The Season 3 (and presumed series) finale of Apple TV+’s Ted Lasso brought closure for most of the characters, including Phil Dunster’s reformed bad boy Jamie Tartt. After one more squabble with foe-turned-friend and mentor Roy Kent over who can date Keeley — a dilemma she easily solved by throwing both of them out of her house — Jamie and Roy are seen in the final seconds having a beer together, sitting alongside Keeley and their AFC Richmond teammates. In the flashforward, Jamie also has a friendly conversation with his father, a sign of a possible reconciliation.
Earlier In the finale, Jaime clinched the win for the team in their final match of the season with a “decoy” trick play Nate came up with back in Season 1.
In an interview with Deadline, Dunster shared his reaction to watching the completed finale for the first time and his favorite line (hint: It instantly became a meme). He discussed Jamie’s evolution from a prick to hero and his bromance with Roy (now Richmond’s new manager). Dunster also revealed which was the last scene the cast filmed together, why the actors contributed personal footage, how the Jamie Tartt chant came about, and whether he believe that this is the end of Ted Lasso.
DEADLINE: What did think about the finale? Was this the first time you saw it finished?
DUNSTER: It was, yes, it was. I actually forgot about it if I’m honest. I was watching, and I was like, oh my god, is that what happens? When Richmond won, I was like, oh, I thought that we didn’t win at the end. Then we go on to see what Man City did, and I was, alright. It was very melancholic, very emotional for sure.
DEADLINE: Are you okay with Roy as the new manager of AFC Richmond?
DUNSTER: It’s not going to be an easy ride for him, I’d say, and it’s my duty as a card-holding member for the Jamie Tartt fan club that Roy better behave himself, but yeah, I’m proud of him.
DEADLINE: Jamie and Roy’s bromance was a main arc in the final season. Can you talk about the evolution of their relationship, from Roy being Jamie’s childhood idol to them becoming rivals — on the team and in love — and ultimately player/coach and best friends?
DUNSTER: It’s interesting that the seeds were laid in Season one, like with any of the good storylines that we see. For example, in Season 1, Episode 4, Jamie goes, “I used to have a picture of you on my wall.” They’ve always been the two sides of the same coin, Jamie and Roy, they go about things in a similar way, but they just want very different things. I think that the fun thing about it, the evolution of that is that it’s never straightforward, they always find tricky ways to get to a culmination of a storyline.
DEADLINE: The finale offered one final reminder of what Jamie and Roy’s relationship dynamic looked liked early on when the two got into a fight over Keeley. What does the future hold for Jamie and Roy? We saw them on the lawn in the flash-forward, still looking like best friends.
DUNSTER: It’s funny because it ended with the resolution of it. And yet, we’re thinking about the future of them, and I think that the good thing about it is that if there was an episode 13, 14,15, 16, we might see them come back up again and they get over this thing, and we would understand that, well, it was just part of a blip that they had together in a longer story of them being friends.
I think that they are in a good place, and I don’t think we could want much more from them in terms of their emotional progression. It’s nice to see that they have some resolution, but still, it’s not quite fully there yet, it’s more interesting that way.
DEADLINE: Would you have liked to have a real scuffle between Jamie and Roy because the finale cut away before the fighting started?
DUNSTER: Yeah, that’s true. I’m happy. I think Brett [Goldstein] would probably beat me in a fight. So I’m quite happy to leave it to the imagination.
DEADLINE: We got a little glimpse of Jamie and his father who appeared to have reconciled. How did that happen?
DUNSTER: I think in the scripts the writers had put that they wanted it to be clear that it wasn’t resolved necessarily, but they were trying. These are two people who have had a very difficult past, and they are trying. James, who is Jamie’s dad, is trying by turning up to the rehab. Jamie is trying by being there to see his dad. It’s starting an old relationship anew. It’s just further character development. As we saw in Episode 11, Jamie, at Ted’s suggestion, tries to forgive his dad — but for himself — and I think that this is him doing that.
DEADLINE: Last season, the team was seen rehearsing a dance to NSYNC’s Bye Bye Bye. The Season 3 finale featured another musical number to So Long, Farewell. What was your reaction to having to do more dancing, and how did you guys put together the choreography?
DUNSTER: Well, they had choreographers come in, they didn’t trust us, that’s for sure. And I think that the choreography was slightly easier this year because I think that they had seen how difficult that was for us, motley crew, to try and do it last year.
But there are such great musical choices [on the series], and “So Long, Farewell” is such a fitting choice to see the show off.
DEADLINE: You mentioned the match with West Ham, in which Jamie is a decoy in a trick play. I rewatched the Season 1 episode where the combination was introduced, with Ted demonstrating. It seems like you’re doing your best Jason Sudeikis impersonation, with your arms flailing.
DUNSTER: Yeah, that’s the best right? And I think one of the satisfying things about the show and being a fan of watching it, you go, that’s clever how the writers did that.
