August 16, 2022

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"The Bear" Star Ayo Edebiri on Cooking, Grief, and Chopping All These Onions

If you watch “The Bear,” the brand new FX present now streaming on Hulu, you would possibly marvel if it was actually Ayo Edebiri, who performs Sydney, chopping all these onions. It is a lot of onions.

“Sure it was. It actually was,” she tells POPSUGAR. “What you didn’t see was additionally me crying and being like ‘Why are my eyes rebelling towards me?'” Earlier than that day of capturing, Edebiri had thought she’d reduce sufficient onions that her eyes have been completely resistant to their tear-jerking results. “Possibly due to the air flow within the studio the place we have been capturing or one thing, my eyes have been simply struggling that day.”

“I am an individual who plans. I color-coordinate. I’ve acquired a scrapbook. I’ve acquired stickers. I write a number of stuff down, and Sydney does, too.”

“The Bear” follows Carmine, aka Carmy (“Shameless” alum Jeremy Allen White), a classically skilled chef who comes house to Chicago to take over the household restaurant after his brother, who ran it and by no means allowed him to be concerned, dies by suicide. Edebiri’s Sydney can also be a chef — one who deeply admires Carmine’s work — and convinces him to take her on as his sous chef. However the two are adrift within the restaurant’s employees, which features a group of old-school workers, plus Ebon Moss-Bachrach’s Richie, Carmy’s brother’s finest good friend with a combative streak. For Edebiri, who many would possibly acknowledge from “Dickinson” or because the voice of Misty on “Massive Mouth,” “The Bear” is a extra dramatic route (although the present is certainly nonetheless humorous).

Sydney is a Kind-A workaholic in a sea of chaos. “She doesn’t cease going,” Edebiri says of Sydney. Certainly one of her favourite points of the character is the little pocket book Sydney carries and writes in on a regular basis along with her matching tiny pen. Edebiri can relate. “I am an individual who plans. I color-coordinate. I’ve acquired a scrapbook. I’ve acquired stickers. I write a number of stuff down, and Sydney does, too,” she says. “She’ll present up on day 5 with a laminated presentation. I do not know if I’d present up with that, however I’d positively make it.”

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Edebiri wasn’t a pro-chef when she signed on to “The Bear,” however she wasn’t a whole novice both. “I really actually prefer to cook dinner,” she says. “I come from a giant household the place I feel cooking is how we categorical a number of love.”

She used to offer herself small cooking challenges to work by. She’s practiced making pasta again and again. For a few months, she tried making selfmade variations of different milks (pistachio milk isn’t good in espresso, she warns, and brazil nut milk stays on her to-do listing). She’s additionally labored entrance of home at eating places earlier than, so she’s aware of the fast-paced vitality, however engaged on the present gave her “nice appreciation” for the way a restaurant runs and the work cooks do behind the scenes.

FX's THE BEAR  Ayo Edebiri as Sydney

“It was actually enjoyable to study issues from a extra technical standpoint,” she explains. She and White went by a cooking bootcamp earlier than capturing started, beginning with coaching on the Institute of Culinary Training. “After that, Jeremy and I type of went off on our personal,” she explains. They met with cooks in California, New York, and Chicago. “I am very grateful for them,” she says of all of the cooks that opened their doorways. “Elske in Chicago saved my life [and] made me look not fully pretend.”

Sydney and Carmine’s relationship is central to “The Bear”; they butt heads continuously, however they arrive collectively over their deep love of and appreciation for meals. Edebiri says they began to work on the unusual alchemy of their dynamic throughout coaching. “We had this little, mini aggressive factor occurring,” she explains. “We have been cooking collectively, and I type of had extra expertise than him, simply by way of the kitchen.”

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“But in addition I did not drive on the time. So then he would drive me house typically,” she explains with amusing. “There have been simply a number of dynamics, after which we acquired to type of construct them collectively, and it felt actually enjoyable and really particular. Jeremy has a lot expertise, and I felt like Sydney the place I used to be like, ‘I wish to study from this man learn how to be on set, how he approaches character.'”

“We have skilled additionally two years which have prompted such monumental change. I do not assume we will course of it as a result of we’re nonetheless in it.”

“The Bear” is not precisely a soothing present — the characters exist in a high-stress atmosphere. Edebiri thinks one purpose why that intense feeling comes throughout to viewers is as a result of they did not movie too many scene takes. “It type of stored us current, I feel, however in a means that was thrilling,” she says.

And all of the cooking viewers see on display screen? “After we have been cooking, we have been cooking for actual,” she explains. “If there have been errors that have been made, then we embraced them, which was actually thrilling.” A few of these errors even made it into the episodes. Additionally they filmed in an actual working kitchen, which stored issues tight and tense on display screen.

For viewers, the meals seems scrumptious, and Edebiri says it smelled even higher in particular person. “[It] was so laborious being surrounded by beef all day,” she admits. “I hate crimson meat, and I used to be like, ‘That is smelling good and tasting good although.'”

Within the present, Sydney finds herself in a male-dominated atmosphere — one thing Edebiri was ready to attract parallels to along with her personal expertise in comedy. “There have been a number of issues concerning the culinary trade that jogged my memory of simply the inventive industries basically,” she explains. “I feel lots of people can most likely discover parallels in . . . making an attempt to make your office extra equitable.”

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“Sydney says one thing to that impact to Richie in an episode, however the place it is like, this does not need to be dangerous. This may be good,” she says. “However in coaching [at restaurants], it was actually cool to see, as a result of I feel, similar to within the leisure trade, persons are changing into extra conscious of these items, and so they wish to communicate out about them extra, and so they wish to make areas for themselves and for the individuals who they’re feeding. They wish to make them extra equitable.”

“The Bear” can also be about grief — grief for misplaced family members, grief for misplaced desires, grief for all times not fulfilling expectations. Richie even mentions the COVID-19 pandemic at some extent.

“We have skilled additionally two years which have prompted such monumental change. I do not assume we will course of it as a result of we’re nonetheless in it,” Edebiri says. “This present type of speaks to that in an trustworthy means.” It isn’t simply grief for issues we all know we have misplaced, however for issues that might have occurred that we by no means may have predicted and can by no means discover out. “The world is simply so completely different,” she says.

However “The Bear” says we’ve to search out new methods on this new world, protecting the outdated one in our hearts, even when we’ve to battle to make a path.

All eight episodes of “The Bear” are streaming now on Hulu.