“Ted Lasso”: Zava actor Maximilian Osinski on joining a show he loved

Maximilian Osinski joined a show he already loved. Your first task? Play as a living football legend who is both recognizable and mysterious.

(Editor’s note: Included in the following review spoilers for “Ted Lasso” Season 3 Episode 2, “(I Don’t Want To Go to) Chelsea”.)

In this week’s episode of “Ted Lasso,” (almost) everyone knows what Zava can do. He’s the kind of football star who can elicit gasps and giddy reactions from everyone from team managers to fellow players.

“He’s just Zava. As far as the wind blows to the rock, he is Zava. He just has no regard for the little things a coach might try to do. There is no ignoring it either. She’s a force of nature,” showrunner and writer Brendan Hunt told IndieWire.

So to make this larger-than-life reputation feel real, actor Maximilian Osinski knew he had to make his introduction mysterious, even in the way he spoke. Zava doesn’t speak much in his debut episode, and when he does, his voice is deliberately hard to put down.

“I am Polish and speak Polish fluently. In my tape. when I read about it. I improvised a bit in Polish. I didn’t have a Polish accent, but I was listening to guys like Zlatan Ibrahimović and some of these rock stars around Europe. I liked this vague Eastern Baltic accent where you couldn’t really tell where it came from,” Osinski said. “Maybe people will say, ‘What’s that accent?’ I kind of did it on purpose. I didn’t want to make it look like he was definitely Russian or French or Swedish. I just wanted a guy who’s everywhere and lives everywhere. That’s what I had in mind , and I went on set with that, and I think they took it off the tape because they didn’t ask me to change anything.”

While Zava’s character may soon outshine his teammates in Richmond, Osinski was a true fan of the program he joined. The scenes at Chelsea’s Stamford Bridge were among the first he shot, giving him the opportunity to bond with some of the main characters through shared emotions.

“Everyone on set was so friendly and wonderful, from the players on the team to the coaching staff and everyone: the crew, the cast, the writers,” Osinski said. “I remember the first time I met Hannah (Waddingham) on set, in episode 2, when Zava came down the stairs. We greeted each other and I said, “Congratulations on your success. Your work is amazing. She says: “Oh my God, every day I come on the show, especially this season, I’m like, ‘Don’t screw this up!’ Since they felt the pressure of the two seasons, the attention and the accolades, they only wanted to adapt to the story. So you felt that energy and fed off of it.”

With Season 3, Osinski is now part of the larger “Ted Lasso” crew. (He said he messaged the cast’s WhatsApp group before his trip to the White House this week.) The Richmond trip begins with Rebecca (Waddingham) yelling at Zava in a bathroom stall.

“It was a lot of fun because I think he’s a brilliant actor. And I was very anxious to do something with it,” Waddingham said. “I love that he’s in the urinal when he’s in a compromised position. He comes in with an energy like, “I don’t care who you are, who they think you are, who you think you are. It’s not you for me, join us if you want. But also? Take it easy.'”

Ted Lasso Zava

“Ted Lasso”

Courtesy of Apple

This energy is outsized as Zava remains completely silent throughout the entire exchange. As Osinski says, that wasn’t always the plan.

“The scene, as written, was a dialogue between him and Rebecca. And it was funny on paper. That day, Jason (Sudeikis) said, ‘You know what, I’m thinking maybe we’ll just keep him a little secret and cut his dialogue,'” Osinski said. “It was my second day on set, and as an actor you think, ‘They’re cutting my lines. i need to suck These lines are funny! But the filming felt right. The status is there. So much is said or seen without being said. Hannah did the heavy lifting. I just listened and tried not to laugh at the asparagus line.”

Regardless of how much he ended up talking, Osinski wanted Zava to be one of those brash sports figures who are mysterious by design. Much like the unplaceable accent, the character has a bit of DNA from various of football’s biggest egos. (Some eagle-eyed fans from the series, who spotted the Zava jerseys in the crowd shots of the Season 3 trailer, picking up some of the character’s influence just because of the name alone.) Which Osinski learned when he tried to create a true-to-life football cult. is that many of Zava’s intellectual predecessors were roles in their own way.

“I approached the role as if I were playing a drama or a biopic. I’ve read biographies of these guys, like Zlatan Ibrahimović’s book ‘I Am Football’. I watched a lot of documentaries. And I have a lot of respect for them, because the way they present themselves to the press is sometimes not who they are at home, or even who they are in the dressing room. In the character breakdown, they were looking for an Ibrahimović or Eric Cantona type of guy. He’s not a villain, he’s an agitator,” Osinski said. “That wasn’t what was written in the press conference scene, but I wanted a moment where she smiles. Zlatan says something really cocky or confident in interviews and then looks away and smiles. He lets the world and everyone around him know, “I just fuck everyone.” I thought it was important for Zava to have that in this introductory episode.”

This week’s episode “(I don’t want to go to Chelsea”) ends with a big surprise: Zava’s impulsive decision to play for Team Lasso instead of other Premier League suitors. The show’s writers, including Hunt, who plays Coach Beard, and Brett Goldstein, who plays Roy Kent, wanted to make sure that Zava was someone who would not only shake up the composition of the AFC Richmond team, but also make a name for himself. . the chaos was worth it.

“It’s this idea that there aren’t many like him. He is the Michael Jordan-type player who is a once-in-a-lifetime phenomenon. This definitely shakes things up. But how can you say no to Michael Jordan? Goldstein said. “It’s an interesting dynamic to take this team that works really well together and suddenly say, ‘Here’s this guy who’s crazy, he’s a fucking diva, and it’s going to be tough.’ But he’s the greatest player to ever play in Richmond.”

Even if the show teased the idea of ​​Zava rather than fully introducing him this week, there’s a lot more to come. And it’s those instincts that have driven Osinski to the task of keeping the character both a key player and a wild card, as “Ted Lasso” will continue to be in the coming weeks.

“He’s not making fun of Zava.” It was just Zava. And that’s the key,” Hunt said.

“Ted Lasso” Season 3 continues with new episodes every Wednesday on Apple TV+.

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