Minor spoilers ahead. Juno Temple thinks Keeley Jones would make a pretty good boss. In fact, the Ted Lasso star says she would “absolutely” be okay working for her character in her new role as CEO of a public relations firm if, you know, the Ted Lasso world was real. “[Keeley] knows firsthand that when somebody believes in you to do something, sometimes when you start believing too, you can make things happen,” Temple tells Refinery29. And sometimes all it takes to find your true potential is having at least one person with that faith — a theme that runs throughout the Apple TV+ series’ first two seasons, right down to the now-emblematic “Believe” sign that hangs above Ted’s door in his locker room office. And yes, that message continues in the newest (and likely final) season, which premieres March 15.
For those uninitiated in the ways of Coach Lasso, the show, based in England, follows the fictional AFC Richmond football (aka soccer) team and the lives that revolve around it, including earnest American coach Ted Lasso (Jason Sudeikis), club owner Rebecca Welton (the radiant Hannah Waddingham), and fave team members like Sam Richardson (Edwin Afuko) and Dani Rojas (Cristo Fernández). In season 1, Keeley Jones is a model/influencer type who is dating the star player, but quickly becomes a fixture in the entire team after Rebecca gives her a marketing job, which turns out, she’s incredibly good at. All it took to kick off Keeley’s journey from a plus-one to a boss was a chance to prove that she could do it, and a newfound confidence from her now-close friend.
By the start of season 3, Keeley Jones is a CEO. But while Temple herself believes in Keeley’s professional capability, turns out that not everyone at her firm does. Or, at least, they don’t really understand how she does things yet. Both unfortunately and a bit expectedly, Keeley’s staff of normies doesn’t quite get her vibe, which is comically juxtaposed from their drab fluorescent bulb-lit desks to her plant-filled cream and pink office. As movies with plucky female leads have shown us time and time again, it’s never a good idea to underestimate someone just based on their aesthetics. “Don’t ever judge a book by its cover,” stresses Temple. “Just don't. It's a real waste of time.”
In real life, Temple, who’s tapped her own personal closet for some of Keeley’s bright fits, shares an affinity for her character’s taste. “I've got feather lamps on my desk, I've got fluffy pens, I've got multicoloured scented highlighters. Our desks are incredibly similar,” she says.
Though Keeley’s journey isn’t necessarily the main plot of the series, it’s hard not to root for her with as much fervor as for what’s happening on the soccer pitch. Being in charge isn’t easy, particularly for a woman in a new workplace, but in classic Keeley fashion, she rises to the occasion. “[Keeley] definitely, throughout season three, has some really, really great moments being a boss — some that are more positive, some that have maybe more complicated elements, but I love the way she handles everything,” Temple says. “I think she stays true to Keeley the entire time and handles things exactly how she should.”
And much of that is thanks to her friendship with Rebecca. Early in season 3, we’re reminded of the show’s emphasis on friendship when the AFC Richmond owner comforts Keeley in the midst of a work-induced breakdown. (We’ve all been there, right?) Keeley cries hard enough to leave two big mascara stains on Rebecca’s blouse, which the latter shrugs off, calling the smudges “barely noticeable.” Temple — like Keeley and Hannah in this moment — understands the crucial importance of a girlfriend’s support and how quality friends can affect your life.
“Sometimes, you are a bosom to cry on,” Temple says. “Sometimes you're the tears, sometimes you're being the hype woman, sometimes you're having to say, ‘Whoa, wait a minute… are you sure?’” The closest girlfriends — and work wives — are always there for each other. “You can trust them with your life and vice versa,” the actress says. “And that's the good, the beautiful, the bad and the ugly.”
And that’s the kind of girlfriend we all want: someone who makes us feel like an all-star.
New episodes of Ted Lasso stream Wednesdays on Apple TV+.