When everyone was in Chicago, Poulter and Boyce bonded, walking around downtown Chicago and hanging out at the Chicago Athletic Association, where Boyce played (and won) chess. Along with Youssef, the actors decided they weren’t going to play into the “grit” of the mentor and student relationship between Lionel and Luca. “The way it’s written it could be either way,” Youssef says. “But it was kind of really cool to shape it in a way where it was just this honest connection.” While Luca is initially standoffish, he and Marcus open up to each other as they tweeze hazelnuts and mold dough in one of the season’s best scenes.
On set in the kitchen of Chicago’s After, the sister bar to Michelin-starred Ever, Poulter was intimidated by Boyce’s preparation. After all, Poulter was supposed to be playing the more seasoned chef, but Boyce was the one who had trained in Copenhagen. Boyce insists Poulter is being modest. “He’s playing it down,” Boyce says. “He came in with these white chocolate cookies that he made, and I was jealous because these were some of the best cookies.”
“I got a bit obsessed with trying to perfect the cookie recipe,” Poulter admits, noting that he settled on one from Bon Appétit.
Unlike Youssef and Boyce, Poulter didn’t get a chance to travel to Copenhagen before playing a chef who works and lives there. He had, however, just gotten back from a visit when we spoke. He went armed with a list of establishments provided by co-executive producer Cooper Wehde based on where Youssef and Boyce had already been. He walked into one place, the wine bar Pompette, and was asked if he was there because of The Bear. “I was like, ‘Oh what do you mean?'” Poulter recalls. “He was like, ‘Oh, they shot in here,’ and I didn’t even know that. Then I was a bit worried that I would look like that guy who was retracing the sets of the show.”
That didn’t hinder his experience, however. “Copenhagen is just full of some of the best food going,” he says. “And also the nicest people. The level of hospitality is crazy.”
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How Ramy Youssef, Lionel Boyce, and Will Poulter Made ‘The Bear’ Season 2’s Incredible Copenhagen Episode