Roy Kent’s Character Arc Can Be Tracked Through … Press Conferences?
From the start of Ted Lasso, we’ve known that Roy Kent (Brett Goldstein) does not like press conferences. Part of it has to do with how the press talked to him. We learned in season 3 that he still keeps a clipping of a negative article Trent Crimm (James Lance) wrote about him decades ago in his wallet because it had hurt him as a young footballer. But in season 3 episode 9, titled “La Locker Room Aux Folles,” we get to see how much Roy Kent has actually grown as a character.
As a series, Ted Lasso has been about all of these characters changing and becoming better people. Even here at The Mary Sue, we’ve disagreed about how Roy’s growth has (or hasn’t) manifested onscreen—whether he’s genuinely growing and changing or if the show is failing him and muzzling his potential. But seeing Roy’s journey through the lens of the press conferences he’s had to suffer through really made me notice how much his character has shifted throughout all three seasons of the Apple TV+ series.
It’s easy to underestimate Roy, and reduce his entire persona down to a shtick. We know what we’re getting with him. He’s funny, angry, and he’ll tell you to “f**k off” if he wants to. But in episode 9, he actually listened to Rebecca (Hannah Waddingham) as she yelled at him for not doing what she asked him to and he grew in a way that made him a better leader for Richmond. Because while Ted Lasso (Jason Sudeikis) is the head coach, Roy still needed to learn how to be a team player for Ted and Coach Beard (Brendan Hunt).
And that’s what really made his actual involvement in the press conference so cool to see. We knew he didn’t like it but he did it because it’s what the team needed from him.
Roy wasn’t playing around.
Team Captain Isaac McAdoo (Kola Bokinni) nearly punched a Greyhounds fan after they screamed a slur at himself and Colin (Billy Harris) when Richmond was down. The press conference was bound to be a big deal this time around because questions about Isaac’s behavior were going to be raised. The team was prepared for Ted to handle them.
So when Roy Kent showed up after having left Rebecca to clean up a mess during the last press conference, everyone was concerned. But Roy simply answered questions about what happened with Isaac with ease and a softer, more authentic kind of authority that we never have seen from him before. While everyone’s growth may be a weekly thing we get to see, Roy’s is going to come out in moments when people really need him to step up.
He wasn’t going to take kindly to people asking him about the why of the situation—why Isaac had such a violent reaction to hearing a homophobic slur. Because, as he says, it’s “none of my f**king business.” But what we do get to see is that he knows he can and will step up and protect his team and that’s a big change from the Roy we met back in season 1 who barely wanted to even work with Ted as a coach.
(Featured image: Apple TV+)
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