“I Don’t Think He Thinks He Deserves Love”: “Ted Lasso” Stars Brett Goldstein And Juno Temple Explained Their Heartbreaking Storyline

The two stars opened up on why their characters couldn’t make their relationship last. (Warning: contains spoilers for episodes 1 and 2 of Season 3.)

Is lasting love even real anymore? According to Ted Lasso, it might not be.

The love story between agitated retired football star Roy Kent (Brett Goldstein) and bubbly publicist Keeley Jones (Juno Temple), which dominated the first two seasons of the Emmy-winning series, had fans fawning over the pair's chemistry. However, Season 3, which premiered on March 15, did away with all the relationship goodwill as Roy and Keeley ended their multi-season relationship. 

Of course, this came as a surprise to Ted (Jason Sudeikis) and the rest of the AFC Richmond team. Viewers too.

“I don't think he thinks he deserves love or he deserves someone like Keeley,” Goldstein told BuzzFeed News of Roy. 

Though known for its whimsical dad jokes, overly motivational tones, and soccer backdrop, Ted Lasso at its core is a show about the trials of everyday hardships like workplace insecurity, panic attacks, and, most commonly, the end of relationships. Roy and Keeley’s relationship was often a barometer for the show’s larger storylines.

Keeley’s cheerful attitude brought out the best in everyone, especially grumpy Roy. Before he began dating her in Season 1, he was often angry and annoyed. Meanwhile, he showed her unconditional respect and admiration unlike her previous partner Jamie (Phil Dunster).

While their personality differences brought them together and helped them thrive, it’s their similarities that ultimately drew them apart. The start of Season 3 saw Keeley reshape her career from being a model and influencer to running her own PR firm, while Roy is hard-set on coaching the Richmond team to success and beating rival team West Ham.

“People say that when your personal life is going well, normally, your work life suffers, and vice versa,” Temple told BuzzFeed News. “It feels heartbreaking and complicated, but, at the same time, she has to focus on this other thing too and so does he.”

In Episode 2 of Season 3, Roy tells Ted and Trent Crimm (James Lance) that part of him regrets leaving the Chelsea team, where he became a star player before joining AFC Richmond years later, because he was scared he would eventually fail miserably at football, a clear metaphor for his relationship with Keeley. 

“What I understand about Roy is that he was this man who repressed his feelings for his entire life. Then he falls in love with Keeley, and she cracks him open. All these feelings come forward, but he has no way of managing them,” Goldstein said, calling Roy “self-destructive” in his self-imposed need to protect himself on the field and in his personal relationships. “It's the first time he's let anything out, and I think he feels panic and shame and a sense of worthlessness.”

Unlike the split between Ted and his wife Michelle (Andrea Anders) or that of Rebecca (Hannah Waddingham) and her husband Rupert (Anthony Head), both of which were fueled by one person not feeling as strongly for the other, it’s clear Roy and Keeley still love each other apart as they did together. Of course, this makes their split all the more tragic.

“I think they both really wanted each other to grow and find their own footing,” Temple said. “And I think that has also led to complications of them being able to make it work as a couple.”

It’s uncertain whether the two will make their way back to each other at the end, but both Goldstein and Temple are excited to see their characters thrive independently.

Topics in this article

Skip to footer