Shameless: 22 Behind-The-Scenes Details That’ll Change How We Watch The Show

So much has happened in the Gallagher home since the Showtime dramedy “Shameless” premiered on January 9, 2011. We watched characters like Fiona, Lip, Ian, Debbie, and Carl grow up right before our eyes. They, along with their beloved neighbors, V and Kevin, have gotten into all sorts of trouble, both legally and in matters of the heart. Of course, there are some things that never change, like Frank, who’s possibly one of the worst dads on television. We’d think he would have shown some signs of redemption over the last 9 seasons, but nope! That would be too much to ask for.

Speaking of season 9, Showtime decided to split the season in half. So, the first 7 episodes have already aired in 2018, and it saw the departure of Ian, played by Cameron Monaghan. He’s no longer a series regular on the show. But when the series airs the remaining half of season 9 in 2019, another fan favorite character will say goodbye. That’s right! Season 9 is Emmy Rossum’s last season.

But before we say goodbye to her character, Fiona, let’s take a look at 23 behind the scenes details that will change the way we watch (or re-watch) the show going forward.

22 If The Pool Where Fiona And Steve Had Their First Kiss Looked Familiar...


Talk about Déjà vu! Remember how much Fiona loved Steve? Well, go back all the way to season 1, episode 7 when the couple were in the swimming pool together. Does the pool look familiar, but you can’t quite put your finger on it? Don’t worry, you don’t need to reach for your grams Alzheimer’s medicine to give your memory a boost. The pool is located in the Millennium Biltmore Hotel in Los Angeles where the 1999 film “Cruel Intentions” was made. In one scene, Reese Witherspoon meets up with Ryan Phillippe to tell him to turn down his music.

21 Did You Notice The Major Switcheroo They Did On Season 2?


Most fans didn’t notice it, but Mandy Milkovich was played by two different actresses. Jane Levy played her during the first season. But then she got the lead role on the ABC series “Suburgatory” and left. Fortunately, producers managed to cast future “Pride and Prejudice” actress Emma Greenwell in time for season 2. The two actresses aren’t related. They aren’t even identical. But with a little help from some Hollywood makeup, the audience barely realized that a major switcheroo took place. Of course, it probably helped that Mandy was more of a recurring character and not one of the leads, like Fiona or Debbie. Check Out Emma Greenwell below.


20 Fiona Met The Love Of Her Life, Thanks To The Show


Emmy Rossum, who plays Fiona, was in major films like “Phantom” and “The Day After Tomorrow.” But she’s fairly certain that Mr. Robot creator Sam Esmail never saw her in any of those things, and yet, she managed to catch his eye on “Shameless,” which is why he reached out and cast her in his first film, “Comet.” In fact, it’s how they first met and eventually fell in love. They got engaged in August 2015 and got hitched at the Central Synagogue in New York City. Naturally, her Shameless co-stars William H. Macy and Shanola Hampton were among the guests. But without the show, Rossum would have never found her soulmate.

19 The Cast Loves To Play Pranks On Each Other And Emmy Is Often The Target


The cast are truly “Shameless" when it comes playing practical jokes on each other, all in good fun of course! But it’s not just the cast! The crew is in on it too. But Emmy Rossum is apparently, everyone’s favorite target. One of the most hilarious pranks they played on her was that one time when everyone was walking into her trailer to use the bathroom. After a grueling day of filming, Rossum found a line of crewmembers outside her trailer door. When she walked in, she realized why. It turns out that one of her co-stars put a public restroom sign on her trailer door. Fortunately, Rossum has a good sense of humor and laughed it all off.

18 Emmy Rossum Almost Didn't Come Back For Season 8


We can’t imagine a "Shameless" world without Fiona, but sadly, we’re going to have to get used to it after season 9. But did you know that she almost didn’t come back for season 8? It turns out that her co-star William H. Macy was getting paid more than she was. So, naturally, Rossum demanded to get paid more than him to make up for all the years she didn’t receive equal pay. The negotiations were touch and go for a while, but it all worked out in the end! In December 2016, she tweeted that she would return to the show to continue playing Fiona, and the world breathed a sigh of relief.

