James Lance in ‘Ted Lasso’ Season 3 and Trent Crimm
Photo: Gilbert Flores/Variety via Getty Images
Trent Crimm: The Independent is now Trent Crimm: The Author. Despite seemingly leaving Ted Lasso After the universe revealed the sources of a bombshell story about Ted’s panic attacks at the end of season two, the gifted writer is now back in a big way: he’s shadowing AFC Richmond and everyone around him to write a book about the club’s season. (Convenient, too, because, as Ted reminds him, “There’s a big old Ziploc bag full of your lost hair ties found.”) But Trent’s second chance at career fulfillment may not be so easy. A hostile reception from Roy Kent forces the pair to consider their pasts and their own egos, when Trent botches Roy’s Premier League debut, entangled in an article Roy still carries in his wallet decades ago. “I thought I was getting excited,” admits Trent about his writing. “I was trying to make a name for myself. All I really did was look for the worst in people.’
James Lance, who was nominated for Outstanding Guest Actor in a Comedy Series for his role at last year’s Emmys, is still in awe of how meaningful Trent has become as a character. That was not the original plan.
I was pleasantly surprised to see Trent’s return at the beginning of the episode, because I thought his end was final. Are you also surprised to have a bigger role this season?
I found out that Trent was going to show up more in season three between seasons one and two. You see, a very interesting thing happened to me with this role. After my first scene in the first season, I was walking through the parking lot and Jason stopped me and said, “Hey, it’s great to have you on board. I love what you are doing with Trent”. And we had a three-minute conversation that changed my career and Trent’s life.
Well, now I need to hear about this conversation.
I told him that I sensed that Trento is related to his father. He had a father who wanted him to be a manly and athletic man, but Trent wasn’t that guy. So he turned to the library and put on his mind as a shield and armor. Jason was looking at me with some confusion, and he said, “Hey, let me tell you something. This whole show is about bad dads.’ And I said, “Really?” And he said: “Yes. The reason Ted is the way he is is because his father killed himself and he decided to embrace life and take this positive attitude.” And I was like, “Oh, wow. Well, that resonates a lot with Trento as well.” And then I said: “I think he’s bored with sports journalism. There’s more in there. He’s not living the life he wants to live.” Jason nodded and said, “Okay, yeah, great.” And that was it. It ignited something that was maybe already there in Jason and it certainly ignited the flame of what will happen in season three.
There’s a moment in the first season episode of “Trent Crimm: The Independent” when Trent is tasked with basically taking down Ted in the press. Of course, that’s not the case at all, as he realizes that he’s dealing with something quite special and unique. In that scene at the Indian restaurant, Ted says something that breaks Trent’s heart: “It’s not about winning and losing, it’s about making these guys the best versions of themselves, on and off the field, and it’s not always easy, especially if they’ve had a tough childhood.” . That spoke directly to Trent’s backstory for me. As a boy, he always wanted to hear something like this. Now he’s looking at this extraordinary father figure that really changes Trent’s perspective and sends him on a journey into the background.
Why do you think it makes sense to write a book about his new trip to Richmond?
Because of his connection with Ted. He sees the impact he is having in the world of sports and in the locker room with these young people – he puts the human before the journalist. That’s why Trent blows the whistle in season two: because for him, it’s more important now to be a decent human being. In the process, he loses his job, but he knew very well that this could happen. It blew up his career, and it was necessary.
Trent joins the club insisting that there is “a story to be told here”. What is that story?
His interest and curiosity piqued: Will Ted be able to take this team all the way? If he can, that will be fascinating in terms of his philosophy in the book. And if he can’t, what’s more important, losing the philosophy or the team? And if they lose, do they really win because of the philosophy and culture that has been created within the club? It was a really interesting story that appealed to the writer from Trento and also on a personal level: whether kindness and compassion can win. In particular, the culture that is created within the club is there to investigate and release.
Should we have reason to doubt his intentions?
Absolutely. It’s Trent Crimm.
Trent and Roy were near the bottom of the pairings I expected to see, but I left the episode believing they were some kindred spirits. How do you see their relationship?
As a young man, Trent wanted to be Roy Kent because Roy was everything Trent’s father wanted him to be. That’s partly why Trent does the takedown article that makes Roy’s debut on the field, because he’s attacking and trying to diminish Roy’s idea. It was an interesting place to get into.
I love that they make up for it so quickly when Roy takes Trent into the shower to confront him. As for Trento’s personal journey, it’s an invitation to do the right thing. I think it does. He has no beef with Roy and it would have been too embarrassing to bring him along. But when it comes to him, he faces it. On a personal level, I absolutely love being in scenes with Brett Goldstein. There’s something funny about Trent Crimm and Roy Kent.
How much acting did you have to do when Brett screamed at you in the locker room?
I knew it was coming, but my job was to let it happen. I can say that every time I jumped it was real. It was quite scary. When Roy is four inches from your face and you see the pupils dilate, it’s pretty scary.
What did you want to make sure was transmitted between them?
I knew the game was for Trento. He was physically and mentally cornered. He knew there was always that possibility, and it was better to take it away now that Trent wanted to write this book. I think it was a case of two people being ready to face the moment.
The idea of redemption is central Ted Lasso this season How do you think this relates to Trento and his involvement with the club?
Trent has spent much of his life belittling other people and vilifying him in the press, all to make a name for himself. It was about making a career and creating a voice that would be heard. It was meant to be entertaining. In the world of journalism, for example, Christopher Hitchens would have created “hitchslap” or writers like Will Self. Trent Crimm was very inspired by those types of writers. He had a lot to prove.
Inevitably, it burned. When we first meet him in the first season, he’s in burnout mode, and there’s a salvation that happens with purity of heart and the ripple effect that Ted creates in the world. Trent decides to turn around and follow the light. Or, as Jason says, “Think like Gandhi, follow your bliss” – he decides to follow his bliss. Making amends and becoming a more conscious human being is part of Trento’s journey, which we see him understand at the end of season two: “I’m looking for something deeper. Something different.”
Vulture TV would like to honor you with the award for Best Hair in a Comedy Series. Let us in on your secrets?
First of all, it is a great honor. On behalf of my hair, I’ll accept it. Without realizing it, I’m in a double act. I didn’t realize my hair was listening to everything we’re saying now, so I have to be very careful because it doesn’t like to keep secrets. All I know is that he doesn’t like being ignored. He doesn’t like to be cleaned too much. He likes to do his own thing.