Shamelessâ leading lady has an Emmy â in her name.
But next month, Emmy Rossum, who plays broken tough girl Fiona Gallagher, could also have âEmmy nomineeâ attached to her moniker.
In the Showtime seriesâ third season, the actress took her character to new depths as she fought for guardianship of her siblings and lost her boyfriend â for good. In fact, it was such a âchallengingâ year for Fiona that one scene even gave Rossum a panic attack.
TVLINE | The Emmys consider Shameless a drama, but the show really does have genuine moments of comedy. How do you think of the series, genre-wise?
Itâs in a strange sweet spot that doesnât really fall in either place. Because of the weight of a lot of the subject matter, like alcoholism and poverty and growing up with MIA parents, I feel like it does fall into the drama category, even though it is a little bit farcical at times.
TVLINE | Do you have a preference in regard to what you like to play?
I donât try to play it for laughs â ever. I always try to play for the reality of the moment. Some of the darkest things in life, the most dramatic, actually make us laugh because laughter, just like crying, is a release of pent-up energy. I definitely gravitate towards the drama a little bit more. But I enjoy the funny, too.
TVLINE | Youâve lived with the character for three years now. Is she still as exciting for you as the day you started playing her?
More so, because sheâs evolved and grown and matured. [This past] season was the most challenging, dramatically, for her with everything that she went through with foster care and almost losing the kids. Itâs definitely made her grow up, and now sheâs as much of a parent, legally, as Frank. It was definitely a challenging season for me and really a lot of fun with the material they gave me.
TVLINE | What do you think was the defining moment for her this year?
Probably in the courtroom when she stood up and finally said aloud the things that her father had done to her and they talked about the emotional ramifications of that. This isnât a person that talks about her feelings a lot. Needing to stand up in a court and say, âIâm abandoned, and my father doesnât love me and doesnât take care of usâ is a very difficult thing to do for anyone, especially someone as guarded and fierce as Fiona. To be that vulnerable in publicâŚ That was a big moment for her to win against Frank and to earn that maturity.