Q-Bits with the “Ted Lasso” casting director Theo Park and music composer Tom Howe.

Multi-award-winning series Ted Lasso spoke to the hearts and minds of audiences young and old in Season One, available now for Apple TV+ subscribers. With Season Two launching July 23rd, 2021, expect more thought-provoking Lassoisms to join our collective lexicon. EoM contributor Thomas Manning recently had the opportunity to take part in a virtual press day with the craft team behind Ted Lasso, where he delivered questions to casting director Theo Park and music composer Tom Howe.

Thomas Manning: Theo, I thought you were able to accomplish something really interesting with some of the smaller roles in the show. It felt like there was as much attention to detail with casting those roles and characters as there was with casting some of the headliners like Jason Sudeikis. What was the process like of ensuring that there was just as much focus placed on finding the right people for those smaller roles?

Theo Park: Well, there always is [this focus] for me. In fact, I have more fun casting the smaller roles, because you can just let your imagination run wild. You don’t have to worry about casting a name or a known, you can just go with the people that you know are really good and can deliver. And what was really great was that I was just casting for a bunch of Americans, and they didn’t know anybody, and so they thought everyone was fantastic. So, I literally just showed them all of my favorite people, and got all of my favorite people in all the smaller parts. It was brilliant. It was a dream job, really.

Casting Director Theo Park.

Thomas Manning: Tom, I noticed that a lot of the instruments used in the score have roots in country and rock and roll music, like the guitars, piano, bass, and drums. Was this an intentional decision to use instruments that sound similar to the Kansas roots of Ted Lasso’s character?

Tom Howe: Basically, yes. We set out to create a score that was both American (for Ted) and British (for the football and location). Bands such as The Kinks, Beatles, and The Clash, all came to mind for the British angle, along with a more folksy and country sound that could represent Ted, his American side, and his pure, rustic quality. Although not Kansas specific, it was Ted and Americana specific in the choices. The British music influences were also thought of from Ted’s angle too.  What kind of music would he have listened to and liked? These factors meant the score was, therefore, predominantly band-driven with guitar, piano, mandolin, drums etc. Even the textural pads we used were created with guitars and FX pedals to keep it all organic sounding and retain the above qualities. It was a lot of fun to work on.

Composer Tom Howe.

Thomas Manning is a member of the NCFCA and SEFCA, and also the co-host of the television show and radio program “Meet Me at the Movies.” He has served as a production assistant and voting member on the Film Selection Committee for the Real to Reel Film Festival. He is currently studying film, television, and English at Gardner-Webb University.

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