It’s not perfect. I’ve watched it back and went, ah, I wish I’d done that a little better. But I wanted to show that Jamie is not just taking on advice. He’s also really truly listening and wanting to better himself through the teachers that are around him. It’s quite fun, silly way of doing it. But yeah, I went back and watched what Jason did [in Season 1].
DEADLINE: There were some other Season 1 references, like Nate’s collection box, in which Jamie once put gum in. This time, he stuffed extra money in. Was this him trying to pay back for for having been a jerk? There was also the book that Ted had given Jamie that we assumed he had discarded.
DUNSTER: Yeah, there are loads. The finale is a 75-minute-long show, and the shot around 74 minutes is Ted finally going back to Kansas and walking in the door. And there’s a scene in [Season] 1, I don’t know which episode, when they go to Everton and Ted leans over to Beard when they’re watching The Iron Giant and says, around 74 minutes, there’s going to be a whole room of grown men crying. You look back, and you’re like, wow, that’s wild.
I sometimes wonder if he’s just adding in scenes that can make it to that point. It’s stuff like when he wishes at 11:11. He says, “Make a wish.” You pause it, and it’s 11:11 and then 30 seconds later someone says, “Zava’s going to be here,” and it goes to Danny and he goes, “Zava’s going to be here? I wished for that 30 seconds ago.” It sounds easy to do, but there’s so much in terms of comedic beats that you need to stick to which is not time-dependent. Jason is there, thinking about all this stuff whilst he’s doing it; it’s an incredible mind that he has. There are callbacks all throughout, lots of moments.
DEADLINE:. Let’s talk a bit about Jamie’s evolution from prick to hero. Which one was more fun to play?
DUNSTER: I think the prick is fun because you get to say the things you wouldn’t normally say. But just chronologically, I knew Jamie much better by the time he was a hero, and so it was much easier to make decisions about what he would do in a scene. So it was probably more comfortable to play him later on in the show, but it was probably more naughty and fun to play him in the first season.
DEADLINE: What is your favorite Jamie line?
DUNSTER: Probably “poop-eh.” Simple and silly.
DEADLINE: How did that come about? Was it supposed to be pronounced like that or did you improvise that?
DUNSTER: Look, there are so many lines in this that are the writers that make it so good, full credit should always go to them. This was just me being stupid and trying to make Brett laugh whilst he was working as a proper professional. And I was just doing what I could to put him off, being the idiot that I am. I went to Jason: “it says poo,” or maybe it was poop, And I was like, “Can I say poop-eh?”
DEADLINE: What was the final scene that you did together as a cast? Did you do anything special after that?
DUNSTER: They knew that they wanted to shoot the scene before we go on [the field for the final match]. They’ve put all of this footage together of us as a team throughout the last three seasons. They had gone around to all the players, anybody who has videos that we’ve taken around of each other, the other players, that we can put in there. So a lot of that is real behind-the-scenes footage.That was the last shot we did, us all looking at the TV screen. And then after that, I got my haircut in the locker room, the Jamie Tartt cut was taken off. It was a special day.
DADL:INE: Do you believe this is the end of Ted Lasso?
DUNSTER: What I feel is, if it is, good. Let it be. There’s no cynicism to how this show was created, it was made for a fun silly joke that then they built into this three-season arc. I would love for there to be more but also, if that’s all she wrote, let it be because we can all think of TV shows that have gone on and on when they need to end. If it’s meant to be more, then I’m up for it, but if not, then it’s been a hell of a journey.
DEADLINE: This show has been a life-changing experience — it took you to the White House; there is a picture with you standing next to the President and First Lady of the United States. But also, it may haunt you for a while. How often do people sing the Baby Shark song when they see you? How did that come about? Did you have any say that that would be Jamie third song?
DUNSTER: The first thing the President said to me was, he sang that song to me… I’m joking. it happens a lot in America, I think people people enjoy singing it here.
But that came about because they just needed a song for Jamie. I basically was like, we need to get some syllables, there needs to be enough, ja-mie-tartt-ja-mie-tartt.. And we worked it from there, just thinking how it sounded. We came up with [Baby Shark], and I was like, we are never going to get the rights for that, I’d be insane. it’s the most viewed video of all time which is a searing indictment on humanity, frankly. But yes, it’s pretty cool that we got it.
DEADLINE: I mentioned the visit to the White House. What has been the highlight of your experience on or around the show?
DUNSTER: It was incredible for sure. And it was something that was not expected. But I think the highlight really has been stuff like, there were big moments like going to the FA Cup with the guys, it was Billy, Moe and Cristo, other Moe and Toheeb. That was a really wonderful moment that we could enjoy together. We love football, and to get to see the Chelsea and Leicester game was amazing. But there’s a moment at the end of season one when we wrapped, it it was the last scene.
Everyone circled around Jason, and iIt was the last time it was just our show. We’re so proud now that it’s out there, and it belongs to everybody. But it was the last time it was just ours, cast, crew., everyone who’s worked on it, writers. And that was a really special moment where it was total and utter love in that circle.