"Gromit loves business," the Emmy-nominated ‘The Bear’ star Ayo Edebiri tells PEOPLE of her dog Gromit
Ayo Edebiri can't talk about her rise to Hollywood It-girl status without mentioning her secret to staying grounded amid it all: her chihuahua mix, Gromit.
"He considers himself a part of my team," Edebiri, 27, jokes of the rescue dog. "Gromit loves business."
In an exclusive interview with PEOPLE (conducted in June before the SAG-AFTRA actors' strike), the comedian, writer, and Emmy-nominated star of The Bear opens up about how "getting a dog is simultaneously one of the best and worst things that's ever happened to me."
"It's so good for routine," she explains, to bring Gromit to her varied creative endeavors, from the writers' rooms of Dickinson and What We Do in the Shadows to the sets of films like this summer's Bottoms (in theaters Aug. 25) and Theater Camp. "I love bringing Gromit because I know that even if I'm in a different place, there's one thing that will be the same every day: I have a dog, and he must be walked, and he must be fed."
Edebiri adds, "I've been lucky enough to be on sets where they know Gromit, and they love Gromit, like The Bear." She reveals that the hit Hulu series' creator and showrunner Christopher Storer even invites the dog into his office during production.
"They have a dynamic," she says with a smile. "Gromit is a tiny, little Chihuahua, so he's got a lot of opinions and often will be very barky." But one day on The Bear set, Edebiri remembers, the pooch was nowhere to be seen or heard.
"I was like, why haven't I seen Gromit?" she says. "And one of our producers said, 'Come into the office and take a look at this.' And Gromit was just so chill on Chris's lap while Chris was rolling calls, planning out the season. Chris was like, 'Yeah, we take calls together.'"
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Gromit likes to pal around with other pups on set, too, Edebiri adds. While filming the Emma Seligman-directed high school comedy Bottoms, for example, Gromit bonded with actress Kaia Gerber's dog Milo and costume designer Eunice Jera Lee's dog Moose.
"They were buddies, and they hung out in the costume truck," says Edebiri. "And the costume girls made them all football jerseys at the end of the shoot! It was very ridiculous."
All in all, Gromit is "just the best," she concludes. And he's critical to a sense of work-life balance, especially amid the whirlwind of film and TV success (among Edebiri's many upcoming projects is Marvel's Thunderbolts in 2024).
"I love to work, I love what I do, I love to be serious about it," she says. "But also, if I don't give myself the freedom to check in with myself, to also not work, to just breathe, then it all is a bit meaningless to "me."
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