Chicago Bears coach Mike Ditka inspired Ted Lasso’s mustache, Hannah Waddingham has to fake her football knowledge and Jason Sudeikis cried at the finale of “Sex and the City” – these were just some of the revelations at a special Variety and Apple TV + Season 3 screening of “Ted Lasso” held last week at the Walter Reade Theater at Lincoln Center.

Brendan Hunt, Phil Dunster, Kola Bokinni, Hannah Waddingham, Jason Sudeikis, Cristo Fernández, Jeremy Swift, and Toheeb Jimoh attend the Variety and Apple TV+ Ted Lasso Season 3 Screening and panel. (Photo by Bryan Bedder/Getty Images) Variety via Getty Images

The event took place on Mar. 15 in New York City, the same day the new season of the hit show premiered in front of an audience that included such guests as Oscar winners Whoopi Goldberg and Susan Sarandon and TV personalities Bill Nye and Neil deGrasse Tyson. Waddingham and Sudeikis joined fellow cast members Brendan Hunt, Jeremy Swift, Phil Dunster, Toheeb Jimoh, Cristo Fernández and Kola Bokinni for a lively discussion about what to expect next for our favorite footballers.

Cristo Fernández and Neil deGrasse Tyson pose for a selfie at the Variety and Apple TV+ Ted Lasso Season 3 Screening (Photo by Bryan Bedder/Variety via Getty Images) Variety via Getty Images

Sudeikis spoke about the inception of the Ted Lasso character, which he originally portrayed for a series of NBC Sports promos for England’s Premier League in 2013. The actor created the character and show with Joe Kelly and Hunt, who also stars as Lasso’s right-hand man, Coach Beard, and revealed his now infamous facial hair was inspired by a real-life figure. “The reason I had the mustache was Mike Ditka, the Chicago Bears coach, and in the original commercial I wore little polyester shorts,” he said. “It was all Ditka in this look.”  

‘Ted Lasso’ stars Jeremy Swift and Phil Dunster attend the Variety and Apple TV+ Ted Lasso Season 3 Screening (Photo by Noam Galai/Getty Images) Variety via Getty Images

In fact, some suggested early on that Lasso be more of a yeller and screamer – not the upbeat optimist he’s become known for. Hunt referred to this version of the character as the “hair dryer treatment.” Elaborated Sudeikis, “When a coach yells so much that your hair blows back, that’s the term.”

Instead, “Ted Lasso” became known for his positive outlook, while not shying away from his struggles with panic attacks and mental health issues. But Sudeikis says for the most part, Lasso’s unrelenting optimism has a positive effect on him. “He’s a Weeble Wobble. He’d get knocked over, he’d pop back up and just kind of like, whatever, la-di-da. And it does shape your mindset, and it is pervasive,” said Sudeikis.

Joe Pantoliano and Lou Diamond Phillips at the Variety and Apple TV+ Ted Lasso Season 3 Screening. (Photo by Bryan Bedder/Getty Images) Variety via Getty Images

He continued, “‘Ted Lasso’ is, yes, the name of the show and yes, it’s a character, but it’s a vibe. And it’s a vibe that we’re all clicking into. But it wasn’t anything other than a choice, like an old sales technique of answer the phone with a smile. Don’t judge a person. Know that everybody’s life is a comedy, a drama, and a tragedy, and you don’t know which one you’re getting at that moment. And don’t take it personal. There’s all these different stoics and teachers and mystics that have said these things in a much more concise way than I’m saying now, but Ted is the embodiment of that for me.”

And it’s a vibe that co-star Waddingham thinks was key to the show’s success when it premiered in Aug. 2020. “I think that people – I certainly know I was a little bit tired of the whole endless comedy roasting situation,” she said. “I think it had got a little bit over the top. The fact that you can have something that is heartbreaking and achingly funny and kind, I think it’d become quite unusual. It felt like that needed to be reset.”

Kola Bokinni, Cristo Fernández, Toheeb Jimoh, Jeremy Swift, Phil Dunster, Hannah Waddingham, Brendan Hunt, Jason Sudeikis, and Jenelle Riley speak onstage at the Variety and Apple TV+ Ted Lasso Season 3 Screening. (Photo by Bryan Bedder/Getty Images) Variety via Getty Images

Waddingham, who plays the owner of AFC Richmond, the team Lasso coaches, also admitted she still doesn’t know much about the sport. “I have to feign that I know anything about football,” she said. “We go to all these amazing matches and I’m just like, ‘People think that I know what’s going on!’ What is Chelsea Football Club? What is that?”

Waddingham also spoke about her costar Juno Temple, who plays Rebecca’s best friend Keeley Jones, and how much she appreciates the characters not being pitted against each other.  Sudeikis said that in addition to all the show creators having sisters in real-life, he personally witnessed great friendships between women at “Saturday Night Live.”

Brendan Hunt and and Susan Sarandon at the Variety and Apple TV+ Ted Lasso Season 3 Screening. (Photo by Noam Galai/Getty Images)

“Women pitted against each other does not compute, you know what I mean?” said Sudeikis. “And it is the good fortune of being an older brother, a brother in general, and having a kitchen filled with my sister’s friends … that overhearing those conversations, all I ever heard was support and love and laughter.”

Sudeikis referenced the relationship between Meg Ryan and Rosie O’Donnell in “Sleepless in Seattle” and women of “Sex and the City” as being in a similar vein, prompting the question: Is he a big “Sex and the City” fan?

In fact, he is. “I bawled my eyes out!” he said. “When that finaIe [premiered], I lost my mind!”

Watch the full conversation above.