'Shameless' star Emma Kenney on Emmy Rossum's exit: 'The set became a little bit more of a positive place'
Actress Emma Kenney talks about working with Emmy Rossum on Shameless. (Photo: Getty Images)
Emma Kenney contemplates her decade-long run at Shameless after the hit show ends. The 22-year-old actress, who played Debbie Gallagher, appeared on the episode of the Call Her Daddy podcast on Wednesday and was open about her relationship with former co-star and on-screen sister Emmy Rossum.
Kenney said it felt "one hundred percent" like a sibling relationship with Rossum, 35, "in good and bad ways, to be honest".
“We were both so young, I was obviously much younger. There were times when she tried to be a good influence and then there were times when she didn't seem to give me the best advice, ”Kenney told host Alex Cooper. "Maybe she struggled with her own internal problems and took it out on others, but we all deal with situations differently."
When asked if she felt that people were nailing the two of them together, Kenney replied, "I certainly felt that dynamic and never understood it."
"I was 9 and she was over 10 years older than me so I guess why is there a weird competition here if I'm not trying to compete?" She continued. "I don't know if there were other people on set or if it was her, but I know I couldn't make it."
Rossum left the show in 2018 after nine seasons, which Kenney called "bittersweet".
Shameless stars Emmy Rossum, Emma Kenney and William H. Macy at a screening of the show in 2013. (Photo: FilmMagic)
"I love Emmy very much, I've known her for so long. We haven't talked in years ... but that's okay. I love her very much and I hope she finds happiness," Kenney continued. "I have heard that she had a baby and that is beautiful and I am sure she will be a beautiful mother "(Rossum and husband Sam Esmail secretly welcomed a baby girl in May.)
Kenney went on to discuss how the dynamics on set changed after Rossum left.
"It was weird in the beginning, but it was - the set got a little more positive, I'm not going to lie," she admitted. "I remember before [Rossum] left, I went to the set for a few days and was very worried about having a scene with her because when she had a bad day she made it a bad day for everyone."
Kenney credited co-star Shanola Hampton, who played Veronica Fisher, with being "a second mother" and "big sister" on the set.
"She was always there for me, always giving me good, well-founded advice," she added.
Rossum didn't appear much to the disappointment of fans on the final season of Shameless, but the showrunner said it wasn't due to a lack of effort on either side.
“You know, she wanted it badly, and we wanted her to want it. It just came at the wrong time with the persistent shutdown. She lives in New York and you know we tried to get it working, but there were ... quarantine setups that were in there when she got to LA. We couldn't figure out how to do this to suit her schedule, "John Wells told Deadline." So it was disappointing to everyone and we would have loved to have her back and she wanted to come back, but it was one of those things that couldn't be done during the pandemic. "
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