Emma Kenney Opens Up About ‘Shameless’ Season 8 And ‘Roseanne’ Reboot

As Gallagher family fanatics know, Shameless Season 8 is in full force with the first two episodes already airing and the third episode airing tonight. Emma Kenney, known best for her role as Debbie Gallagher, recently made headlines for landing the role of Darlene and David’s 16-year-old daughter, Harris, for the Roseanne reboot.

Jean Bentley of Cosmopolitan recently caught up with the with the young Shameless star with the hope of discussing the premiere of Season 8, her role as Debbie Gallagher, and her new role in the Roseanne reboot.

While Emma Kenney is just 18-years-old – landing the role of Debbie Gallagher when she was just 10 – she claims to feel as though she’s a grandma. According to Kenney, she has little desire to go out and party.

“Nothing sounds worse than having to be surrounded by people you don’t like in a sequined dress.”

While those who follow the Shameless star on social media platforms know, she’s a little more social than she let on during the interview; she does share a lot of pictures of her curled up at home with her cat, Cheddar, and her dog, Charlie, as she streams TV shows and movies from her laptop.

Emma Kenney has starred in the role of Debbie Gallagher in Shameless since the series started eight years ago. As those who follow Shameless news know, the series was recently renewed for Season 9. While Season 8 is currently airing on television, Emma is hard at work filming scenes for the Roseanne reboot.

Many fans of Emma agree she’s a spitting image of Darlene (played by Sara Gilbert) when she was younger, so she was a very fitting actress to give this role to.

During the interview, the Shameless star noted it was not lost on her that both Shameless and Roseanne have some similarities in regards to being about families with less than ideal situations when it comes to finances.

“And I’ve been told that about Shameless often. It’s cool to see not only the rich kid make it. Not everybody’s life is like Gossip Girl. You’re not always going to look super glamorous in the morning when you wake up. Everything’s not perfect.”

Kenney opened up about how her role in Shameless allowed her to continue to live somewhat of a normal life that would have been lost if she had been the star in something more kid-friendly – such as something Disney related.


After all, when Kenney was hanging out with other 10-year-olds when the show started, they wouldn’t have recognized her from the show, as Shameless is not really a show that kids should be watching. So, in a lot of ways, Emma is grateful for the semi-normal life she was able to live growing up thanks to her role in Shameless.


The young Shameless star also took a few moments to open up about the recent pay dispute with her co-star Emmy Rossum. There was a period of time when fans were not sure if Emmy would continue her role as Fiona Gallagher – Emma’s older sister on the show – because Emmy wanted equal pay to her co-star, William H. Macy.

Emma Kenney interview [Image by Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP Images]

Kenney, like most of Emmy’s other co-stars – including Macy – supported Emmy on her quest for equal pay. In fact, Emma was thrilled her co-star was so public with the pay dispute with the hopes it would make a difference for other females in Hollywood.

Shameless Season 8, Episode 3, airs tonight on Showtime.

[Featured Image by Steve Cohn/Invision for Focus Features/AP Images]