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Saturday, April 13, 2024

Your Ultimate Guide To Every Guest Star On 'The Bear'


If you spent the entirety of The Bear doing double-takes, pausing to check IMDb, and rewinding, this one’s for you. The Bear follows Carmy Berzatto, a young and talented, but beleaguered chef who takes over Chicago institution The Beef—a run-down restaurant left to him by his brother, Michael, after he committed suicide. The series touches on the ins and outs of the culinary world, as well as themes of community, found family, and emotional devastation and trauma. In an attempt to revitalize the restaurant, Carmy, portrayed by Jeremy Allen White, joins forces with Sydney—an ambitious young chef played by Ayo Edebiri—to incorporate a new menu and a more traditional restaurant structure, all while dealing with the trials and tribulations of navigating a difficult workspace—thanks to Tina, a rebellious cook, who eventually becomes Sydney’s sous chef, and Richie, Carmy’s hot-headed, good-natured “cousin,” who are resistant to change the restaurant after Mikey’s passing. 

While it’s no secret that the Emmy-winning sensation and universally beloved TV series that has taken the world by storm features an unusually high concentration of celebrity guest stars, after two seasons of star-studded on-screen appearances, we don’t blame you for losing track. From Jamie Lee Curtis to John Mulaney, join L’OFFICIEL in figuring out all the familiar faces that you’ve encountered while watching FX’s widely acclaimed series, The Bear

Joel McHale

Joel McHale of Community fame joined the cast of The Bear early on in Season 1 with a shocking, stress-inducing portrayal of a head chef at the upscale New York City restaurant where Carmy formerly worked. McHale’s character appears in Carmy’s dreams—or hallucinations?—as an uptight, pretentious, and verbally abusive former boss—a role that he excels in, despite what his performance in Community may indicate. 

Jon Bernthal

Known for his work in Marvel media projects as well as The Walking Dead, Jon Bernthal joined the cast of The Bear as Michael “Mikey” Berzatto, Carmy and Sugar’s older brother. Mikey was the former owner and head chef of The Beef and passed it along to Carmy after his tragic suicide. Bernthal first portrayed Mikey in Season 1, but returned to Season 2 on several occasions including “Fishes,” the tense, emotional flashback episode. 

Molly Ringwald

Iconic actress Molly Ringwald makes a minor appearance in Season 1 as an Al-Anon moderator. At the meeting Carmy reluctantly attends, Ringwald’s character delivers a powerfully emotional speech about the impacts of alcohol on her life, citing her abusive husband and toxic home environment, which hits home for Carmy, causing him to really consider the direction he wants to take his life in. 

Will Poulter

After Carmy asks Marcus to go to Copenhagen to sharpen his dessert skills, the budding pastry chef ends up under the tutelage of Carmy’s former colleague, Chef Lucaa well-intentioned but strict dessert genius played by Will Poulter. Throughout their time together, which Episode 4 of Season 2 covered, Luca teaches Marcus how to work dough with ease, complimentary flavor profiles, and several super complex dessert recipes perfect for the new and improved restaurant awaiting his return in Chicago

Jamie Lee Curtis

Jamie Lee Curtis made her debut in Season 2 of The Bear as Donna Berzattomother of Carmy, Michael, and Sugar. Although the siblings’ mother is referred to numerous times throughout the show, the only time that she’s seen on screen is during Episode 6 of Season 2, titled “The Fishes.” The episode, structured as a flashback interlude, follows a family dinner—a scene that features several other celebrity guest stars—in which the viewer is offered a peek behind the curtain at the Berzatto family. Throughout the episode, Donna is seen cooking dinner in the kitchen, simultaneously refusing any help while also demanding that the family pitch in. A series of outbursts and sly comments reveal that Donna is an alcoholic suffering from an unnamed form of mental illness. 

In just one hour, Episode 6 packs in as much anxiety, tension, and strife as possible, which culminates in Donna’s emotional breakdown at the end of the episode, where she drives a car through the family home’s living room. 

Sarah Paulson and John Mulaney

Sarah Paulson also made her debut at the contentious family dinner in Episode 6 of Season 2, where she is introduced as the siblings’ cousin Michelle.  Easygoing with a sense of humor, Michelle provides levity to the intense dinnertime scene and ropes her partner Stevie, who is played by John Mulaney, into jokes and conversations. Wildly entertained by the wild Berzatto family, Stevie humors the Fak brothers and the get-rich-quick baseball card scheme that they try to involve him in purely to see how the situation unfolds.

Later in the episode once the family sits down for dinner, Stevie makes an awkward, but good-natured speech in an attempt to cool down the hot-headed, emotional family. After Donna’s mental collapse, Michelle extends a generous offer to Carmy, telling him to come to live with her in New York, allowing him to both further his career and take some space away from his family. 

Bob Odenkirk

Bob Odenkirk plays the mysterious Uncle Leethe passive-aggressive, dubiously-related older man who also shows up to the ill-fated Berzatto family dinner in Episode 6 of Season 2. Some speculate that Uncle Lee is a past partner of Donna’s, while Business Insider suggests that he may be a friend of the family, and Entertainment Weekly, taking a leap of faith, suggests that he really could be a distant uncle. After a series of provocative remarks, Uncle Lee and Michael Berzatto get into a massive argument, which leads to the series’ infamous fork-throwing scene. 

Gillian Jacobs

Community alum Gillian Jacobs also joined the “Fishes” episode of The Bear as Richie’s then-wife Tiffany, who was pregnant with their child at the time of the flashback. The presence of Jacobs’ character invites viewers to see Richie in a different light and provides plenty of context for their relationship and why their marriage ultimately failed, despite the obvious love the former couple shared for one another. 

Olivia Colman

As the restaurant is gearing up to open towards the end of Season 2, Carmy shunts Richie off to a three-star restaurant to study under seasoned professionals. Although he complains incessantly—in classic Richie fashion—after being asked to polish hundreds of forks, Richie quickly comes to appreciate the passion for perfection that the staff of Ever, the upscale restaurant, works.

Richie connects with Terry, played by Olivia Colman, who works as the head chef at Ever. Terry and Richie bond over shared experiences, and once Terry explains her life story and the journey she went on to end up satisfied with her lot in life, Richie is able to return to The Bear with a new perspective on life. 

Sarah Ramos

Sarah Ramos also appears during “Forks,” making her debut in the series as Jessica, the back-of-house at Ever. As a strict and composed, yet kind figure of authority, Jessica and Richie do not get along at first, especially due to Richie’s irreverent attitude and disregard for leadership.

After experiencing how passionate the staff is towards committing to uphold nearly impossible standards, Richie becomes inspired, thanks to Jessica, who holds the same role he is expected to fulfill once The Bear finally opens. 

Robert Townsend

Iconic Chicago-born actor and director Robert Townsend guest starred in Season 2 of The Bear as Emmanuel Adamu, Sydney’s father. Although he expressly loves and supports his daughter very much, Townsend’s character is notorious throughout the series for the high expectations he has for Sydney. Sydney goes to great lengths throughout the show to impress her father and show him that although working in the culinary world can be a risky career move, her expertise and creativity will carry her to the top. Emmanuel Adamu appears in Episode 9, “Omelette,” in a heartfelt, emotional scene between father and daughter that fans have remembered long after the season ended. 



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