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'The Bear' star Ayo Edebiri keeps thanking Ireland in awards acceptance speeches, interviews. Why?

The Bear star Ayo Edebiri accepts her award for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series onstage during the 75th Emmy Awards. (Photo by VALERIE MACON/AFP via Getty Images)

Before The Bear actress Ayo Edebiri won an Emmy for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series on Jan. 15, she walked the red carpet. In an interview with Entertainment Tonight, she looked into the camera and said, “Shout out to my people! Shout out to Derry, shout out to Cork! Shout out to Killarney, shout out to Dublin!”

It’s not unusual for celebrities to take the opportunity to call out friends, family and supporters. But what is unusual, and a testament to Edebiri’s commitment to jokes, is that Edebiri is not Irish.

It’s not the first time she’s called out the country, either.

“To everybody in Boston, Barbados, Nigeria, Ireland in many ways,” she said in her acceptance speech at the Critics Choice Awards on Jan. 14. “Thank you so much.”

It stems from a March 2023 interview with Letterboxd at South by Southwest in which Edebiri joked she played “Jenny the donkey” in the film The Banshees of Inisherin, an Ireland-set film that was nominated for Best Picture at the 2023 Oscars. The bit went beyond claiming she played the character; Edebiri slipped into a little Irish accent and said she spent months training for the role on all fours.

“I lived in Ireland for about four months and I got really in character,” she joked. “I was on all fours for four months and it was really painful, but beautiful, as well.”

Edebiri was not involved with The Banshees of Inisherin but has had a jokey and very “online” relationship with Letterboxd for years. The “social network for film lovers” invites users to track and rate every movie they watch and is filled with meme references and quips that would normally be found on X, formally known as Twitter.

In her review of The Departed, Edebiri put her comedic chops on display.

“So, I was the dialect coach on this movie but ONLY for the word ‘microprocessors,’” she wrote. “I taught everyone how to say the word microprocessors in the funniest way possible and I did an amazing job.”

“Ari Aster, if you read this, please DM me!!” she said in her review for Beau Is Afraid. “I would like to connect you to a prayer line!”

Edebiri’s sense of humor has also confused the general public before, too. In a January 2023 appearance on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert, Edebiri explained that she thought it would be funny to start telling people she was the showrunner for Chuck Lorre's The Kominsky Method.

“On Twitter, I had it in my bio as well,” she told Colbert. Her X account has since been made private. “I just thought what an incredible world that would be if a young Black woman in her mid-20s created this show where Michael Douglas and Alan Arkin are acting. Have I watched a single episode? No. But I already get the gist.”

The Banshees of Inisherin Letterboxd interview didn’t necessarily go viral — the video has 713,000 views as of Wednesday morning — but struck a chord with a lot of people online who are now utilizing Edebiri’s award wins and press to make inside jokes about it.

An X account dedicated to covering film in Dublin congratulated Edebiri on her recent BAFTA Rising Star Award nomination.

Will the joke ever die down? Usually, when brands, companies or certain public figures try to get in on internet memes or jokes, it seemingly loses its fun. As Edebiri continues to clean up at awards shows, she may just keep it going.