Every Guest Star in 'The Bear' Season 2, Explained

This year's hit show of the summer includes top-tier food porn, peeks into the world of fine dining, and so many guest stars.

still from the bear season 2 with Will Poulter
(Image credit: Chuck Hodes/FX)

This year's hit show of the summer includes top-tier food porn, peeks into the edge-of-your-seat world of fine dining, and so. many. guest stars. The Bear returned for its second season on June 22, and the new episodes take the chefs out of the kitchen following its kinetic, stress-inducing first round, which followed Michelin-starred chef Carmy (Jeremy Allen White) as he returned home to Chicago to run the family dive his deceased brother left him in his will. Season 2 comes back bigger and better, thanks to the always-stellar performances of its breakout cast, and the stunning number of A-listers who pop up throughout the season, ranging from rising young stars, to esteemed comedians, to multiple Oscar winners. Read on to learn more about every guest star of The Bear season 2.

Molly Gordon as Claire

molly gordon the bear season 2

(Image credit: FX)

Gordon joins the show as Claire, Carmy's old childhood friend and new love interest. Though he views the burgeoning relationship as a distraction, everyone around him hopes he finds some happiness outside of work. Gordon's best known for starring in the films Booksmart, You People, and Shiva Baby. She's also a co-writer, co-director, and star in the upcoming indie film Theater Camp.

Instagram: @mollsterg

Robert Townsend as Emmanuel Adamu

screenshot from the bear season 2 with Robert Townsend

(Image credit: FX)

Sydney's patient, well-meaning father Emmanuel is played by Robert Townsend, an actor, writer, director, and producer. Among the films he's directed include the 1987 indie Hollywood Shuffle, 1993 superhero film The Meteor Man, 1991 musical biopic The Five Heartbeats, and 1997 comedy B.A.P.S.

Instagram: @iamroberttownsend

Will Poulter as Chef Luca

still from the bear season 2 with Will Poulter

(Image credit: Chuck Hodes/FX)

When pastry chef Marcus travels to Copenhagen to stage (restaurant-speak for a brief unpaid internship) in a world-famous restaurant, he's taught by Luca (above, right), played by Will Poulter. The British actor made his major film debut in The Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader, and has since appeared in the Maze Runner franchise, Hereditary, Dopesick, and Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3.

Instagram: @willpoulter

Jon Bernthal as Michael Berzatto

still from the bear season 2 with Jon Bernthal

(Image credit: Chuck Hodes/FX)

Carmy's late brother Michael, the former owner of the family restaurant who left it to Carmy in his will, returns for another appearance this season. 

Jamie Lee Curtis as Donna Berzatto

jamie lee curtis the bear season 2

(Image credit: Chuck Hodes/FX)

Carmy's brother Michael, the deceased former owner of the family restaurant who left it to Carmy in his will, returns for another appearance this season. He's played by Bernthal, a prolific actor who previously starred in the Netflix antihero show The Punisher alongside Richie actor Ebon Moss-Bachrach. (Fun fact: His former co-star and real-life friend suggested him for the role of Michael.) Bernthal is best known for starring in early seasons of The Walking Dead, as well as the films The Wolf of Wall Street, Ford v Ferrari, The Many Saints of Newark, and King Richard.

Instagram: @jonnybernthal

Sarah Paulson as Cousin Michelle

sarah paulson the bear season 2

(Image credit: FX)

The Berzattos' cousin Michelle is portrayed by Paulson, an Emmy winner known for her work in multiple seasons of the Ryan Murphy anthologies American Horror Story and American Crime Story. She has also appeared in the films Glass, Bird Box, Carol, and 12 Years a Slave.

Instagram: @mssarahcatharinepaulson

John Mulaney as Stevie

john mulaney the bear season 2

(Image credit: FX)

Michelle's Christmas date Stevie is played by Mulaney, an actor, comedian, and Chicago native who wrote on Saturday Night Live from 2008 to 2013. He's best known for his Netflix comedy specials The Comeback Kid, Kid Gorgeous, and Baby J, as well as his and Nick Kroll's comedy act Oh, Hello, which has appeared on several Comedy Central shows and in the filmed Broadway special of the same name. 

Instagram: @johnmulaney

Gillian Jacobs as Tiffany Jerimovich

gillian jacobs the bear season 2

(Image credit: Chuck Hodes/FX)

We also finally meet Richie's ex-wife Tiffany during the Christmas flashback episode, which takes at a period where the couple is still married and Tiffany is pregnant with their daughter Eva. Tiff is played by Jacobs, who's best known for starring as Britta Perry in the NBC sitcom Community. She has also starred in several Netflix projects, including the rom-com series Love, the period drama Transatlantic, and the horror film trilogy Fear Street.

Bob Odenkirk as Uncle Lee

bob odenkirk the bear season 2

(Image credit: FX)

Rounding out the stellar surprise appearances in "Fishes," Odenkirk plays Lee, another Christmas guest who seems to be an honorary uncle rather than a blood-related relative (similar to how Richie isn't related to the Berzattos by blood). The Illinois native also started his career as a writer for Saturday Night Live, and worked mostly in comedy before beginning his 13-year stint playing lawyer Saul Goodman (real name Jimmy McGill) on Breaking Bad and Better Call Saul.

Instagram: @threalbobodenkirk

Olivia Colman as Chef Terry

olivia colman the bear season 2

(Image credit: FX)

Richie is also sent off to stage at a Michelin-star restaurant, which is run by the impressive head chef Terry. She's played by British actress Olivia Colman, who won an Oscar for playing Queen Anne in the irreverent period film The Favourite. Among her numerous acting credits are the films Hot Fuzz, Empire of Light, The Iron Lady, The Lobster, and The Lost Daughter, as well as the series Broadchurch, Fleabag, The Night Manager, Landscapers, and Heartstopper. She also portrayed Queen Elizabeth during seasons 3 and 4 of the Netflix biopic The Crown.

Joel McHale as NYC Chef

screenshot from the bear

(Image credit: FX)

Community alum McHale makes a brief return appearance as the toxic star chef who was Carmy's former boss (and whose verbal abuse now haunts Carmy when he's stressed). The actor, comedian, and television host previously appeared in the series Santa Clarita Diet and The X-Files. He also hosted the E! show The Soup from 2004-2015, and serves as an occasional guest panelist on The Masked Singer.

Instagram: @joelmchale

Contributing Culture Editor

Quinci is a Contributing Culture Editor who writes pieces and helps to strategize editorial content across TV, movies, music, theater, and pop culture. She contributes interviews with talent, as well as SEO content, features, and trend stories. She fell in love with storytelling at a young age, and eventually discovered her love for cultural criticism and amplifying awareness for underrepresented storytellers across the arts. She previously served as a weekend editor for Harper’s Bazaar, where she covered breaking news and live events for the brand’s website, and helped run the brand’s social media platforms, including Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter. Her freelance writing has also appeared in outlets including HuffPost, The A.V. Club, Elle, Vulture, Salon, Teen Vogue, and others. Quinci earned her degree in English and Psychology from The University of New Mexico. She was a 2021 Eugene O’Neill Critics Institute fellow, and she is a member of the Television Critics Association. She is currently based in her hometown of Los Angeles. When she isn't writing or checking Twitter way too often, you can find her studying Korean while watching the latest K-drama, recommending her favorite shows and films to family and friends, or giving a concert performance while sitting in L.A. traffic.