My worst moment: 'Ted Lasso' star Jeremy Swift missed his cue for a nude entrance

Nina Metz, Chicago Tribune on

Published in Entertainment News

On “Ted Lasso,” Jeremy Swift plays the team’s delightfully offbeat director of operations, Leslie Higgins. A lover of jazz, he is a man who might be more beaten down if he didn’t have the quiet self-confidence of a person who has his personal life figured out.

“I know some of the other actors had a trajectory planned out at the beginning,” said Swift, “but I didn’t. I didn’t really know where he was going. I’m not sure the writers did, either. The first season was very much about divorce for two of the central characters, and they needed a contrast. So they went with a relatively harmonious family for Higgins.” Summing up his experience on the show over the last three seasons: “I just have to pinch myself that I’m in it.”

Swift’s resume includes roles in “Mary Poppins Returns,” “The Importance of Being Earnest” and “Downton Abbey,” among many others. When asked about a worst moment in his career, he started off with a disclaimer: “I’m not sure at all what I learned from this experience.”

But the cringiest moments in an actor’s career, he said, “are the things that happen in live theater.”

My worst moment …

“I’ve done a lot of theater, but this was my first job at the National Theatre, which wasn’t until I was 29. It was a production of Henrik Ibsen’s ‘Peer Gynt’ and it had a big ensemble and a really dynamic, award-winning director. It ran from 1989 to 1990.


“And in one scene, the title character goes to an asylum. I can’t remember how, it’s a very strange script. And I played a nude asylum person. I had not been nude on stage before and it’s not something I would inflict on the public ever again.

“Basically the inmates of the asylum would come out from beneath the stage. There was a two-hander scene going on before our entrance and it was very philosophical. But when you’re underneath the stage, you can’t really hear properly. It’s like being underwater.

“And even though you have a light — a red light and then a green light for your entrance — I somehow didn’t take any notice of that. And I thought someone said, ‘Go! Go! Go!’

“So I went on stage. And I was about four minutes early into the scene.


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