“You try to spend as much time and be as present with people,” Sudeikis, 47, said during a Friday, March 24 interview with CNN, adding that he keeps his DMs open because of the “incredibly moving” stories people share with him after watching the AppleTV+ series.
The Horrible Bosses star revealed that he and the cast of the heartfelt comedy have been met with “such kindness and grace” since the show’s premiere in August 2020, sharing details of how Ted Lasso has given hope to those with real-world struggles.
“People share their stories or explain where they’ve held the ‘Believe’ poster, where they have it. Like, in a parent’s hospital room or in classrooms or where-have-you,” he said.
While Ted Lasso —which has taken home a total of 11 Emmys since its debut — centers around an American football coach (Sudeikis) who is hired to manage a British soccer team, the show has pushed beyond the confines of athletics over the years to touch on important topics including mental health. Season 2 saw Lasso struggle with panic attacks and depression as he learned to let go of preconceived notions and find solace in therapy. Season 3, which premiered earlier this month, sees the football coach continue on that journey.
The Saturday Night Live alum — who has often gotten candid about the “insecurity” and “imposter syndrome” that comes along with his profession — told CNN on Friday that delving into the concept of “humanity” has become part of Ted Lasso’s DNA because “were all more similar that sometimes we’re allowed to feel.”
“I don’t think I was always [open with my feelings] but I would only share it with people I didn’t know that well,” he told journalist Jake Tapper. “I think I didn’t want to burden folks with it. Any of us can feel that way. Where we don’t want to burden other people with stuff because we don’t think we’re worthy of it — and I still struggle with it.”
The Downsizing star’s words come on the heels of his ongoing custody battle with ex Olivia Wilde in his own personal life. The pair – who dated from 2011 to 2022 — share son Otis, 8, and daughter Daisy, 6, and have been at odds about where their kids should be primarily be raised. The duo recently had a court hearing for the ongoing custody dispute on Friday, March 24, in which the judge rejected Sudeikis’ request to move the cast from Los Angeles to New York.
Sudeikis’ message on the importance of overall well-being has reached beyond just writing it into episodes of his TV series. On Monday, March 20, the Virginia native — along with costars Brett Goldstein, Hannah Waddingham, Brendan Hunt, James Lance and Toheeb Jimoh — visited President Joe Biden and first lady Dr. Jill Biden to assist in tackling the mental health crisis, which has been at the centerpiece of the Biden Administration’s Unity Agenda.
Prior to their meeting with the commander-in-chief himself, the cast participated in a press conference alongside press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre.
“It’s sincerely an honor to visit the White House and have the opportunity to speak to the President and first lady about the importance of mental health. No matter who you are, no matter where you live, no matter who you voted for … we all know someone — or have been that someone ourselves, actually — who has struggled, that’s felt isolated, that’s felt anxious, that’s felt alone,” Sudeikis told reporters. “And it’s actually one of the many things, believe it or not, that we all have in common as human beings. That means it’s something we can all — and should — talk about with one another when we’re feeling that way.”
He continued, “A big theme of the show is to check in with your neighbor, your coworker, your friends, your family and ask how they’re doing and listen. While it’s easier said than done, we also have to know that we shouldn’t be afraid to ask for help ourselves. And that does take a lot, especially when it’s something that has such a negative stigma to it such as mental health and that doesn’t need to be that way.”
The Emmy winner went on to urge people to find help from either a “professional” or “loved one” in their lives, adding that while Americans don’t always “agree” on everything, he believes “we should all do our best to help take care of each other” — something the characters of Ted Lasso do quite well.
“That’s my own personal belief that’s what everyone here on stage feels. That’s something we talk about in the writer’s room and we talk about in the editing room and everything in between,” he shared. “I just want to emulate the folks we play at AFC Richmond and the way they take care of each other. That is the wish fulfillment on the show.”