“Shameless“ fans have been clocking Jeremy Allen White for over a decade, throughout the show’s 11-season run on Showtime.
Now, the 31-year-old star is making headlines with his starring role as Carmy on FX’s “The Bear,” another Chicago-set show. Renewed for a second season less than a month after its premiere, “The Bear” has been hailed as the show of the summer and one of the best of the year.
Biography wise, Lip and Carmy are different — though, as one Twitter user pointed out, they are both “gritty Chicagoan smokers ... struggling to pay the bills.”
Carmen “Carmy” Berzatto on “The Bear” is a famous chef who moves home after inheriting his family deli from his brother, Michael, who recently died. Lip of “Shameless” is the second-oldest Gallagher child prone to making bad decisions.
But both have a similar appeal, perhaps falling into the category of “lovable scumbag.” Even White, talking to Vulture, said Carmy looked like a “scumbag,” though he wasn’t one on the inside.
Cigarette-smoking, white T-shirt-wearing, with hair covering their eyes, Lip and Carmy appear as if like they don’t care all that much how they look — yet people can’t stop looking at them. They’re scrappy, authoritative, dry-humored and, if denizens of internet commenters are to be believed ... sexy.
White, who isn’t on Twitter, said he’s been aware of the crescendo of, uh, support for his character.
“We do have a group text for the show and they are making me aware of it,” he told GQ.
Part of the appeal, for some Tweeters, is that White embodies the exact kind of person they want to move away from in real life, but still are drawn to.
Instead of the emotionally available, kind, respectful and organized men who might be “ready for love,” the fictional characters White plays are tortured, conflicted, and emotionally unavailable modern Heathcliffs — aka, perfect for fantasizing about, but probably not for actually dating.
"I have moved on from men that look like Jeremy Allen White because I have self esteem, BUT—there really is something about his hands," one Twitter user wrote.
As a result, people have mixed feelings over being drawn to White/Carmy. “The jeremy allen white thirst makes me feel so ashamed but it is also so universal that i can’t be TOO ashamed about it,” one Twitter user wrote.
Meanwhile, “Shameless” fans are wondering what took the rest of us so long. “I’m still recovering from the level of thirst Jeremy Allen White awoke in me as Lip Gallagher… watching him as a tattooed chef would ruin me,” one Twitter user wrote.
Ironically, for all the lust-infused chatter surrounding Carmy, “The Bear” features nothing of the sort: No sexual tension, no side eyes, no stolen kisses. There is absolutely no romance in Season One of “The Bear.”
What there is, however, is cooking. And as White put it to Vulture, “Chefs are hot.” In addition to people who work within the restaurant industry applauding the show’s depiction of the pressures (and toxic environment) of fine dining, viewers in the service industry say the show got the chef aesthetic right.
It's worth noting that White is not his fictional characters ... even if he looks like them. In real life, White is married to actor Addison Timlin and shares two daughters with her. They met in high school, per his interview with GQ.
One could say Timlin called it first.. Needless to say — if you’re newly interested in Jeremy Allen White, get in line, y’all.