Sarah Niles is challenging people’s perceptions of therapists and other mental health professionals.
In season two of Apple TV+’s Ted Lasso, Niles plays the well-meaning but quiet sports therapist Dr. Sharon, who comes in to help the AFC Richmond players overcome their doubts. While her presence offers comfort to the team, it unsettles Ted (Jason Sudeikis).
But Ted wasn’t alone in his feelings of mistrust. The Niles told E! News, she received mixed reviews from fans, who she suspects were wary of Sharon being “British, Black and very sure of herself.”
Eventually, as the season went on and Ted began to trust Sharon, so did the viewers. “Everybody grew to love her,” Niles said, “because she’s bringing out the best in Ted.”
This nuanced discussion of mental health earned season two of Ted Lasso 20 Emmy nominations overall, including Outstanding Comedy Series and Writing. What’s more, Niles received a nod for Outstanding Supporting Actress, marking her first-ever Emmy nomination.
The actress, however, gave credit to Sudeikis and the other Ted Lasso writers for encouraging her to collaborate on Dr. Sharon’s persona. To learn more about their process, keep reading below!