What connects The Bear star Ebon Moss-Bachrach and poet Simon Armitage?

Someone great

Ebon Moss-Bachrach
The Bear star Ebon Moss-Bachrach … Photograph: Getty Images

Sometimes you suddenly start seeing an actor everywhere, and so it is for Ebon Moss-Bachrach. He’s having a fine year, kicking off with a role in The Dropout, the series about blood-test grifter Elizabeth Holmes. Next, he nearly stole the show as the combustible Richie in The Bear, the unexpectedly gripping drama about a Chicago diner. He also appears in Andor, the latest prestige TV iteration of the Star Wars Cinematic Universe (all three are on Disney+).

Industrious Dunham

Lena Dunham
… also appeared in Girls by Lena Dunham, who directed the pilot of Industry … Photograph: Getty Images

In some people’s eyes, Moss-Bachrach will always be associated with Desi, the musician he played in Lena Dunham’s Girls. He also appeared in her not brilliantly received recent film Sharp Stick. In 2020, Dunham directed the pilot of compulsive BBC/HBO financial drama Industry, which recently returned for a second season.

More money, more problems

Many awful rich people will keep making money is among the dark messages of Industry, a series conceived by former bankers Mickey Down and Konrad Kay. Another message: turns out gen Z/millennials can be bankers and Tories, too – and that they have feelings. Among the roster of directors on the series is Caleb Femi, who exists in the rare Venn diagram overlap of poet and director. His 2020 book Poor won a Forward prize for poetry, in the first collection category.

Onward to victory

Other Forward prize winners include Simon Armitage, who snagged the first collection award in 1992, its inaugural year. Who could forget Armitage’s acrostic in honour of the Queen’s death? During the An Inconvenient Truth era of climate activism, Climate of Change was a documentary directed by Brian Hill with a text by Armitage narrated by Tilda Swinton.

No one does it better

Tony Gilroy
… who won an Oscar for Michael Clayton, directed by Tony Gilroy, who is also behind Andor, featuring Ebon Moss-Bachrach. Photograph: WireImage

Not many films this century surpass Tony Gilroy’s 2007 corporate espionage drama Michael Clayton, which earned Swinton an Oscar. Gilroy has a particular flair for this line of work, having worked on the Bourne films. Gilroy is also the brains behind the spy-thriller tinged Andor, featuring our current star Ebon Moss-Bachrach, alongside Stellan Skarsgård and Genevieve O’Reilly, with Diego Luna leading the line as the rogue one.

Pairing notes

Watch Back in Wes Anderson’s imperial era, you can see Moss-Bachrach in a small role as a hotel bellhop alongside Gene Hackman’s rogue patriarch in The Royal Tenenbaums.

Eat It’s not possible to watch Richie in The Bear without getting hungry: a companion YouTube series explains how to whip up the recipes – from spaghetti pomodoro to chicken piccata.