Emmy Rossum, the star of the hit Showtime series Shameless, has revealed that she still gets yelled at on the street because of something her character, Fiona, did many seasons ago.
The 30-year-old Golden Globe nominee recently sat down with fellow actresses Minnie Driver, Pamela Adlon, America Ferrera, Issa Rae, and Kathryn Hahn for The Hollywood Reporter‘s annual Comedy Actress Roundtable. Their revealing conversation included topics like gender equality in Hollywood, the awkwardness of filming sex scenes, and the hazards of taking on certain roles.
When asked if she considers a character’s likeability before she accepts a part, Rossum answered that she doesn’t really mind.
“My character on Shameless— ’cause it has been so many seasons now — has gone through so much,” Emmy said.
“I went to jail for cocaine and overdosed a toddler and still found the humanity in that. I guess there was a moment where I thought, ‘Oh, God, is everyone going to hate me?’ And then I felt like, ‘Who cares?’ Whatever anybody takes away from it is a reflection on them, not you.”
And yet, the Shameless actress admitted playing the role of Fiona Gallagher hasn’t been without its setbacks.
“People scream at me like, ‘F**k you, Fiona, you overdosed that baby.’ They actually think you’re that person.”
Back in the fourth season of Shameless, Liam, the youngest Gallagher sibling, overdosed and almost died when he got into some cocaine left behind by one of Fiona’s lovers. Fortunately, Debbie (Emma Kenney) found him, and he was brought to the hospital before it was too late. After the incident, Fiona was arrested at the hospital and jailed. She was subsequently tried for child abuse and drug possession. Because of the overdose, Liam might have suffered brain damage, which might explain why he almost never talked.
This month, a post from the Instagram account of the child actors who played Liam suggested that they are leaving Shameless, and the role is being recast. This has led to speculation that Liam will have aged significantly by the time Shameless Season 8 premieres and/or that the character could finally speak when the series returns.
Meanwhile, during the THR Roundtable, Emmy Rossum also talked about a truly cringe-worthy experience that exemplified how actresses in Hollywood are treated.
“[M]y agent called me and was like, ‘I’m so embarrassed to make this call, but there’s a big movie and they’re going to offer it to you. They really love your work on the show. But the director wants you to come into his office in a bikini. There’s no audition. That’s all you have to do.”
Rossum said that she was baffled by the request, given that she had been showing off her body over seven seasons of Shameless. According to the actress, she realized that the director just wanted to see if she had gotten fat. She still gave him the benefit of the doubt and asked to see the script, thinking that maybe the role did involve having to wear a bikini in the movie.
Unfortunately, Emmy learned that the character would not be in a bikini or be naked in the film.
“‘We really love your work, but we just want to see how tight your ass is,'” the actress quipped.
“Are you f**king kidding me? Last time I checked, I’m not a f**king model.”
Rossum also talked about her fight for salary parity with William H. Macy, her Shameless co-star. In December of 2016, it was revealed that Emmy Rossum was locked in a contract dispute with the producers of Shameless over her request to be paid a salary equal to that of Macy’s. The matter was resolved by the end of that year, and Shameless was renewed for Season 8 not long after.
According to Rossum, while the negotiation with the producers took some time, there were no problems between her and Macy. In fact, she revealed, it was Macy who was the most supportive of her move.
Filming for Shameless Season 8 started this month. The upcoming season is currently without an official release date, but the show is expected to return sometime in the fall.
[Featured Image by Bryan Bedder/Getty Images]