"He's never just a nice guy."

When we met Ted Lasso's Jamie Tartt at the start of season 1, the AFC Richmond player was a self-centered bully. He's come a long way since then, and cuts a particularly sympathetic figure in this week's just-released episode.

"But he's never just a nice guy," says Phil Dunster, who plays the character. "He's still an egomaniac at heart."

Did Dunster have more fun portraying the earlier, nastier Tartt? Or is he enjoying this new, nicer version?

"It's a good question," he says. "You certainly get nicer feedback, less people saying they want to punch me in the face. He has been this rogue, this rapscallion. I hope the niceness feels like a bit of a payoff, that he's earned it a bit."

Brett Goldstein and Phil Dunster in 'Ted Lasso'
Brett Goldstein and Phil Dunster in 'Ted Lasso'
| Credit: Apple TV+

In season 1, Dunster's character was at professional loggerheads with Brett Goldstein's Roy Kent. The pair have also been romantic rivals due to their respective relationships with Juno Temple's Keeley Jones. This season, Kent's taken Tartt under his wing, helping him train and offering him emotional support, particularly during the Richmond team's decampment to Amsterdam in episode 6.

"I spend most of my time trying not to laugh in his face when we're working together," says Dunster of Goldstein. "Laughing with him, not at him. He's a total treat. He's one of my best mates and going away on a work holiday felt like it was kind of cheating. But Jamie and Roy relate to one another in a different way when it's just the two of them, away from the rest of the players."

Away from Ted Lasso, Dunster recently joined the season 2 cast of the Apple TV+ psychological thriller Surface, which stars Gugu Mbatha-Raw.

"I don't know what the party line is, but I call it a very sexy thriller," says Dunster. "It's filming in London over the summer and I play a very complicated, twisted character."

Ted Lasso season 3 is currently streaming on Apple TV+.

Sign up for Entertainment Weekly's free daily newsletter to get breaking TV news, exclusive first looks, recaps, reviews, interviews with your favorite stars, and more.

Related content:

Ted Lasso (TV Series)
  • TV Show
  • 2