At just 32 years old, Brooklyn born-and-bred Jeremy Allen White has already spent over half his life on television. The hot new sensation in Hollywood is scoring movie offers left and right, while also gracing the covers of top magazines. His groundbreaking work on the FX comedy-drama series The Bear has made him a strong contender for an Emmy after winning a Golden Globe in January. From 2011 to 2021, Jeremy Allen White captivated audiences as Phillip “Lip” Gallagher in Shameless, the witty Showtime drama series.
White plays the tormented, lonely and perfectionist chef Carmen “Carmy” Berzatto in The Bear, a tremendously popular series that just completed its second season. “When the series premiered, the phones started ringing,” White told Esquire magazine in May. In most episodes, he wears a white T-shirt that shows off his tattooed arms, causing a stir on X (formerly Twitter), where he has become a heartthrob for many fans. “I’m not on Twitter, but everyone on the show is and we have a group text. So yes, Ebon [Moss-Bachrach, who plays Richard], Lionel [Boyce, who plays Marcus], Ayo [Edebiri, who plays Sydney] and everybody have brought that to my attention. It’s embarrassing for me, but I understand. I don’t know. Chefs are hot. I like chefs — I think they’re cool as shit. There’s something attractive about anybody who’s incredibly gifted at any skill,” he told Interview magazine last summer. “We didn’t expect the series to do so well. I was just walking around New York last summer, and all of a sudden, people were yelling, ‘Yes, chef’ — the two most-used words in fictional kitchens,” the actor told Variety.
Jeremy Allen White achieved global success with The Bear after years of tirelessly working and learning his craft. Raised in Brooklyn’s affluent Carroll Gardens neighborhood, he and younger sister Annabelle enjoyed a normal childhood free of the dark episodes, tragedies and embellishments often associated with showbiz success stories. From a young age, he displayed a passion for acting and dancing, and later enrolled in a Manhattan acting school.
At 18, he arrived in Los Angeles with a measure of professional acting experience, including his 2006 big-screen debut in Beautiful Ohio. Five years later, he landed a life-changing role in Shameless. Through 11 seasons and 134 episodes, Jeremy Allen White plays Lip Gallagher, one of the sons in a dysfunctional Chicago family headed by William H. Macy. Although he often wonders how playing the same character for so many years will affect his career, White says the experience was incredible. “There was a period where I stopped feeling like an actor and I started feeling like I was just here to do this show,” he told Variety in 2022.
The downside of fame
The success of The Bear brought a deluge of offers to the New Yorker, who will appear in three upcoming releases. Fingernails is a science fiction romance film that also stars Riz Ahmed. The Iron Claw is a biographical film about the Von Erich brothers, a professional wrestling dynasty in the early 1980s. The movie, featuring Zac Efron and Lily James, will be released in theaters in December. White stars as Kerry, a five-time world champion and member of the “cursed” Von Erich family.
Preparing for the role hasn’t been smooth sailing. Prior to shooting The Bear, White attended cooking school and spent several weeks in a Santa Monica restaurant with chef Dave Beran. “I started there as a fly on the wall, then I assisted with some food preparation. Toward the end, I was actually cooking some of the food that was served.” Food was also an important part of the preparation for White’s role in The Iron Claw, as he bulked up to play the wrestler role. “I was eating all the time. Like, never stopping,” he told Esquire. “In the morning, I would have waffles, almond butter. In the middle of the day. I was eating turkey patties and avocado all the time. It’s really just gross. You’re trying to consume as much as you possibly can, and, to be honest, you don’t feel great. I was training as well, but, I don’t know, trying to get that big, it’s no way to live.” His third project on the horizon is the feature film You Can’t Win, based on Jack Black’s novel of the same name, which is currently in post-production, according to IMDb.
Jeremy White Allen is also becoming more visible beyond the movie and TV screens. He has vocally supported the SAG-AFTRA strike and walked the picket lines with fellow actors and screenwriters.
On the flip side, White is also facing the downside of fame, with increasing media intrusion into his personal life during his divorce from actress Addison Timlin. They had been together since 2013 after meeting on the set of Afterschool in 2008. Their first daughter, Ezer Billy, was born in October 2018, and they tied the knot in an intimate ceremony in Beverly Hills the following year. In 2020, their family expanded with little Dolores. While they posted little on social media, they occasionally shared glimpses of their good relationship. When White won the Golden Globe last January, he ended his acceptance speech by sharing a loving message to his wife. “I love you deep in my bones, thank you for all that you do, thank you for everything that you’ve done,” he told her.
Fans were stunned by the news of their divorce last May. People magazine claimed it was Timlin who filed the divorce papers, although the reasons remain private. There was hope for reconciliation when pictures of the couple with their daughters surfaced in July. However, that hope was shattered when White was photographed kissing model Ashley Moore just a few weeks later.
After devoting over half of his life to acting, White is currently experiencing his greatest success. But rather than seeking validation from critical praise, White is looking inward. In an Actors on Actors interview with Jennifer Coolidge, he said, “It is upsetting, how much I feel sometimes in the moment I need validation from a director. The Bear has been successful and finally I’m feeling like, ‘Oh, OK. Maybe I belong a little bit.’ But it’s a shame that it took 15 years of acting.”
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