Lionel Boyce on Marcus’ Journey on ‘The Bear’: ‘He Is Not OK In the Way That He Thinks He Is’

Starting his career as part of the alt hip hop collective Odd Future, Lionel Boyce has developed into a bonafide acting talent playing pastry chef Marcus on the FX TV series “The Bear.” During Season 2, Marcus got to spread his wings by traveling to Copenhagen to study under chefs who’ve worked with Jeremy Allen White’s Carmy, but in Season 3, despite returning as a staple to the newly opened restaurant, Marcus is also carrying the weight of losing his mother and not being there when it happened. In a recent interview with The Hollywood Reporter, Boyce shared his view on Marcus’ struggles and how audiences tend to place their own perspective on the characters.

“I think he’s OK, but he’s still in the part of grief that feels like after you hurt yourself and get up real quick, and you’re like, ‘Yep I can walk,’ Boyce said of Marcus losing his mother and jumping back into work. “The adrenaline is still there, and you haven’t processed everything. It’s the truth and a lie at the same time. I think he’s coping. He’s going to bury himself in work, but the more I talk about it the more I realize that he is not OK in the way that he thinks he is. It’s a long journey, and over the course of the season, only a few months have gone by. The grief has layers, and it finds different ways to puncture and pierce you, and you add on new armor until you’re fully covered.”

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Boyce admitted he knew showrunner Chris Storer would kill off his mother, giving his character the challenge of having to deal with emotional fallout, but in general, he tries not to think about where the writers want to take Marcus and believes audiences shouldn’t either.

“I think about in season one, there was no romance. People were like, ‘Oh what about Marcus and Sydney?’ said Boyce to THR. “And it was just like, ‘Nope.’ Then, in season two, there was a little bit of that, but Chris cut it off. I do wonder if the audience plays into that at all. But Chris is really in his own world, in a good way, so I don’t know how much he’s reading. Sometimes it can come off like he’s teaching us a lesson for having a theory, but I think as far as people reading into romance on the show, we just have those instincts because we see so much of it on TV. So we’re impressing that onto the show even though it’s not there.”

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