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The Bear S2: Jamie Lee Curtis Thinks Playing Carmy's Mom Is The Role Of A Lifetime

Contains spoilers for Season 2 of "The Bear"

Season 2 of "The Bear" is many things — a perfect evolution of its first season and a series of episodes that includes a few much-needed breaths of fresh air — but one thing it definitely is? Absolutely stacked with wild guest stars. This includes Jamie Lee Curtis, who, in an episode told totally in flashback — the season's sixth episode "Fishes" — plays the extraordinarily difficult mother to Carmy (Jeremy Allen White), Natalie (Abby Elliott), and the now-deceased Mikey (Jon Bernthal) Berzatto.

In an Instagram post after Season 2 dropped on Hulu, Curtis said that when she first saw "The Bear," she knew she wanted to be a part of it. After saying the secret is out and that every family has issues like the Berzattos, Curtis said she always felt destined to be on the series.

"When I saw the first episode of the first show, last summer and Sugar [Natalie] asks Carmen if he had spoken to their mother, in that second I knew that I would play her," Curtis revealed. "Don't ask me how. I just knew. A year later, after the wild success of the brilliant 1st season, [showrunner] Chris Storer offered me the role of a lifetime. There's not a person alive who won't relate to what it feels like to be around someone like Donna Berzatto. I certainly have my own experiences. That's what makes the show so magnificent. We can relate and commiserate and celebrate all of our communal survival in this thing called.... life. Thank you Chris ... and the ENTIRE BEAR family of creative human beings and scene partners for allowing me in to let it rip!"

Jamie Lee Curtis is larger than life on The Bear as Donna Berzatto

During her two appearances on Season 2 of "The Bear," Curtis, a beloved Hollywood veteran, transforms herself into the ugliest force of nature you could possibly imagine as Donna, a woman clearly suffering from a myriad of mental health issues who takes it out on her children. She has nothing but contempt for Natalie, whom she nicknamed "Sugar" after an incident with some gravy, she babies Mikey, and her feelings towards Carmy — who pissed off his family at large by moving to Copenhagen to work in a Michelin-starred restaurant — are somewhere in between. Insisting on cooking the traditional Italian feast of the seven fishes without any help at Christmas, Donna is a hurricane in the kitchen, chainsmoking, guzzling wine, and smearing butter onto garlic bread with her bare hands. (Hope the Berzattos like a side of ash with their appetizers.) This all gets worse and worse, but when Natalie makes the fatal mistake of asking her mom if she's "okay," Donna breaks a plate, storms out, and crashes the car into the side of the house. Merry Christmas to all!

Donna then reappears during the Season 2 finale, "The Bear," while Carmy and Natalie are kicking off the first night at their new restaurant with an evening for friends and family. She can't bring herself to go in, though; as she tells Natalie's sweet husband Pete (Chris Witaske), she doesn't want to ruin the night. Ultimately, Donna leaves crying, and Pete doesn't tell Natalie that her mother showed up at all.

Lately, Jamie Lee Curtis has been on top of the world

Jamie Lee Curtis — the daughter of Hollywood legends Tony Curtis and Janet Leigh — has been working in the industry for several decades, but recently, she's had a winning streak that continues with her surprise appearance on "The Bear." In early 2023, Curtis won her very first Academy Award (after her first nomination, no less) for her supporting turn in the multiverse masterpiece "Everything Everywhere All at Once," which also netted awards for her co-stars Michelle Yeoh and Ke Huy Quan as well as the night's biggest trophy for Best Picture. (It can and has been argued, though, that she should have already had an Oscar for a very different movie.)

With an Oscar under her belt, Curtis is even more in demand, and yet she's still finding time to return to her roots; on either chronological side of "Everything Everywhere All at Once," Curtis starred in and served as executive producer for 2021's "Halloween Kills" and 2022's "Halloween Ends," continuing her role as scream queen Laurie Strode. She's set to appear in the "Haunted Mansion" movie alongside stars like Danny DeVito, Tiffany Haddish, and Owen Wilson, as well as Eli Roth's "Borderlands" adaptation with Cate Blanchett and Kevin Hart — and who knows? Maybe we'll see more of Donna on future seasons of "The Bear."