Sarah Niles is the newest cast member of Ted Lasso, playing the role of Dr. Sharon Fieldstone, who makes her debut in the Season 2 premiere. Sharon is a sports psychologist brought in to help AFC Richmond players with different problems they are having. In an exclusive interview with PopCulture.com, Niles explained how Michael Jordan helped her prepare to play the role of Sharon.
"I watched the Michael Jordan documentary," Niles said to PopCulture, mentioning she watched it before she auditioned for Ted Lasso. "I was quite fascinated by the way the players were. To me, it was like Shakespeare, because you got to see how they played, their characters, what was going on, something about their personalities, what limited them and what they actually might have needed in terms of communication. It was just really interesting to watch that."
Niles also said she studied LeBron James when it comes to his mindset going into a game. "I found it really fascinating," she said. "And the things that stick with people, what they get told and what sticks with them up into their training. And then Jason [Sudeikis] provided me with loads of books, 'Look into this and look into that.' Some of it had nothing to do with sports psychology but was really interested in observing. And yeah, I kept thinking about his line in the first series, 'Be curious, not judgmental.' And I thought that was a really good quote for Sharon."
Sharon makes an immediate impact as she helps Dani Rojas (Cristo Fernandez) get over the yips. It led to more players going to her to seek help, but Ted Lasso is unsure about her due to his history with therapists. Sharon will likely make a big impact on AFC Richmond, which is needed considering they have posted eight consecutive ties and haven't won a match yet.
With Sharon being a new character, Niles was nervous when she first arrived on set. "It was wonderful, but you can't help feeling like a little bit sick in the throat. Like, oh, it's the first day of school," Niles stated. "Am I going to be good enough? Was it the right decision to pick me? You get all those kinds of thoughts and you just put them aside. But Jason was... he gave me loads of information, his ideas about the character. He was really supportive, as was a lot of the writing team always checking in with us, and it was just a joy. It was so funny to be on that set and work with those people? I was thrilled."
Watch the entire cast interview above! Season 2 of Ted Lasso is currently streaming on Apple TV+, and a new episode will air each week. Season 1 is also currently streaming and PopCulture readers can get a free three-month trial subscription here.