In Season 2 of “Ted Lasso,” Rebecca abruptly learns that her estranged father has died. Heartbroken yet resolved, she attends his funeral and delivers a poignant eulogy about their relationship. This includes a spontaneous breakout into an uncharacteristically melancholy version of Rick Astley’s “Never Gonna Give You Up.” During this time, her close friends and family rally around her, including Lasso and the AFC Richmond team. While the scene is a stirring and thoughtful meditation on the complications of grief, the moments that took place off-camera also seemingly added to its resonance.
During a cast interview with Apple TV+, Waddingham revealed that her own father was having surgery at the time of filming. As she shared, “What most people don’t know… is that … on that very day, my own father was having emergency quintuple open-heart surgery.” Visibly near tears, Waddingham added, “And these people here got me through it.” In the interview, she motioned to her castmates, Toheeb Jimoh, Nick Mohammed, and Juno Temple.
Reflecting on their tight-knit camaraderie, Waddingham observed, “And they’ve become my companions and my family in real life … There was no worry about performing in front of them.” She praised her castmates for holding her up throughout the day, including during the eulogy, and cited their unwavering support as indicative of their off-screen affection for each other. In the end, Waddingham considered the seeming difficulties of shooting to be an overall gift. As the actress said, “[I]t was the weirdest art-meets-life moment of my life. And in a way I’m glad I had that, as a release that day … I feel like this has been sent to me today to allow me to grieve.