Emmy Rossum and William H. Macy: Shameless Again
By Victoria Namkung
Photographs by Art Streiber
ON MACY: Dress shirt, Louis Vuitton ($515). 295 N. Rodeo Dr., Beverly Hills. Dress pants ($195), silk tie ($95), leather belt ($85) and leather loafers ($225), Boss Black. Hugo Boss, 414 N. Rodeo Dr., Beverly Hills. Bracelet, Ulinx Jewlery (price on request). ON ROSSUM: Star-print gown, Dolce & Gabbana ($3,695). 312 N. Rodeo Dr., Beverly Hills. Earrings, Chopard (price on request). 328 N. Rodeo Dr., Beverly Hills. Patent-leather boots, Gucci ($1,550). 347 N. Rodeo Dr., Beverly Hills
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Though both are successful actors, William H. Macy and Emmy Rossum were complete strangers until they were cast on Showtime’s superbly irreverent hit show Shameless, which debuted early this year to rave reviews. Today, however, their easy going banter and warm friendship are a far cry from the behavior of the characters they play. On the show, Macy is Frank Gallagher, an alcoholic and absentee single father of six, while Rossum embodies his eldest daughter, Fiona, who parents the quirky brood while navigating her 20s. We sat down with the costars and listened in as they talked about the show’s second season, swear jars, flasks on the red carpet and why other actors are jealous of their current gig.
Shameless has struck a chord with audiences; what can they expect in the second season?
EMMY ROSSUM [TO MACY]: You know more than me because you’re in the writer’s room.
WILLIAM H. MACY: It’s not going to follow the British version at all this season—it’s pretty wild. The family itself has a dynamic that’s so common. So many people grew up with an alcoholic mother or father and a split family. Most people in the world grow up with financial burdens weighing on them. You combine that with the style we’re using, which is super realism combined with farce, and it’s a brand-new animal.
ER [TO MACY]: One of the things I’ve never told you is that you treat all the actors the same. There’s no patronizing or behaving the way I think a father would treat his children. You don’t pretend to be wiser. You even ask the youngest actors who are 10 and 11, “Hey, was that funny?” You really set the tone and promote us working together. It goes hand in hand with the crazy sh-t we’re doing on the show.
So many of the actors are children. What is it like working with kids on such adult subject matter?
WM [TO ROSSUM]: I don’t know if you remember this, but early on in a read-through we did, Emma [Kenney, 12, who plays the other Gallagher daughter, Debbie] was reading her part…
ER: She always has the most notes on her script.
WM: It was a table read, and she had this emotional scene, and she burst into tears and could barely get through the speech. We were all like, Wow, maybe next time we need to do our homework. [The children] are great, and their parents are really hip to the process.
ER: On set we started a swear jar. You could swear in the scene, but if you swore off-screen or between takes you had to pay. I think it was five dollars for the f-word and one or two dollars for sh-t or damn. I was smart enough to give each of the kids a 50 before we started shooting. They really made bank last year.
WM: By the third episode everyone said, “F-that.”
Rossum’s styling by Penny Lovell for The Wall Group Macy’s styling by Linda Medvene
Makeup by Christy Coleman for The Wall Group
Rossum’s hair by Frank Galasso for soloartists.com/Joico Design Collection
Grooming by Stephanie Hobgood for Exclusive Artists Management
Manicure by Beth Fricke using French Quarter for Your Thoughts (on hands) and Give Me Moor (on feet) by O.P.I
Producer: Emily Roth/Producit Inc.
Production Coordinator: Kate Corkum-Amengual
Retouch Artist: Angie Hayes/thehappypixelproject.com
Digital Tech: Eric Vlasic/With Technology