Awards Daily talks to AFC Richmond’s team captain, Kola Bokinni, of Ted Lasso about his character’s (mostly) spot-on intuition, why he isn’t threatened by Zava, and what it was like filming that epic pillow fight.
When we pick up with AFC Richmond’s captain, Isaac McAdoo, in Season 3 of Ted Lasso, he’s angry. The sports pundits have ranked his team dead-last for their upcoming season. Like his character, Kola Bokinni says that as an actor, he also reacts to negative press (although given all of the show’s Emmys, he’s been pretty blessed).
“If I said I wasn’t human and didn’t get angry and have emotions, then I’d be lying,” he said. “Of course! It takes a long time to create a show. Sometimes people, especially when it comes to TV series, they watch one or two episodes and they think they’ve grasped the whole thing and they maybe make a snap judgment and then give you a bad review. It’s just an opinion at the end of the day.”
And one person who definitely has opinions is Isaac. In the new season, he immediately spots that Keeley (Juno Temple) and Roy (Bret Goldstein) have broken up, just by looking at them.
“I don’t even think he knows how intuitive he is. It’s one of those things where he just says how it is and says what he thinks. One thing about him is that when he knows he’s right, he doesn’t do it in a stubborn, strong-headed way; he does it in a way of, ‘You can have your own opinion, but I’m right, and I know that I’m right.’ It’s great to play characters like that.”
‘Sounds a Bit Gay, Bru?’ & Locker Room Talk
In Season 3, the show reveals that teammate Colin (Billy Harris) is gay, something that even the intuitive captain doesn’t appear to know, especially when he says, “Sounds a bit gay, bru?” in the locker room. Could that be Isaac stirring the pot to get Colin to come out?
“I don’t think he knows Colin is gay because he wouldn’t say that line because it would hurt his friend’s feelings. Unfortunately, the phrase, ‘That’s gay’ is almost second nature in locker rooms and sports. Everyone has massive bravado. And those jokes do happen. It’s unfortunate, but it’s fortunately changing.”
Despite the competing egos in the locker room, like with Jamie Tartt (Phil Dunster) versus Zava (Maximilian Osinski), Isaac never appears threatened.
“Isaac is the captain of the team and anything that’s going to make the team better, he’s down for. He should be. You can’t have any bias toward players if you’re one of the leaders and you want the team to succeed. All the team needs is goals, and that’s what Zava’s going to give, so Isaac’s down for it. Jamie, on the other hand, was the franchise player, the talisman, the goal-scorer, and someone who’s just naturally better than him; people who are good at stuff generally have big egos. It’s not Isaac’s department. Isaac’s department is to deal with whether Zava is detrimental to the team.”
Filming that Epic Pillow Fight in “Sunflowers”
In the Episode 6 “Sunflowers” episode, Isaac believes that the team must stick together for a night on the town in Amsterdam, which causes the group to struggle to come to a consensus.
“It is a team-building activity because the team isn’t doing well. It’s really difficult to swallow when you know you’re good enough, but it just didn’t go your way. But that’s life. You know you can do certain things, but the universe and timing, they’re not aligned yet. And that’s what happening with AFC Richmond. This is a time when they’re all together. Isaac wants them to bond and get that feeling of camaraderie back.”
The activity the group eventually decides on is. . .a pillow fight. Something Bokinni said he didn’t realize was dangerous until he was covered in feathers.
“Oh, they go everywhere! They’re down your throat and you’re [makes choking sound]. There were millions of feathers in the air! There’s a picture online of us all in the group after the pillow fight, and we are covered. I was picking feathers out for days. But it was such an amazing thing. Sometimes I look around when I’m filming, and think, ‘How am I getting paid for this?’ It’s just a crazy life.”
Season 3 of Ted Lasso is streaming on Apple TV+.