Hannah Waddingham believes "the universe" put her into an abusive relationship to drive her performance in 'Ted Lasso'.
The 47-year-old actress has found "such a catharsis" in portraying AFC Richmond owner Rebecca Welton because her character's experiences with ex-husband Rupert Mannion (Anthony Head) are similar to what she went through in the past and she's been driven to portray her alter ego as honestly as possible.
She said: "I don’t think I’d have been able to play her in my mid or late 30s. It makes you realise that which has tried to know you down will either make you stronger or will lend itself to a situation, and little did I know that when I was in a verbally abusive relationship myself, a good while back - people would never have thought at the time, being successful in my career that I had had that in my own life, had had allowed it in, allowed someone to think in any way, shape or form that that was acceptable - who knew I’d have such a catharsis in doing the show.
"I didn’t know when I signed up that there was going to be any of this stuff with Rupert at all, nothing about babies, her feeling she was passed her sell-by date and having it backed up by this pig of a toxic man, I had no clue about any of that but I have to feel like the universe sent what it did into my own life to somehow channel it into Rebecca because I love her deeply and always want to honour her and walk along next to her."
Hannah thinks it is "gorgeous" the way people have responded to Rebecca and she loves it when people approach her about how her character and the show have helped them in their own lives.
Speaking on Deadline's video series 'The Actor's Side', she said: "I get the most gorgeous thing from - nigh on always, people of a certain age, men and women actually.
"There was a guy who came up to me in the airport out here who looked right into my face and just said ‘Thank you so much for making it alright to not be together on any given day when you feel like you’re going to live out your days with someone and then they pull the rug out from under your feet.’
"Moments like that, when people go, ‘Oh I don’t want to bother you’, it is always people saying thank you for getting them through the worst of COVID, or saying, 'I was recently divorced', or people saying ‘Oh you’ve made it alright for me to feel like I’m one thing at work’.
"I had a woman the other week and she got very emotional, she was like ‘Oh my God, you’re me, I’m a CEO of a company but I haven’t got a fucking clue what I’m doing at home.’ And I went, ‘That’s alright isn’t it?’ and she goes, ‘I guess so.’
"It's really lovely and I take it so seriously so even to the point I’m given new scripts, I’m like ‘Yeah, she wouldn’t say that, not at this point when she’s done this’. Jason [Sudeikis] will often go, ‘OK, tell me why’. And I say, ‘Well remember that third scene in episode one, that one we just did here’ and he’s like ‘Urgh, OK’. There are times when he strokes the ‘tache of truth and just goes ‘No’. And you go ‘OK’. But there is [freedom] there."