The Bear star Ayo Edebiri says she had a ‘blast’ directing her first episode

Ayo Edebiri has opened up about her debut as director in season three of The Bear, describing it as the “peak of artistic collaboration”.

The third season of the popular FX restaurant drama, which follows Jeremy Allen White’s award-winning chef Carmen “Carmy” Berzatto as he attempts to transform his late brother’s Chicago sandwich shop into a fine dining destination, returned on 26 June.

Edebiri, who has won a Golden Globe, a Screen Actors Guild award, and an Emmy for her role as sous chef Sydney, directed episode six, titled Napkins.

The episode follows Liza Colón-Zayas’s character Tina Marrero, who starts as a line cook at the restaurant and works her way up to becoming a sous chef.

Edebiri described working with the cast and crew as a “blast” and talked about how much she learnt from each member.

“I feel like I got a master class in acting from Liza and from the other actors who got to grace the screen," she told Variety.

“I feel like I learned so much from our crew, from our camera department…just from everybody.

“It was really a blast and an honour to get to helm an episode that showcases everything that Liza can do. I mean, not even everything, like a fraction of the things that she can do. She’s such a powerhouse.”

Abby Elliott, Jeremy Allen White, Molly Gordon, Jeanie Bacharach, Matty Matheson, Oliver Platt, Ebon Moss-Bachrach, Richard Esteras, Jose M Cervantes, Corey Hendrix, Edwin Lee Gibson, Liza Colón-Zayas, Ayo Edebiri and L-Boy, winners of the Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Comedy Series award for ‘The Bear’, at the 30th Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards (Getty)

Talking about what it felt like being directed by Edebiri, Colón-Zayas called her “fearless”.

“She’s open, smart and fearless. So fearless that I was watching and putting ideas in my head like, ‘Why can’t I just be so fearless and know that I could take chances like that.’ She sailed through it.”

On what it felt like being on the other side of the camera, Edebiri said it gave her a new appreciation for the art and effort behind making television.

“I love our cast but being able to collaborate with them from a different vantage point gave me so much more appreciation for them but also appreciation for the sheer amount of effort it takes to make television,” she told the BBC.

“It really is such a powerful and beautiful machine.”

The Independent’s Nick Hilton gave the third season three stars, saying the “frenetic drama feels stuck in a loop of its own creation”.

“Kicking off with an avant-garde first episode, the Chicago-set Emmy winner seems to be losing its way,” he wrote.

“To be a victim of your own success requires you to achieve something. And while ’Part III’ of The Bear (as the show styles it) doesn’t hit the heights of episodes like ‘Fishes’ or ‘Forks’, it is still a serviceable frenzy of culinary panache.”

The Bear is available to stream on Hulu in the US and Disney+ in the UK.