Gather up the Diamond Dogs! Awards Daily’s Megan McLachlan is in a huddle with Nick Mohammed, Nate on Ted Lasso, for an email chat about what it’s like being part of this surprise hit.
There are many underdogs in Ted Lasso. There’s of course Ted Lasso himself (Jason Sudeikis), who’s plucked from coaching college football in the Midwest to coach soccer in the UK; there’s the heartbroken team owner Rebecca (Hannah Waddingham), who seeks revenge on her ex-husband by trying to run his team into the ground; and then there’s Nate the Great (Nick Mohammed), the team kit man who gets pushed around by the players.
Just as every dog has its day, each of these characters experiences mini-victories over the course of the first season. Ultimately, for Nate, he gets promoted to team manager, finds his voice to stand up for himself, and even becomes part of Ted Lasso’s dude crew known as the Diamond Dogs (a name Nate coined).
I had the pleasure of asking a few questions to Mohammed via email about his work on this delightful new series, including how Nate might feel about Roy Kent (Brett Goldstein), what he offers in terms of emotional support as a Diamond Dog, and what might have happened if Ted Lasso never entered the kit man’s life.
Awards Daily: What’s it been like seeing everyone absolutely love this show? It’s been one of the big surprise hits of the fall.
Nick Mohammed: It’s been genuinely wonderful. I don’t think shows like Ted Lasso come around often, and so to have been involved in a small way—and knowing that the show has brought so many people so much joy in a particularly turbulent year—feels very special.
AD: What do you think Nate’s life was like before this ball of sunshine, Ted Lasso, came into his life?
NM: Everything that comes to fruition in the latter half of the series for Nate was in him already for sure; it just took someone like Ted to give Nate enough confidence to speak up for himself. But without that catalyst, I think Nate would have maybe resigned himself to being the forever underdog.
AD: In the episode where Nate roasts everyone, Roy especially takes Nate’s words to heart. Why do you think that is?
NM: I think there’s a handful of reasons. Firstly, I think Roy takes Nate’s words most to heart because he knows that what he is saying is the truth. That’s always the most difficult thing to hear sometimes. I also think there’s a deep-seated, long-term, and mutual fondness between Nate and Roy. Roy looks after Nate (and has done even before Ted was on the scene), so there’s that kind of older brother quality about their relationship.
I did wonder at one point whether Nate was genuinely in love with Roy, because there was no comment on Nate’s sexual identity until later on in the scripts (and who doesn’t love Brett, right!), but that didn’t pan out in the end! There’s also a genuine element of surprise, I believe. Roy has never seen Nate speak like this before, to anyone. And so I think it knocks Roy for six a bit when it happens, making the impact of what Nate is saying even more powerful.
AD: How do you think Nate came up with “the Diamond Dogs” name?
NM: I mean, I have genuinely no idea! He’s a big fan of alliteration? I’ll ask one of the writers and get back to you.
AD: What does he offer as a Diamond Dog?
NM: I think he offers a bit of perspective. I always loved how balanced this felt. Ted comes into Nate’s life and makes a positive difference, which is repaid—in part—by Nate becoming part of Ted’s support network.
AD: What does Nate’s promotion at the end mean to him?
NM: Absolutely everything. It’s a huge endorsement, and I don’t think someone like Nate would ever even dare to dream that something like this this might happen to him. So yeah, it means the world.
AD: What do you hope for Nate in Season 2? Do you think we’ll see a tougher Nate the Great?
NM: Ha, at this point I know very little and so can only speculate. I suspect that Nate’s confidence is going to grow even more in Season 2, now that he’s a coach. But how he deals with that, and the ramifications of having more responsibility, I guess we’ll just have to wait and see.
Megan McLachlan is a freelance writer that lives in Pittsburgh, PA. Her work has appeared in Buzzfeed, Cosmopolitan, The Cut, Paste, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Thrillist, and The Washington Post. Follow her on Twitter at @heydudemeg.