Eight-year-old Gus, from Stagecoach Forest Hill
in London, cast in football comedy series Ted Lasso, for Apple TV.
Ted Lasso is an American soccer coach working for an English football team, Gus was cast as his son Henry. Although Gus had been through auditions before and taken part in performances, playing Henry was his first professional role.
“I was the narrator in my school nativity play,” says Gus, “and had parts in other plays at school and at Stagecoach, which I’ve gone to since I was four.”
Gus shared his top tips for beating nerves at auditions “I like to pretend I’m already doing the job. I also think of happy things, like a cute puppy, and I breathe deeply. I used to get nervous, but Stagecoach has helped me be confident.”
There were some strong similarities between Gus and his character Henry; “Henry is kind of excited and energetic – a bit like me,” said Gus. “I’m always running around at home, so when I acted him, I pretended that it was me, but sometimes I had to be thoughtful, which the director and the writers also liked.”
Born in America, Gus lived there for some of his childhood, his character Henry is also American. With some extra coaching from his Stagecoach drama Teacher Emily, he was able to bring his American accent back for the role.
Gus’ character had between four and five lines per scene, he often to learn his lines the day before, or sometimes on the day of the shoot. With little time to rehearse Gus has to work hard to memorise lines.
The majority of the filming took place at night at a football ground “There was always lots of hot chocolate and marshmallow cake, though. That was the best bit.” recalls Gus.
Gus has been at Stagecoach Forest Hill since he was four and still attends every week. “I like the friends I have at Stagecoach and the teachers. Enjoy your time at Stagecoach and do your best at any part you get in any performance. Emily, my teacher, noticed me because I always have fun in my drama classes and really like acting, singing and dancing.”
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