Monday, May 20, 2024

How a running joke led to The Bear star Ayo Edebiri thanking Ireland at the Critics’ Choice Awards

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The 28-year-old has already won a Golden Globe and was nominated for an Emmy for her role as chef Sydney Adamu in the series.

Her acceptance speech at the Critics Choice Awards saw her thank both Barbados and Nigeria – where her parents are from – as well as Ireland.

The actress has continued a long-running joke from a red carpet interview which saw her share her experience working on the set of The Banshees of Inisherin as Jenny the donkey.

The role of Jenny was played by actual donkey, but it has not stopped the internet from taking the joke and running with it.

Ayo Edebiri as Jenny the Donkey

“Preparing for that? I lived in Ireland – ‘Ireland’ – for about four months,” she told an interviewer on the red carpet last year, imitating an Irish accent.

“And I got really into character and I was on all fours for four months and it was really painful but beautiful as well and it was probably the most fulfilling part of my career.

“And I’m so happy for everybody going to the Oscars even though I deserved the nomination more than anybody else because I was obviously a donkey for four months.

“Oh my god, sorry,” she added, swapping back to her American accent. “I literally – I was there, you know what I mean? I slipped back into it. Yeah. But it was very fulfilling.

“It was very fulfilling and I want little girls out there everywhere to know that they, too, can be a donkey one day.”

Since the interview, Edebiri has been embraced as one of Ireland’s own, with the star last night thanking the critics, her family, fellow castmates and crew and relatives abroad.

“To everybody in Boston, Barbados, Nigeria – Ireland, in many ways – thank you so much, I love you,” she said.

Reacting to the speech online, social media users have praised Edebiri as the “people’s princess” and “a Derry girl”.

“I hope Ayo Edebiri develops a career long relationship with the country of Ireland and what was once a joke becomes something lasting and tender, I just think it would be neat,” one said.

Others appeared fooled by the joke, with some asking: “Wait, she’s not actually Irish?”

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