William H. Macy wasn’t surprised that Emmy Rossum is leaving Shameless — and he thinks his TV daughter “made the right choice.”
On Thursday, Rossum, who has starred as Fiona Gallagher since the beginning of the hit Showtime drama, announced plans to exit at the end of the upcoming ninth season. The news was a shocking bummer for fans, but, in an exclusive interview, Macy says it was expected.
“We’ve been expecting it,” the 68-year-old actor told EW on Friday. “I tell you, when you get to season 9 and you think of [whether] to keep going, it’s daunting. It’s hard not to think of: ‘What would my life be post-Shameless?’ And part of it is very frightening and part of it is very exciting. She’s young and I think she’s made the right choice. She’s got another show that she’s an executive producer on, so she’s going right into something and she wants to branch out. Plus, she just got married. I wish her well. I can’t wait to see what she’s going to do next.”
Rossum talked to EW only hours after revealing her departure on social media, declaring that she “will never be saying goodbye to Fiona.” Continued Rossum: “Fiona is a part of me and has been like every character is a part of you and you are a little bit part of them. My Shameless family is really my second family and I’ve spent so much time with them — 10,000 hours — that it really feels like we’ve all grown up together. I started on the show when I was 23 and now I’m not. [Laughs.] And it’s a wonderful, wonderful amount of time and I feel incredibly proud of everything we have created. I’m just filled with gratitude for everyone’s hard work.”
The 31-year-old actress also said that she feels Shameless could go on “forever,” believing there’s a lot left to mine in the show and characters, a sentiment that Macy agrees with.
“Totally. It’s a well conceived show from the outset. It’s a perfect number of characters, especially with Kev and V,” opines Macy, who has received three Emmy nominations for his portrayal of Frank Gallagher. “And the other genius thing about it is that there are kids and they’ve been growing up and as they grow up it opens up a brand new world of plot possibilities. My character is a little bit more problematical, because I’m playing a character that by definition doesn’t change. But they’ve done a magnificent job of figuring out where to go with this thing — and it’s exciting.”
Shameless returns Sept. 9 on Showtime.