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Ayo Edebiri on The Bear, Training as a Chef, and Comedy

When 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’s a lot of onions.

“Yes 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?'” Before that day of taking pictures, Edebiri had thought she’d minimize sufficient onions that her eyes had been completely proof against their tear-jerking results. “Maybe due to the air flow within the studio the place we had been taking pictures or one thing, my eyes had been simply struggling that day.”

“I’m a one that plans. I color-coordinate. I’ve received a scrapbook. I’ve received stickers. I write a lot of stuff down, and Sydney does, too.”

“The Bear” follows Carmine, aka Carmy (“Shameless” alum Jeremy Allen White), a classically educated chef who comes dwelling 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. But the 2 are adrift within the restaurant’s workers, which incorporates a group of old-school workers, plus Ebon Moss-Bachrach’s Richie, Carmy’s brother’s finest pal with a combative streak. For Edebiri, who many would possibly acknowledge from “Dickinson” or as the voice of Misty on “Big Mouth,” “The Bear” is a extra dramatic path (although the present is unquestionably nonetheless humorous).

Sydney is a Type-A workaholic in a sea of chaos. “She doesn’t cease going,” Edebiri says of Sydney. One of her favourite points of the character is the little pocket book Sydney carries and writes in on a regular basis together with her matching tiny pen. Edebiri can relate. “I’m a one that plans. I color-coordinate. I’ve received a scrapbook. I’ve received stickers. I write a lot 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 might present up with that, however I might undoubtedly make it.”

Edebiri wasn’t a pro-chef when she signed on to “The Bear,” however she wasn’t a full novice both. “I truly actually prefer to prepare dinner,” she says. “I come from a massive household the place I believe cooking is how we specific a lot of affection.”

She used to offer herself small cooking challenges to work by way of. She’s practiced making pasta over and over. For a couple of months, she tried making selfmade variations of different milks (pistachio milk is just not 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 acquainted with the fast-paced vitality, however working 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 way of a cooking bootcamp earlier than taking pictures started, beginning with coaching on the Institute of Culinary Education. “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’m 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 faux.”

Sydney and Carmine’s relationship is central to “The Bear”; they butt heads continually, 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 going on,” she explains. “We had been cooking collectively, and I type of had extra expertise than him, simply by way of the kitchen.”

“But additionally I did not drive on the time. So then he would drive me dwelling typically,” she explains with a snort. “There had been simply a lot of dynamics, and then we received to type of construct them collectively, and it felt actually enjoyable and very 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 how you can be on set, how he approaches character.'”

“We’ve skilled additionally two years which have induced 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 setting. Edebiri thinks one motive 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 believe, however in a manner that was thrilling,” she says.

And all of the cooking viewers see on display? “When we had been cooking, we had been cooking for actual,” she explains. “If there have been errors that had been made, then we embraced them, which was actually thrilling.” Some of these errors even made it into the episodes. They additionally filmed in a actual working kitchen, which stored issues tight and tense on display.

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

In the present, Sydney finds herself in a male-dominated setting — one thing Edebiri was in a position to attract parallels to together with her personal expertise in comedy. “There had been a lot of issues concerning the culinary business that jogged my memory of simply the inventive industries basically,” she explains. “I believe a lot of individuals can most likely discover parallels in . . . attempting to make your office extra equitable.”

“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 might be good,” she says. “But in coaching [at restaurants], it was actually cool to see, as a result of I believe, identical to within the leisure business, individuals are changing into extra conscious of this stuff, and they wish to communicate out about them extra, and 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 goals, grief for all times not fulfilling expectations. Richie even mentions the COVID-19 pandemic at a level.

“We’ve skilled additionally two years which have induced 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 sincere manner.” It’s not simply grief for issues we all know we have misplaced, however for issues that would have occurred that we by no means might have predicted and won’t ever discover out. “The world is simply so completely different,” she says.

But “The Bear” says we now have to search out new methods on this new world, retaining the previous one in our hearts, even when we now have to struggle to make a path.

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

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