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The Quinnipiac Chronicle

The golden age of Ayo Edebiri

Alex Kendall

They say home is where the heart is, but god I love the Irish — well, the fake Irish at least.

I’m talking, of course, about everyone’s favorite Hollywood darling: Ayo Edebiri. And while the actress is actually from Boston — the Ireland bit started in March of last year when Edebiri joked that she played Jenny the Donkey in “The Banshees of Inisherin” — her appeal across country lines is for good reason.

While Edebiri had minor roles in movies and television spanning several years, her big break undeniably came from her role as Sydney Adamu in the critically acclaimed Hulu hit, “The Bear.” Sydney is the antithesis of Jeremy Allen White’s Carmy Berzatto; where he is by the book and bordering on neurotic, his sous chef brings a warmth and level-headedness to the kitchen that puts Carmy’s anxiety on a low boil.

The praise for the actress quickly came rolling in after the first season premiered. And while the actors’ and writers’ strike postponed the arrival of award season, the delay proved to be no match for Edebiri. In the past few months, she’s gone home with an Emmy, a Golden Globe, a Critics’ Choice award, a Screen Actors Guild award and a Film Independent Spirit award.

However, her media domination — which also includes a recurring role on “Abbott Elementary” — hasn’t just been limited to TV. Edebiri has graced the silver screen in movies that have generated just as much of a cult following as “The Bear.”

Edebiri lent her voice to the beloved “Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse” and “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Mutant Mayhem,” proving that her charisma is strong enough to uphold even when she’s not visually on screen.

But her roles in 2023’s “Bottoms” and “Theater Camp” solidified her star status. “Bottoms” saw her hang up her chef apron in favor of playing a socially awkward high schooler who starts a fight club with her best friend to pick up girls, while “Theater Camp” featured the actress as a counselor who violently lied on her resume and finds herself teaching stunt classes to overzealous theater kids.

Edebiri has proved she has the skills to be a lasting star. But her extraordinary skyrocket of popularity has to do with her charm and seemingly effortless personality as much as it does with her acting chops (and gorgeous face).

Where some actors seem to flounder when it comes to interviews and social media appeal, Edebiri excels. From her endlessly amusing relationship with Ireland — multiple Irish publications have proudly claimed her as one of their own — to her repeated horror at being asked about White’s infamous Calvin Klein ads, this year’s award season media circuit has proven that she has the charisma to last.

Edebiri’s personality, however, manages to never seem fake. Her surprise at every award sweep seems genuine, which makes it even easier to root for her. She’s naturally cool, the kind of celebrity that you desperately want to be your best friend.

After all, not everyone gets the “Pride & Prejudice” hype, but Edebiri, who revealed to Matthew Macfayden — Mr. Darcy himself — that she once got grounded for having him as her screen saver, seems like the perfect viewing partner.

It doesn’t hurt that much of Hollywood’s current group of favorites love Edebiri just as much as the rest of the world. Between her co-stars on “The Bear,” Quinta Brunson, Emma Seligman and even Taylor Swift, the industry is in agreement that the actress is a star in her own right.

Edebiri already has a slew of upcoming projects slated — season three of “The Bear” is set to return in June, as well as a handful of star-studded films — we can only hope that her universal belovedness will keep her booked for years to come.

So while the actress and I both share a lack of hobbies outside of watching movies and TV, I’m adding a new one to my list: being a full-time Ayo Edebiri fan.

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Zoe Leone
Zoe Leone, Arts & Life Editor

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