‘Ted Lasso’ Star Brett Goldstein Is Les Mills’ Happiness Ambassador

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Arguably best known for playing the often moody AFC Richmond footballer-turned-coach Roy Kent on Ted Lasso over the past three seasons, two-time Emmy winner Brett Goldstein has scored big on the hearts and minds of audiences everywhere with his dedicated work, both on and off-screen, through the optimistic storytelling on the Apple TV+ series. Today, Goldstein is taking his compassionate efforts one step further by becoming the first happiness ambassador for Les Mills, a New Zealand-based mobile app developer for gyms and home use, through its new “Choose Happy” campaign.

I spoke exclusively with Goldstein, wondering first if he appreciates the irony of him being a happiness ambassador when most of the world has come to admire him for playing his grouchy Ted Lasso character.

Goldstein said, “That’s funny. I hadn’t even thought about that. Listen, the character in the [Les Mills] ad isn’t exactly happy to start with. The thing about what they’re trying to do, the reason I sort of agreed to this – I exercise every day and I know lots of people who don’t. The reason I exercise every day is not for my body, it’s for my head because I know if I don’t exercise, I feel a lot worse and it always makes me feel better. The whole Les Mills thing is about positivity and making a workout not dark and stressful.”

He went on to tell me that Les Mills approached him for this new collaboration, which he recalls quickly noticing during their early talks that the values that he believes in, regarding fitness and mental health, are very much in-line with their mission.

When discussing his experience filming in New Zealand for the “Choose Happy” campaign, Goldstein said, “When we shot the ad, I met with them and they showed me around their main gym. I was like, ‘This is great!’ There’s this thing called The Trip, which for somebody who loves films, my god, it’s like a giant widescreen. There’s bikes everywhere and you’re doing a class tailored to this widescreen film, but the film is specifically made just for the class. It’s so cool!”

Luke Waldren, Chief Customer Officer at Les Mills, said, “Brett Goldstein is the perfect happiness ambassador because he leaned into not just the ad, but the entire country. He even went bungee jumping! Not all ambassadors really absorb the culture of the brand like that. His transformation in the film represents the happy transformation we want to have on the entire fitness industry, and we’re so proud to start this journey with him as our first happiness ambassador.”

Regarding the ultimate goal Les Mills has for its “Choose Happy” campaign, Waldren added, “We have thousands of instructors and gyms worldwide, and this is now our first global rally cry. It gives us all something to believe in every day when we work for this company. It marks a turn in our business to focus on mental health as much as physical.”

With Goldstein also being a writer on Ted Lasso and the co-creator of Shrinking, two Apple TV+ series that openly address the ways that people can struggle with their mental health, I asked Goldstein what his thoughts are on how our real world is embracing mental health conversations today, especially following the aftermath of the Covid-19 pandemic.

“I think we’re getting there but it used to be like shameful – it used to be ever acknowledging there was anything wrong with your head was shameful, yet everyone’s mad. We all struggle with anxiety and various mental health issues, and then they weren’t openly talked about.”

He added, “Bringing up Covid-19, I keep talking about this – we all went through a thing. It’s amazing that we don’t necessarily talk about lockdown and the actual effects. I know people who went completely mad, including myself, and then we came out of lockdown and everyone was like, Morning!’ We just sort of pretended that we didn’t go through this very testing, mentally challenging madhouse. Anything that helps the conversation about mental health feel less shameful and awkward and more like, ‘Hey, we’re all in this,’ I’m all for.”

These days, Goldstein can also be found touring the world with his stand-up comedy, as well as putting out new episodes of his podcast Films To Be Buried With. So, when I asked Goldstein if he sees himself as an entrepreneur, he laughed and said, “No, I call myself a multi-hyphenate. It’s all the same industry. [Entrepreneur] doesn’t feel right.”

With everything on Goldstein’s plate today, I concluded our conversation by asking him how he would describe his overall professional mindset and his greatest priorities right now, as he moves forward in his creative path.

“All I ever want to do is put good stuff in the world. If you’re going to do this stuff, it’s so much work, it’s so much time – it’s a choice to live this life, but you give up vast ways of your life to do this, so it may as well be stuff that’s contributing rather than too negative. Things are hard enough, you know what I mean? It’s better to try to fill this world with some light, if you can.”

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