‘The Bear’s lead Jeremy Allen White calls show’s success “overwhelming”

L-R – Edebiri, White — FX/Matt Dinerstein

The hit new FX series The Bear was just renewed for a second season, and star Jeremy Allen White tells Good Morning America that the show’s success is “overwhelming.”

White stars as James Beard Award-winning chef Carmen “Carmy” Berzatto, who goes from cooking in the prestigious, high-pressure kitchens of The French Laundry and Noma to taking over his family’s chaotic, rundown Chicago sandwich shop.

“I knew while we were making the show that it was really good,” White says. “But I think it’s impossible to predict exactly how people are gonna react. And it’s been overwhelming for sure.”

The show boasts an intense recipe of family drama, loss and, yes, cooking. The suicide death of Carmy’s brother brings the chef home to Chicago, and the personal — and professional — boil over quickly.

“… Carmy — my heart really broke for him instantly, because he’s just gone through this incredibly traumatic thing,” White said.

“He doesn’t have much of an identity outside of his profession, and it allowed me to play him consistently with high, high stakes, because … he’s always thinking about the next thing. And that seemed like an exciting thing to play.”

And while Carmy and his spunky sous chef Sydney know their way around the kitchen, their real-life alter egos are picking things up quickly, too, thanks to training with world-renowned chefs.

“I could make scrambled eggs, toast … But that was really it,” White admitted.

“I have, like, a couple of things I can do now that I think are good. But I want to keep learning,” White said of his newfound culinary clout. “I really love it.”

Ayo Edebiri, who plays Sydney, added, “My knife safety is definitely much better than it was before.”

She joked that “people are asking me for dinner parties” in the wake of seeing her slice and dice in the kitchen on TV.

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‘Squid Game’ creator on deadly K-Pop choreography, subtitles, and “stealing” ideas for season 2 from fans

Netflix/Noh Juhan

In less than a month, Netflix’s dystopian thriller Squid Game has officially become a cultural phenomenon, with record viewers on the streaming platform.

The success was a surprise to the hyper-violent show’s creator, Hwang Dong-Hyuk. But he tells Good Morning America he always envisioned the global appeal of the show.

“If you look at the cast of characters, you have the elite member of society, Sang-woo. You have the…middle-class man, Gi-hun. You have the migrant worker, Ali…and you have Il-nam, who…represents the senior class,” he said. “…I think they constitute the minority in any country in the world.”

Dong-Hyuk was 38 and broke — and living off his mom, like the show’s main character Gi-hun — when he wrote Squid Game more than 10 years ago.

“The first game — was the most difficult and scary thing to film,” recalls the creator. It was a grown-up version of the kid’s activity “Red Light/Green Light” — except the penalty for moving is death. “It was like seeing 456 characters all move according to choreography, like watching a K-Pop band, because all these people had to move and stop in unison,” Hwang says.

Squid Game has reached #1 in 94 countries and has been translated into over 30 languages, but Dong-Hyuk pleaded, “please, please watch the subtitle” version.  “Because if you don’t see — the acting, the performance from the real actor…You’re missing — most of [the] Squid Game fun.”

For a second season, Dong-Hyuk’s gotten inspiration from many fans, thanks to their own Squid Game challenges on social media.

“Some of them [were] really brilliant, you know?” he said. “So maybe I’ll go through…YouTube again…Then I’ll steal the ideas from the fans,” he added with a laugh.

 

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