Entertainment | March 4th, 2024

Luck of the Irish: Ayo Edebiri’s Clean Sweep

By: Cariane Geffrard | Staff Writer
Luck of the Irish: Ayo Edebiri’s Clean Sweep

Whether you’re a film expert or a casual TV enjoyer, the chances are high that you could not scroll on social media last year without seeing an announcement in the vein of “Ayo Edebiri set to star in [upcoming].”  

As GQ writer Wengel Gemu, @wengell said on X (formerly known as Twitter), “Ayo Edebiri has 27 hours in the day.”

With award season upon us, the 28-year-old Boston native dominates categories across ceremonies. 

In a single week, Edebiri won Best Actress at the Golden Globes and Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Comedy Series at the Screen Actors’ Guild (SAG) awards for her role as Sydney “Syd” Adamu in FX’s “The Bear.” The week after, she won her first Emmy for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series and Best Actress at the Critics Choice Awards. 

These accolades don’t even include the awards she won and shared with her “The Bear” co-stars. 



The Bear — Pictured: Ayo Edebiri as Sydney Adamu. || Photo Courtesy: British Vogue || CR: Frank Ockenfels/FXCopyright 2022, FX Networks. All rights reserved.

The Bear: Summer 2023’s Sleeper Hit

Since its premiere in 2022, “The Bear” on Hulu has built something of a cult following through its emotional depiction of an award-winning chef struggling to honor his recently deceased brother by taking over his Chicago restaurant, “The Beef.” 

While the main character Carmy, portrayed by “Shameless” star Jeremy Allen White, continues to shine in this dramedy, Season 2 of “The Bear” allows for the development of supporting characters like Syd, Richard “Richie/Cousin” Jerimovich (Ebon Moss-Bachrach), and Marcus Brooks (Lionel Boyce) through departure episodes. 

Through these episodes, the overarching theme of Season 2 – renovating “The Beef” into “The Bear” by gutting it completely and bringing down the walls – becomes a metaphor for building the foundation between the characters through total vulnerability. Despite the show’s newness, it is already a master class in balancing emotional storytelling with light-hearted charisma and palatable chemistry. 

Graduating Florida State University senior Mikaila Reyes-Clark talks about how witnessing Edebiri, the cast and the show win awards propelled her into watching “The Bear.” 

“When I saw how many awards they swept up as a show, I was like, ‘I got to get into this!’ I love a show with different dynamics, but even though they all act aggressive (because it’s Chicago), everyone brings something new into the show,” Reyes-Clark said. “I did not like Ayo’s character at first, but I feel like [as an actress], she makes roles her own, and I respected that and fell in love.” 

The deadpan delivery of sarcastic comments Sydney (Edebiri) makes offers relatable, dry humor to which many Millenials and Gen Z people can relate. Edebiri’s portrayal of anger is staunchly different from Allen White’s fiery rage of obscenities, just like her portrayal of awkwardness is more charismatic than his. This yin-and-yang dynamic between the two offers a realistic feel to the show and keeps viewers hooked on the evolution of their relationship.

The Dream is Yours to Make

Ayo Edebiri is the only child of Barbadian-Nigerian immigrants. However, according to a running joke made by Edebiri herself through an interview with Letterboxd that has taken over the internet, she embraces her faux roots in Ireland — and the country has embraced her right back.

Edebiri’s decision to go into acting rather than her original career path of teaching did not come without fear and self-doubt. 


Ayo Edebiri for AP || Photo Courtesy: Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP

Despite loving the arts – she performed stand-up comedy while studying at NYU and enjoyed theatre and writing – the need for practicality and stability outweighed the desire to fulfill a dream. It wasn’t until she had conversations with her parents and successful Black female comedians who encouraged her to rethink her decision that she switched her major from teaching to playwriting.

“They have these things that to me — especially as a child of immigrants — I need cold, hard proof. I don’t need a dream. I need to know that I can have dental and I can get an eye exam once a year,” said Edebiri in an interview with AP writer Leslie Ambriz. “I  realized I would rather do that and be happy than always be wondering.”

Since then, Edebiri has been on an explosive ascent that doesn’t seem to be fizzling out anytime soon. 

In addition to “The Bear,” she’s written for and starred in shows like “Abbott Elementary,” “Sunnyside,” “Dickinson,” and Netflix’s “Big Mouth.” Edebiri has also starred in indie movies like “Theatre Camp,” “Bottoms,” “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Mutant Mayhem” and “The Sweet East” with Jacob Elordi.  

“The Bear” returns for Season 3 in June 2024, but Edebiri will be back on your screens before that with her upcoming role in Omni Loop (March 13) and rumored replacement of Johnny Depp in a forthcoming Pirates of the Caribbean spinoff.