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During her time on Shameless, Emma Kenney looked up to Emmy Rossum as a mentor. Although Rossum portrayed Fiona Gallagher in the series, she also had the chance to direct two episodes. Kenney thought that Rossum had a very unique and fun way of directing with these strange little props. 

'Shameless' Director John Wells, actors Emmy Rossum and Emma Kenney
‘Shameless’ Director John Wells, actors Emmy Rossum and Emma Kenney | Alberto E. Rodriguez/WireImage

‘Shameless’ star Emma Kenney looks up to alum Emmy Rossum

When asked to name three people that she looks up to “career-wise,” Emma Kenney chose She’s Meryl Streep, Drew Barrymore, and Emmy Rossum.

“[Rossum] was a child actress,” she explained to The Hollywood Reporter. “I’ve grown up with her pretty much. She’s a Virgo like I am, so we have a lot in common. I have gone to ask her so many personal questions. We have a lot in common. I really look up to her work ethic, her poise, the way she carries herself on set.”

Kenney was 12-years-old when she began working on the set of Shameless with 24-year-old Rossum. The two women were sisters on screen and became close friends off-screen.

Rossum directed 2 episodes of ‘Shameless’ with strange little props

In the same interview, Kenney explained what it was like to be directed by her co-star, Rossum.

“She knew exactly what she wanted,” Kenney described Rossum’s directing. “She’s a Virgo. She has a Type A personality, as do I. It was very interesting because Emmy, the way she plotted out scenes was with little Lego pieces.”

Kenney laughed as she remembered her co-star setting up the Legos to represent each Gallagher family member.

“So, it was like, little Lego characters, and it was funny, my character had a little, red Lego hair,” she continued. “It was very funny, all the Gallagher house on Lego board. So, it was very cute. And, Emmy just knew ’cause she knows all the cast so well, so she knows exactly how to talk to everybody to get what she wants out of their performance.”

Why did Rossum leave ‘Shameless’ after season 9?

While Rossum loved working with her Shameless co-stars and directing the series, she felt it was time to spread her creative wings. In August 2018, she explained to her Facebook fans why she decided to leave the series.


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“This kind of stability, this family, has nurtured me and made me feel safe enough to stretch and grow creatively,” she wrote on Facebook. “The way [executive producer and showrunner] John Wells has shepherded me as an actress, and more recently how he’s encouraged me wholeheartedly as a director and a writer, has been an honor and a privilege.”

Rossum left the door open to return to the series, so fans may see her during the finale of season 11.