So, how are Jeremy Allen White’s cooking skills today? “Still, not great,” he told Uproxx. Luckily all he has to do is look like he knows what he’s doing for “The Bear,” not actually execute it. As he elaborated, “I can fake it well. I can move around well … I hope we get to do more of the show and I just want to get better and better.”
The most important part was not the cooking skills, of course, but capturing the stressful atmosphere the show was going for. White explained how “Uncut Gems,” the 2019 crime thriller starring Adam Sandler as a man with a life-ruining gambling problem, was a big inspiration. “I think that was a movie that [writer/executive producer/director] Chris Storer and I spoke about in prep,” he explained. “We wanted to kind of feel that anxiety throughout. The energy [is] really, really high.”
It may seem kind of crazy for the writers and actors in a TV series about a bunch of cooks to be inspired by “Uncut Gems,” but it makes sense even beyond the inherently stressful nature of the food industry. Carmy might be a cook, but he’s also a gambler. Throughout the first season, he’s throwing so much of his time and money into what looks like a dying restaurant, even after he realizes the sheer extent of how much debt his brother was in. As far as we know throughout most of the season, this is an objectively terrible decision that he keeps doubling down on. It adds yet another level of tension to the show, as the stakes for Carmy are far higher than just having a bad day at work.