Ebon Moss-Bachrach on ‘The Bear’ Emotions – The Hollywood Reporter

If 2022 can be declared “a show of the summer”, it will probably be FX on Hulu’s Bear. Created by Ramy executive producer Christopher Storer, the buzzing culinary world drama is set inside The Original Beef of Chicagoland, a debt-ridden sandwich shop bequeathed to James Beard-winning chef Carmy Berzatto (Shameless‘Jeremy Allen White) by his late brother Michael (Jon Bernthal).

Step into this high-stress environment that, with all the flair of a greasy flame, takes Michael’s belligerent best friend Richie Jerimovich. It was a breakout role for 45-year-old Ebon Moss-Bachrach, who also plays the sensitive troubadour Desi on Girls (you may recall a certain explicit sexual act he performed on Allison Williams) and the next one will appear in Girls independent film by creator Lena Dunham Timbre (out July 29).

But right now it Bear have people talking – and yearning for more. Moss-Bachrach caught up The Hollywood Reporter from a family vacation in Europe to discuss the perfect sandwich, making the kitchen details just right and the chemistry he shares with his co-stars.

Hello, Ebon. I understand you are on vacation in Europe. Are there any good meals out there?

I just ate some very tasty shrimp. Now that we’re in France and the ham and cheese, “jambon beurre” sandwiches they have here, I’ve come to think of them as the opposite of these beef sandwiches. And man, they’re too good. They are simple and delicious.

I guess you’re out of the US right now, but people are talking about the show and definitely talking about you on the show. Can you feel it?

I’m away, but I’m also an actor with an ego, I’m sensitive and needy. So I sign up and I feel this welcome for Bear – that’s pretty amazing and simply really amazing. I really loved that show and loved every part of making it. I love everyone involved in such a pure, simple way. It’s a collaborative medium that often has some problems. And anyway, I am a complainer and childish. So I always find something to complain about – but this is weird not having any of that and feels effortless from start to finish.

It’s funny to hear you say how smooth it was behind the scenes, since, of course, in the scenes, there’s nothing but conflict and hair-raising, butt-cracking. It made me very nervous watching it, but you are saying that the production of it went really smoothly.

We arrived ahead of schedule. I think we were under budget. Most of this stuff is really testament to Chris Storer and Joanna Calo, who wrote and ran the whole thing. All scripts were fully distributed from the beginning. Everyone was in the room all the time. And FX is really trusting and great with us and has given us a lot of freedom. So we can just stay together and do this during the coldest two months of winter in Chicago, when you don’t really want to do anything. So being with these wonderful people in this little period, this simulated restaurant, is just a very cozy and warm experience.

Bear drew praise for its authenticity in depicting the restaurant industry. Are you warned things will get very real in this show?

There were a lot of people on board who actually knew about this firsthand, mostly [consulting producers] Courtney [“Coco” Storer, chef and sister of Christopher Storer] and Matty [Matheson, a pro chef who also plays handyman Neil on the series]. The details are really important to them. That surprised me because I had never actually been in the food industry. But they really wanted to celebrate the difficulty inherent in that work and just the complex, difficult and truly unique nature of being in these kitchens.

I heard some chefs are actually activated by the program. Have you heard anything like that? Post-house PTSD?

No, buddy. No, I haven’t heard anything about that. I’m not surprised. I mean, it’s hard. Very hard to see, a lot. So I’m not surprised.

And in terms of your personality, Richie is a pretty tall guy. Do you have trouble finding it and reaching the right level for him?

It just feels oddly easy. I do not know. I hooked up with this guy for whatever reason. I just had a crush on Richie from the start. I’ve suffered a lot for my art, for my craft, and it never feels good, unless I’m really having a bad day. And as I get older, I think that can be useful for some part, but also just to be relaxed and free. That’s what I close with this. I think there’s a real performance element to Richie when he’s in the world of The Beef and that’s his stage and that’s the only place where he feels okay. And he can pay attention to himself.

The final episode is really a tour de force. It’s very emotional between you and Jeremy Allen White’s character Carmy. How is your relationship with Jeremy, where you can access the deep wells of pain you both share because of the passing of Mikey, Carmy’s brother?

I think it’s just having a great co-star. I looked Jeremy in the eye and he was in pain. And seeing him in pain, seeing all of that in his eyes, made the reality of that moment so much stronger for me and just locked me up. If you are lucky enough to work with good people like this, just trust them and it will take care [of itself]. Also, this is over, and I’ve spent two months with Jeremy. And when you act on someone, you have to really, really trust them and you have to be open and vulnerable to them. So it’s like a very quick intimacy happens between people. He’s so good. And his eyes are so expressive and in that prison too – we were in this horrible prison in Cicero, Illinois. I do not know. It is only in you. It’s not a place you want to spend any time.

The edited interview is long and clear.

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