Think about the average person in Hollywood. Jimmy Stewart had been the archetype; an actor whose cheerful face and Pennsylvania drawl suggested a deep humility, morality, and elderism. Spanning a generation, the likes of Dustin Hoffman, Robert De Niro, and Al Pacino pushed the paradigm in different directions. They don’t look like matinee idols, nor do they act like them; instead, they evoke pure id.
These guys, plus Sam Rockwell, plus Sean Penn — born actors whose talents are barely contained — are Jeremy Eyre Len White’s favorite: “I like to watch something almost tense,” he told me. When he was set to play Carmen “Carmy” Berzatto, he was the painfully uptight young chef at the center of FX The Bear. Last summer, the series broke through last summer when James Beard Award-winning phenom Carmy returned home to run his family’s flagging sandwich shop, The Original Beef, after his brother committed suicide of Chicagoland (dubbed “The Beef”), the fast-paced action begins. Mired in unpaid bills, and a kitchen staff who doesn’t really trust (or like) him, Carmy wants to burn down the whole place less than he wants to save it.
Critics adore Bear. Sales of Italian beef sandwiches are soaring. Cammy is an online sensation: People are quick to dismiss him as a textbook badass with his fitted T-shirts, mottled tattoos and greasy hair; your parents and therapists urge you not to try to ‘fix’ That emotionally unsolvable problem.
Actual Above, White 32 is friendly, attentive and always courteous. He is the doting father of two young girls, four-year-old Eze and two Dolores, and actor Addison Timlin, who is in 773 married, but first met almost 16 years ago at their performing arts high school in Manhattan. (The two recently separated.) He reveals with some embarrassment that one of his greatest joys is riding his fixed-gear bike.
The disparity between his character and his performance is reminiscent of the often-quoted Flaubert: “Be regular and orderly in your life, like the bourgeois same, so that you can be violent and original in your work.” It also made sense for this particular project. Christopher Storer said, “As much as we want to jump into a lot of the toxic and rough things that happen in the restaurant industry, it’s really important to be able to show that in someone as naturally kind and kind as Jeremy,” The The creator of Bear has family and close friends in the industry. “When you meet him, he’s the cutest kid ever, and you can’t help but be drawn to his piercing eyes. But then you see in his performances, he can be charming and funny at the same time, And it can be scary and stressful, which is really hard to do.”
Although he primarily lives in Laurel Canyon, White still dresses like a Brooklyn boy. (He and his sister, Annabelle, grew up in Carroll Gardens.) When we meet on a bright, cold March Saturday at Avec River North, a Mediterranean-inspired New American restaurant just east of Mr. Beef Minutes away, the Chicago mainstay who inspired The Bear, White wore a gray knit tank over a T-shirt and a hat over his dirty blond curls Beanie in navy. His arms and hands are covered in fake tattoos he wears for the show, including a big “32” for the local area code; he showed me where some of his authentic works were made up. The late winter sun set off the startling blue of his eyes on a thin gold chain around his neck. (Storer was right about them.) He knows the menu, so he ordered for us: chorizo-stuffed Medjool dates and Mexican king prawns. Get me a kale salad and farfar with braised mushrooms.
Inevitably, going back to The Bear for his sophomore season was a bit scary. (New episodes will air in June.) “I called our showrunner Joanna Callow sometime in the summer when I realized, oh wow, This isn’t going away anytime soon, ,” White said, marking off a date. “And then I got here, and I was talking to our videographer, and I was like, ‘This feels so easy, I’m almost wary.’ ”
For some 16 years of his career, White was also cautiously exploring new ground. This past winter he received long-dodged award attention Shameless, won a Golden Globe, Critics’ Choice Award and American Actor for his work Guild Award for performance in The Bear. He appreciates it, especially on SAG where his mother is his date. (White’s parents were both former theater actors.) “During the drive up, I [asked her], ‘Is there anyone you can meet that would actually throw you off?'” White said. Her very sensible response was Cate Blanchett – and later, to White’s surprise and mild horror, she’d walk right up to them. (He and Blanchett have never met, but she co-produced Fingernails, a movie he made last year with Riz Ahmed) Romantic sci-fi movie with Jessie Buckley.) I kind of cared when she came over — I rolled over and my mom was like sobbing. “
Beyond The Bear, His wild journey continues: White’s upcoming Projects include alternate stand-alone project Fremont, in which he had a small but notable role as a lone mechanic (learned that he looked terrific in overalls Naturally no surprise); Fingernails, directed and co-written by Christos Nikou for Apple TV+; and Sean Durkin The Iron Claw about the von Ehrlich wrestling dynasty, with Zac Efron, Harris Dickinson and Lily James. White loves to learn from pro wrestler Chavo Gray Jr. Lorre learned in-ring body language, and he helped train the cast of Netflix GLOW. “Before The Bear, I never really focused on job skills. It’s a fantastic way to get to know the character,” he said. “It feels like a cheat code or something. Looking ahead, he wants to make a war film one day, and also wants to try live theater.