‘Shameless’ Star William H. Macy Moves From Drunk Dad To Fish Bait

Warning: This article may contain spoilers for tonight’s Shameless premiere.

Premiering its seventh season tonight, Shameless tells the story of alcoholic Frank Gallagher, played by veteran actor William H. Macy, and his children as they try to cope with life under their drunk dad’s rule. While Macy has certainly shined in this latest role, expertly blending comedy and drama, the Shameless star reveals he’s not moving behind the camera to take a turn at directing.

Meanwhile, Shameless showrunner Nancy Pimental opens up about the new season and responds to rumors that the series might soon be saying its farewell.

Shameless Star William H. Macy In The Director’s Chair

When Shameless left off last season, Frank went on a drunken tirade, crashing his daughter’s wedding and let loose a string of comments that would have been best left unsaid, before being dumped into the river and left for dead. Now, as Shameless returns for Season 7, William Macy tells Vulture that his return from the watery grave required filming one of the greatest cinematic feats in the history of the series. It also required Mr. Macy to get wet.

“We went to a deep swimming pool, they lit it, they dressed it in black, and they had a diver there to help me,” the Shameless star explained. “He’d pull me down to the bottom and I’d just hold my breathe – there was also something on the bottom I could hook my feet to – and then act away, act away, act away.”

The scene took some time to film and Macy reveals that he wasn’t the only one feeling the pains of having to film that scene throughout an entire day. The fish nibbling at his crotch were real, not CGI generated images. The Shameless actor says the fish had been trained for scenes such as Frank’s river walk in Shameless. It takes a month to train the fish, Mr. Macy reveals, but as they don’t live long, it’s expected that the fish actors will die soon after completing their work.

“It took over a month to train all those guppies, ’cause, you know, guppies, they don’t live long,” says Mr. Macy. “They get the gig and they then die.”

Shameless Showrunner Nancy Pimental On Season 7 And The Inevitable End

In opening Season 7 of Shameless and answering fans’ concerns over whether or not Frank was dead, series showrunner Nancy Pimental reveals to TV Line that it was never the intention to kill off Frank. Certainly, Shameless fans were meant to ponder that option, but only enough that they would become emotionally invested in Frank’s underwater existence. Nancy says that was important because the underwater scene was going to be as emotional as it was funny.

Fiona Gallagher (Emmy Rossum), much like her siblings, is desperate to get Frank out of her life in both a physical and an emotional sense, but the Shameless showrunner suggests that the bonds that tie run even deeper for Frank’s offspring. Nancy says the Shameless characters see themselves acting very much like Frank, in spite of not wanting to be like him at all. It’s partially a hereditary aspect, so when they do see themselves making mistakes similar to actions Frank might take, they instantly change their course.

Speaking of which, Pimental was asked about the course of Shameless and just how much longer she envisions running the series, considering Shameless has been on the air for seven seasons. She says that topic has been discussed and feels hopeful that there will at least be a Season 8 for Shameless.

“When you have this many characters in a family where the dynamics are changing, people are growing, it could go on indefinitely. So we’ve talked about all options, [including] wrapping it up in a year or two,” says Pimental. “Or do we have more stories in us, because we have so many characters?”

Shameless airs Sundays on Showtime.

[Featured Image by Showtime]