Brett Goldstein as Roy Kent

Brett Goldstein Explained the Importance of Keeley Jones to Roy Kent in Ted Lasso

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I will admit willingly to being in love with Roy Kent. The footballer who has a mouth like a sailor and a heart of gold swooped into the first season of Apple TV+’s Ted Lasso and we all found ourselves chanting, “Roy Kent, Roy Kent! He’s here, he’s there, he’s every-f**king-where” at any given moment. We knew we could count on Roy to score goals, have some grumbly response to something, or to be mad that he’s too “old” to play the game anymore. And we love him all the more for that.

Now, in preparation for season 2, Brett Goldstein is talking about the journey that Roy went on from being the once-great footballer to a man willing to mouth the words to “Let It Go” at karaoke next to his very bubbly now girlfriend. Talking to Variety for their “Awards Circuit” podcast, Goldstein talked about playing the rough and gruff Roy Kent and his journey into finding love in season one with Juno Temple’s Keeley Jones and how that relationship grows in season 2.

Roy Kent is alone when we meet him but the more we learn about him, the more we love him. Just like Keeley. Through meeting his niece and watching as he started to open up and accept that he wouldn’t be playing football anymore, we see a character coming to terms with life and aging and everything in between and Goldstein’s performance of Kent is fascinating.

“Part of why I wanted to play Roy and why I understood him is we’ve all felt that way. There’s a real tragedy in him and aging is a bummer and there’s a thing of, ‘I don’t want to not be able to do that thing anymore, it seems very unfair.’ That’s something I very much relate to. It’s hard to let people see you vulnerable; I fucking hate it. But that’s the great part of life and love and relationships that Keeley sits with him and is like, ‘I’m not running away.’”

Goldstein went on to talk about the relationship between Keeley and Roy. When we first met these two, Keeley was with Jamie Tartt and seemed like she was going to be an insufferable influencer only for Keeley to constantly prove us wrong. She’s right up there with Roy Kent as being one of my favorite characters on the show (we also stan Sam Obisanya and Dani Rojas in this house).

But the relationship between Keeley and Roy in season one grew into a beautiful dynamic where they both helped each other grow. Keeley helped Roy have fun and accept that his life was changing and Roy helped Keeley realize that she didn’t need a child like Jamie in her life. In season two, that relationship is still incredibly important.

“On one level, because he’s not playing football, he has put a lot of his focus into that relationship, and he’s in love. He’s, frankly, in love, which I do not think he has been before — at least in a meaningful way. So that side of his life is great, but the rest of it is a fucking mess.”

Roy Kent has constantly shown us how people can change. He’s still our grumbly man but he’s willing to listen to his girlfriend, he’s open to trying new things, and he loves doing what he wants to do and we respect Roy Kent.

(image: Apple TV+)

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Rachel Leishman
Rachel Leishman (She/Her) is an Assistant Editor at the Mary Sue. She's been a writer professionally since 2016 but was always obsessed with movies and television and writing about them growing up. A lover of Spider-Man and Wanda Maximoff's biggest defender, she has interests in all things nerdy and a cat named Benjamin Wyatt the cat. If you want to talk classic rock music or all things Harrison Ford, she's your girl but her interests span far and wide. Yes, she knows she looks like Florence Pugh. She has multiple podcasts, normally has opinions on any bit of pop culture, and can tell you can actors entire filmography off the top of her head. Her work at the Mary Sue often includes Star Wars, Marvel, DC, movie reviews, and interviews.