Ted Lasso returns on Friday with Season 2, and Stephen Manas is ready for fans to see what's in store for his character. The French actor who plays Richard Montlaur on Ted Lasso is humbled by his first international role, telling PopCulture.com in an exclusive interview how he was able to get one of the biggest roles of his career.
"I had quite the good agent in France, and it didn't work out for me in my country," Manas said to PopCulture. "I was working, but nothing as big as Ted Lasso and I was in Cannes in 2019. First time I was in Cannes, and nothing to show, nothing to do there, really, just looking around. I met my agent, from Lucky Star Agency, who got me the role for Ted Lasso. I told him my issues, and, Thank God, I was talking English. Not perfectly, but good enough, and he told me, 'Stephen, you should really audition for international stuff.' I said, 'Yeah, but I'm French, I love my country. I know we're not Hollywood.' Actually, I was kind of scared. I've never really tried. He told me, 'Just give it a try.'"
Manas reveals two weeks later, his first casting was for the Apple TV+ series. "[I] was kind of scared. Like everyone, I guess, I don't really like no's." He went to say the casting director and director saw something in his "performance, [his] profile, that could add something to Ted Lasso." And surprisingly, Manas thanks the France soccer team for winning the World Cup in 2018. "When I did the casting, maybe that the idea, 'Oh, maybe a French guy would be good,'" he said. "They created my character very fast, in one week after I was on set."
Manas also explained why he loves playing Richard. "My character is a kind of easy character, he's giving some punchline here and there, so it doesn't really have a huge story and impact yet on the show," Manas stated. "So it's still here and I'm lucky though, some writers, they speak very good French. It's not easy, French can be extremely funny for an American show." Season 2 of Ted Lasso is looking to match the success of Season 1, which resulted in the show earning 20 Emmy nominations. Manas is confident fans will love the second season because of what is added.
"I think they really updated," Manas said. "It's still the Lasso way, but different. There is lots of new topics, lots of new energy going here and there. More international, a little more football. There is 12 episodes, so there is more room for people to express for the story, for the characters and the show."
Season 2 of Ted Lasso will premiere on Apple TV+ this Friday, and a new episode will air each week. All episodes of Season 1 are currently streaming and PopCulture readers can get a free three-month trial subscription here.