyone is working really, really hard and putting all of their best selves into it," the actor told MovieMaker, expressing how much he'd learned from his colleagues about acting. After recognizing that things will probably never get as good as this again, the actor concluded, "I'm depressed already."

Brett Goldstein doesn't like telling people he's a comedian

Chances are that Brett Goldstein will have a little more trouble hiding his true profession now that he's an Emmy Award winner co-starring in a TV comedy phenomenon. But before achieving such glory with "Ted Lasso," the actor-writer liked to keep the nature of his job on the down low.

In 2017, the Brit revealed to Beyond the Joke that telling people he's a comedian immediately puts him on the spot, particularly in social situations. Goldstein said, "The worst thing is telling people at parties you're a comedian because nine times out of ten they will be a d*ckhead and say either: 'You? Say something funny then?' or 'Are you serious? But you haven't been funny all night?' or 'I'll come to one of your gigs and heckle you!'"

Therefore, you can't blame the talent for pretending that his career is rooted in something a little less showbiz. "Now I just tell people I'm a plumber," he told Beyond the Joke. "I've noticed that people at parties are far less interested in following up the 'what do you do' conversation with plumbers. They rarely heckle them or question whether they can actually unclog a pipe." However, Goldstein did admit that if he encountered a plumber on a night out, he'd also subject them to an interrogation, too.

Brett Goldstein is in the money

In 2020, the average monthly take-home pay for a real-life Premier League player was an astonishing £240,000 per month (that's roughly $350,000)! And Brett Goldstein, who plays fictional top flight soccer star Roy Kent in "Ted Lasso," is now reportedly earning similar megabucks. 

Per The Hollywood Reporter, leading man Jason Sudeikis is set to get paid a whopping $1 million per episode — that's reportedly at least $700,000 more than he received for the second season! The million-dollar salary factors in Sudeikis' jobs as executive producer, creator, and head writer, too. The Emmy and Golden Globe-winning success of the Apple TV+ sitcom has helped earn its other stars a bumper pay raise for the third season. Hannah Waddingham's salary is set to rise from between $50,000 and $75,000 per episode to at least $125,000, via The Hollywood Reporter's sources. Juno Temple is projected to have the same increase on similar numbers. 

Goldstein, however, will allegedly be picking up two separate increased pay packets. Indeed, the award winner is apparently now earning up to $150,000 for each episode he appears on camera, having previously earned between $50,000 and $75,000. But he will also top off that already considerable amount as one of the hit show's writers. Not that he's likely to be splashing the cash. When asked about his financial matters in 2017, Goldstein told Beyond the Joke, "I earn enough to pay my bills and see a film at the cinema. I'm quite happy with that and consider myself lucky, but I'd take a bit more money so that I could afford more Revels to go with the popcorn."