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When actor, writer and producer Brendan Hunt was helping get Ted Lasso off the ground, red carpets never crossed his mind. “We really did not envision a world where this was some kind of hit. We thought it was pretty good, but we’ve all had shows that we liked a lot that suddenly we hear were canceled,” he says. “So, the idea of doing a step-and-repeat was not something I was rehearsing.”
Hunt first developed the pilot in 2018 with star Jason Sudeikis and fellow series creators Joe Kelly and Bill Lawrence after years spent in film roles like “Sketchy Dude” and “Bar Freak.” The actor and Sudeikis met in the ’90s on the comedy club circuit and stayed in touch as Hunt went off to Amsterdam to write and perform with the improv troupe Boom Chicago, with Sudeikis joining them from time to time.
Of his newfound success as Coach on the Apple TV+ series, Hunt says, “It’s so cool to have a job, you know, first and foremost. This job combines everything I would want,” including soccer, “which I’m a zealot about.”
Hunt says he is touched that the upbeat series has clearly struck a chord in the COVID-19 era. “A real cool thing we’re seeing on Twitter now, all over the country, [are] teachers are putting up ‘Believe’ signs in their classrooms [like the touchstone in the Lasso locker room],” he says. “If our yucks and bits are doing good for those young folk, that’s awesome.”
And now Hunt is nominated for four Emmys this year for the various hats he wears with the series — out of the show’s astounding total of 20 noms. And on a recent evening, he was in a suite at The London West Hollywood in Beverly Hills, considering a rack of evening wear options put together by THR contributing editor for men’s fashion Andrew Weitz (also the founder of executive wardrobe consultancy The Weitz Effect).
Unable to attend in person, Weitz was dialed in on Zoom while his associate Neda Rouhani masterminded the fitting, with a tailor at the ready as well.
From the choices on hand, Hunt settled on two luxurious looks. The first was a Brioni dinner jacket with a Venetian blue-green checkered weave in a silk so lustrous that it almost glowed. The geometric pattern was painstakingly produced with a vintage loom from 1960 by the Italian clothier. An almost-decadent silk formal shirt in a complementary aqua hue rounded out the look, along with black tuxedo trousers, velvet bow tie and velvet slippers.
“We’re seeing more dinner jackets with unusual color and pattern,” says Weitz, “and it’s all about guys expressing more personality.” The Brioni jacket is also double-breasted, a gentlemanly style making a bit of a comeback. “In the ’90s we saw it a lot,” says Weitz. “Now double-breasted has come back and, while it isn’t everyone’s first choice, it can create a strong presence.”
Hunt also embraced a second, more assertive offering: a Tom Ford dinner jacket in a vivid russet crushed velvet. It harkens back a bit to the Carnaby Street era in the city in which Ted Lasso is set. Black and white accompaniments brought the rig into sharp focus — a crisp cotton evening shirt, tuxedo trousers, a satin bow tie and an exquisite pair of patent leather loafers from British shoemaker John Lobb.
The jacket, from Ford’s self-described “badass” Fall ’21 collection, fits right in with what Weitz says he advises for his C-suite clientele. “I want to show them that they can take risks and that a look like this is age-appropriate. This isn’t about a trendy moment for your 25-year-old — this is also about what style is for the mature modern man.”
The day after the shoot, Hunt chatted with THR to share his wry take on his style excursion.
You were looking pretty sharp last night, and I understand the blue-green dinner jacket was a particular favorite.
You know, I once did a short film with Kay Cannon. It was set at a gynecologist’s office and I was her nurse in hospital scrubs. At one point, Kay, who’s prone to compliments, she’s a very nice lady, stopped in her tracks and said, “Brendan, that is your color.” No one has said that to me before or since. So, anytime I can wear something close to scrubs’ colors, which that aqua was last night — but a fancy version — I’m doing it.
Will the Emmys be one of your first big red carpets?
We had one for the [second-season] premiere in that brief window between the high vaccination rates and incoming delta, and that was my one and only. I missed the chance to do one before, when I had one line in Horrible Bosses 2. I was at the premiere at the [TCL] Chinese [Theatre] and people in the movie are walking through and getting their pictures taken and I’m like, “I’m not supposed to be in that line.” And then afterward, my manager was like, “How’d the pictures go?” I said, “What pictures?” That’s how much of a hayseed I was with this stuff.
I overheard you say last night that you’re planning a bit of a stylistic twist for Emmy night.
I don’t know if this will come together, but what I’m hoping to do with my outfit is honor the Englishness of our show, and on top of that, if they’ll let me, is trying to represent AFC Richmond.
You’re also working with a stylist for the Emmys, the very talented Jenny Ricker. Is this your first time working with a stylist?
This period since the nominations came out is my first time, and it’s pretty fun to have someone with a keen eye to guide you. We were in London when the SAG nominations came out, and Jackie Levy, our amazing costume designer on the show, volunteered to help me out [for the pretaped awards show]. That was the first time that someone gave me a bunch of options. Gucci! Paul Smith! I love it! You discover it’s not just names; that stuff looks pretty good once it’s on you.
Interview edited for length and clarity.
This story first appeared in the Sept. 15 issue of The Hollywood Reporter magazine. Click here to subscribe.
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