Shameless Cast: 'I Can't Believe My Character Got Away With...'
Eight Seasons of Being Shameless
Stealing babies, assisting felons, digging up bodies, kidnapping Alzheimer's patients, and more than one count of insurance fraud — there's frankly nothing that the characters of Shameless won't do, and over eight seasons, there's almost nothing they haven't gotten away with. EW asked the show's cast members to pick which outrageous scheme they're most surprised their character managed to pull off.
WILLIAM H. MACY: “We did a little Hangover rip-off where Frank collected a bunch of insurance money and he wakes up after a stupendous bender and all the money’s gone, and he has to forensically try to figure out what happens. And he finds out that he had given 100 grand to a guy who supplied free prosthetic limbs to little kids, to cancer victims and the like. So he tracks him down and he says, ‘I need that money back,’ and the guy goes, ‘I’ve already spent it, man! Look, this little kid, you bought her this leg!’ And I just remember, they cast this lovely young girl who did lose a leg for some reason, and she’s holding onto her prosthetic leg and I’ve got the other end, and I’m dragging her across the floor saying, ‘This is my leg!’ and she’s saying, ‘Please mister, please give me my leg!’ And I remember Michael Hissrich, one of our producers, was sitting there, and he just had this sour look on his face. I said, ‘What?’ and he said, ‘I’m just trying to figure out how they’re going to sue us.’ [Laughs] That was pretty Shameless.”
EMMA KENNEY: “Debbie’s done so many wacky things over the seasons that are super illegal that I’m like, how is she not in jail at this point? There’s so many. I think I would say it's when Debbie drowned that girl a few years ago. I drowned some blonde girl in the pool. Or tried to.”
JEREMY ALLEN WHITE: “I don’t know if it was necessarily Lip’s plan, although I think he organized it: It was the [fourth] episode of the first season, when Debbie stole the baby and somehow they all sort of tricked the whole South Side and the cops and everyone to get Debbie out of that situation and also get the baby safely back to his parents. I thought that was a classic story. And it was so amazing that they kidnapped a child and we were still able to make it look, to the audience, like the Gallaghers were the good guys.” [Editor's note: FYI, that photo is of Liam, not the stolen baby.]
CAMERON MONAGHAN: “It’s funny because Ian, on the surface, seems innocent, but then when you go through it all… he’s been involved in a lot of pretty shitty stuff. [Laughs] He’s kind of covered an accidental death and disposed of the body. He’s dated an armed robber, felon, and regularly helped him evade the law, including smuggling him across the border. I think the biggest would be going AWOL from the army and destroying a helicopter and a massive amount of public property, and managing to be off the grid for well over a year. It’s pretty impressive that he got away with it. He got arrested, but he still got out of it, ultimately. So, pretty good.”
Kev and V
SHANOLA HAMPTON: “I still can’t believe that we had sex with my mother. I mean, with a hood on her head! I still can’t get over it. Let me tell you something: There was a moment when we were shooting those scenes where I was like, physically ill. I threw up in my mouth a little bit. I was like, this is on the edge. Some storylines you don’t love for your character, but you’re like, 'Okay, we’ll sell it, whatver.' But this… I mean, thank God for Vanessa Bell Calloway and [Steve] Howey. It was just the craziest storyline. But what was amazing is, when you’re in this world of Shameless and you are a hustler fighting for ends to meet, you do what you have to do. Veronica and Kev didn’t have the option of going to get in vitro and spending thousands of dollars. This was their option!”
ETHAN CUTKOSKY: “I thought taping the heroin to Chuckie and leaving him there was pretty funny. That was a pretty good gag. Or shooting the bald eagle. We had a real bald eagle on set. That was kind of cool.”
ISIDORA GORESHTER: “I’m pretty shocked that she got away with stealing the bar. I mean, that’s next level savagery. That takes years. It’s like escaping prison. Like, how do you do that? And she did it alone! She kind of had her weird pseudo-husband-lover who we thought was her dad come in and help, but she really, schemingly, alone, stole that bar right out from under [Kev and V’s] feet.”
EMMY ROSSUM: “It's probably digging up Aunt Ginger in the backyard. Although there’s something this year that might put all that to peace, that might just wash all that away. Sometimes you don’t realize how ridiculous it is on the page until you are tasked with actually putting it on its feet and acting it out in the physical space, and then you somehow have to figure out how to suspend your own sense of disbelief and ground it in a way that puts it in this world. Because the stakes are always very real for the Gallaghers. It’s not just hijinksy to be hijinksy. They’re doing these things to survive. And they’re ridiculous, but they have to survive.”