Playing Rebecca for multiple seasons on “Ted Lasso” has given Hannah Waddingham the chance to take her character in a number of different directions. And when you live with a character for this long, there are parts of the performance that take on an even bigger meaning.
Take, for example, the way Rebecca enters a room. In “4-5-1,” Episode 3 of the hit Apple TV+ show’s Season 3, she visits a psychic that her mother recommended. Instantly, the atmosphere in the room is different from the places that Rebecca is used to.
“Even when I walked through the door, it was a bit like I’d gone into a trap,” Waddingham told IndieWire in a recent interview. “I was very keen to play her discomfort being there, because AFC Richmond is her home. There is an ease and a grandeur about her. But in there, it was full On Guard. I love playing that side of Rebecca that’s backed into a corner and will spit at you in a minute if you’re not careful. So when I got that, I was just like, ‘Ahhhhh, come on! Thank you!’”
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As fun as it can be to play that more aggressive side of the character, that scene in the psychic’s office soon takes a much different turn. Having been told a number of signs that she should soon expect, a casual “revelation” comes right at the end of their meeting: the psychic tells her she’s going to have a child.
“The way I reacted, I didn’t expect it. I was physically shaking from it. And I’m hoping that you kind of feel that at the end of the scene, when I’m giving out to her. It rattled my core because I’ve had not a dissimilar thing myself with a fertility doctor. ‘This is not going to be for you’ is what I was told many years ago. And I left that room and went, ‘Really?? Fuuuuuuuuuuuck you!’” Waddingham said. “What the psychic says at the end of that — ‘You’re going to be a mother’ — when I read that I was like, ‘Oh my God, it is so irresponsible to just blurt that.’ To say it like an afterthought, it’s horrific. As someone who has friends who’ve struggled with fertility, it’s such a delicate matter.”