Jeremy Allen White essentially went from a high school graduate to a husband and parent while playing “Lip” Gallagher for 11 seasons on “Shameless,” which revolved around television’s most dysfunctional family.
Now, a year after that series concluded, White is again immersing himself in a series, “The Bear” from “Ramy’s” Christopher Storer, which premieres on Hulu June 23.
Like “Shameless,” this series is set in Chicago, but this time around White is playing Carmy Berzatto, who walked away from his family’s local restaurant, The Original Beef of Chicago, to make it big as an upscale chef in New York.
When the show begins, his brother Michael has killed himself and left the family business in shambles and Carmy comes home to try and prove himself and save the day.
There’s still family dysfunction but much of Carmy’s life revolves around the crew at the restaurant, some of whom buy into what he’s trying to achieve and some of whom openly or secretly rebel.
White’s co-stars include Ebon Moss-Bachrach, as Richie, the hot-tempered manager who is reluctant to cede control and Ayo Edebiri, who stands out as Sydney, who might be as smart and talented as Carmy if he can learn to listen to her.
White spoke by phone recently about jumping from one series to the next, what he learned on “Shameless” that he’s bringing to “The Bear” and how he prepared for the role in Los Angeles’ culinary hot spots. This interview has been edited for length and clarity.
I had a limited knowledge of the culinary world but the more that he told me about it—and he had me read different books—the more fascinating it seemed.
There was a period where I thought I’d take a break from series work to keep my time more open. But I fell in love with Carmy.
He has been running away from his upbringing and you meet him when the most traumatic thing has just happened.