Jason Sudeikis — along with costars Brett Goldstein, Hannah Waddingham, Brendan Hunt, James Lance and Toheeb Jimoh — visited the President and First Lady, Jill Biden, on Monday, March 20, to assist in tackling the mental health crisis, which is 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 — probably, I assume — 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, 47 — who portrays titular character Ted Lasso on the AppleTV+ series — 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 Saturday Night Live alum 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.”
While the hit comedy, which premiered in August 2020, 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 to touch on important topics including mental health over the years. Season 2 saw Lasso struggle with panic attacks and depression as learned to let go of preconceived notions and find solace in therapy. (Ted Lasso season 3 debuted on Wednesday, March 15.)
While Biden wasn’t present for the press conference on Monday — and Sudeikis refused to do his own impersonation of the politician while on stage — the President did take to social media on Sunday, March 19, in anticipation of the cast’s visit, tweeting a snap of a sign with the words “Believe” — Ted Lasso’s signature philosophy — taped above the door to the Oval Office.
“Tomorrow,” he captioned the image.
New episodes of Ted Lasso air Wednesdays on AppleTV+.