Ayo Edebiri shares one huge negative of playing chef Sydney on The Bear

Sydney star’s time on the series has drastically affected her restaurant experience

Maanya Sachdeva
Thursday 18 January 2024 17:38 GMT
Ayo Edebiri says she dreamed of dental insurance growing up, not awards

The Bear star Ayo Edebiri has revealed a frustrating side-effect of playing a chef alongside Jeremy Allen White on the hit HBO show.

Edebiri, 28, is currently receiving plaudits for her role in the show, which is a sweaty, sweary, and anxiety-inducing comedy about a struggling family-run sandwich shop in Chicago and the Michelin-starred chef Carmy (White) who must save it.

American actor Edebiri, whose mother is Barbadian and father is Nigerian, was catapulted to global fame after she landed the role of Carmy’s sous-chef Sydney in season one of the Emmy-winning series.

In a new interview with The Times, the comedy star, who recently collected a Golden Globe and Emmy award for her performance, has revealed the only negative of playing a chef on the series.

Asked how many times she has been asked whether she can cook, Edebiri replied: “Many, and I’ll continue to be asked this.”

Since the success of The Bear, Edebiri finds herself repeatedly having to critique meals anytime she goes out to eat. The actor told the outlet: “Sometimes I’m like, ‘Please can I just eat?’”

Elsewhere in the interview, published after Edebiri’s recent win for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy at the Emmys, she reflected on working with White and their friendship.

White and Edebiri in a scene from their award-winning sandwich shop comedy ‘The Bear’
White and Edebiri in a scene from their award-winning sandwich shop comedy ‘The Bear’ (AP)

“Jeremy is one of the most grounded, hard-working people I know,” Edebiri described her co-star, who won Best Actor in a comedy at the Emmys. “I would describe my friendship and relationship with him as just a lot of trust and a lot of gratitude.

Carmy and Sydney’s relationship evolves from being one of a mentee-mentor to that of equals as the show progresses from season one to two. Their pull-push dynamic is one of the most compelling parts of The Bear, which was recently renewed for a third season much to the delight of its fans.

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“We shot this show without any expectation, and to be on this journey with him, with everybody, it really does feel like a blessing and so I call him family.

“I call the whole cast and crew family because it really feels like a family endeavour,” she continued.

Walking the red carpet at the Emmy awards ceremony in Los Angeles on Monday 15 January, Edebiri said she didn’t dream of winning awards, but rather of dental insurance, when she began her acting career.

When E News’ Laverne Cox asked Edebiri what her younger self would think about the opportunity to attend one of the biggest entertainment award shows, she replied: ““She didn’t dream of nights like this. She sort of dreamed of just, like, dental insurance.


“We’ve got dental, we’ve got eye [insurance], we’ve got ear. We can go to the dermatologist.”

Edebiri, who performed on the improv comedy circuit in New York before The Bear, thanked her parents during her acceptance speech at the Peacock Theatre, where the Emmys are held every year.

“I love you guys so much, thank you so much for loving me and letting me feel beautiful and Black and proud of all that,” she said. “Probably not a dream to immigrate to this country and have your child be like ‘I want to do improv’, but you’re real ones.”

After the show, Edebiri met Matthew Macfadyen, the Succession actor whose turn as Tom Wambsgans on the HBO show won him the Emmy for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama.

A clip of their interaction, during which Edebiri shared that a picture of Macfadyen as Mr Darcey led to her being grounded, went viral on X/Twitter shortly after.

“She had a screensaver of me as Mr Darcey on her laptop,” the actor revealed what he and Edebiri were discussing, in an interview with Entertainment Tonight.

The ET clip then cut to Edebiri telling Macfadyen about her father’s decision to ground her.

“Because my dad was like ‘Who’s this man? Who’s this guy in the coat with the beautiful hair?” she told her fellow Emmy awardee.

Macfadyen, 49, shot to fame for playing Jane Austen’s tortured hero opposite Kiera Knightley in the 2005 film adaptation.

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