17 Justin Chatwin Loves To Prank Emmy When They Share An Onscreen Kiss


Justin Chatwin played Jimmy, Fiona’s love interest. We later learned that he had tons of money and that his name was Steve. He also had a wife, who was the daughter of a Brazilian mastermind. Jimmy was forced to leave Fiona behind. He eventually returned, but Fiona wasn’t interested, and it was easy to see why. Jimmy wasn’t the kind of guy you turned your back on. But as it turns out, neither was Chatwin. Since they kissed a lot during his time on “Shameless,” he decided to prank Rossum by eating tuna sandwiches that stank to high heaven! His breath was so bad that she probably wanted to gag. Still, the guy's so cute, she probably didn't mind that much!

16 They're All Actually Friends In Real Life And Hang Out After Work


There are no feuds on the “Shameless” set, if you catch our drift. One of the great things about the show is that no matter how messed up these characters get, the cast remains the best of friends off-camera. In fact, they love spending time together and sharing meals at fancy restaurants, and yes, that includes William H. Macy. Of course, on the show, getting Frank to sit at the crowded table in the Gallagher’s home would be difficult. Even when he’s around, no one wants him there because he’s such a bad dad. But it’s nice to see that the actors respect each other.

15 Emmy Rossum Dated Tony The Cop In Real Life


In season 6, Tony the cop came out to Ian Gallagher during a baseball game, and he claimed that it was Fiona’s fault for causing him to flip. But at the beginning of the series, Tony could think of no one he wanted to be with other than Fiona. Sadly, at the time, Fiona only had eyes for one person and that was Jimmy. So, no matter what he did, Tony ended up losing her. But the actor who plays Tony is Tyler Jacob Moore had more success with Emmy Rossum than Tony ever got with Fiona. The two actually dated for two whole years before they split. Bummer! They were totally adorable together!

14 Veronica Was Pregnant On The Show Because Shanola Hampton Was Expecting A Baby IRL


Everyone loves it when TV shows try their best to hide the baby bump on an actress after she becomes pregnant. Some use plants or huge bags to hide the growing bundle of joy. But when Shanola Hampton got pregnant, producers decided to make her character V pregnant too. So, they introduced the pregnancy storyline in season 4. But this was actually a bit of a mind boggler for fans. On the show, V had a tough time getting pregnant. When the couple realized they couldn’t because of V, they had Kevin get V’s mom pregnant so that the child would still have V’s DNA. Fortunately, the actress didn’t go to those extremes.

13 Canaryville Is A Real Place In Chicago

We Smile

The Gallaghers are not based on any real family, but we’re sure someone out there can totally relate! That being said, the show is actually set in an area of Chicago known as Canaryville. It’s on the south side. But that’s not where the series is filmed. Most fans don’t realize this, but the show is filmed in LA. But they find the best possible locations to trick viewers into thinking that the actors are walking around Canaryville when they’re getting into all sorts of trouble. It makes sense that the show would be filmed in LA too since most shows are either filmed there, in New York City, or Vancouver, Canada.

12 Cameron Monaghan Wanted Ian's Struggles To Seem Genuine


It became clear to viewers and the Gallagher clan that there was something wrong with Ian. It turns out that he had bipolar disorder. But of course, the actor, Cameron Monaghan isn’t bipolar, so both he and the crew had to make sure that they portrayed what the character was going through in an honest and respectful way. The last thing that Monaghan wanted to do was make it seem like the show was turning a serious mental illness into something exploitative or entertaining. But the writing team did tons of research to do justice to Ian’s struggle and make his story relatable, and they did an incredible job!

11 If You Stop By "Patsy's Pies" You Might Get Fiona To Serve You IRL (Well, Sort Of!)

Twitter / @emmyrossum

Patsy’s Pies is where Fiona worked as a waitress. She eventually went on to own the establishment. But if you’ve seen the first half of season 9, then you’d know she might have to give it up to settle a business deal gone wrong. But the real-life restaurant is on Lincoln Avenue in Chicago, and it’s actually called Patsy’s Pub & Grill. It’s a low-key local sports bar with pub food and drink specials. But it’s worth a visit if you’re a major “Shameless” fan. And did you know you might have run into Fiona there IRL? Turns out that Emmy Rossum celebrated her birthday there once.

10 The Shameless House Isn't Actually Located On The South Side Of Chicago


The cast film the interior home scenes in LA, but the outside scenes of the Gallagher house are actually shot in Chicago. The cast spends two weeks per season in the Windy City in order to give the illusion that the Gallaghers are in Chicago. But that’s not the only surprising trivia bit. While the Gallaghers are prideful South Siders, the real house is located 30 minutes Northwest of the South Side area. Oh, and there’s a boy named DJ who actually lives in the real house in Chicago, which Emma Kenney, who plays Deb has gotten to know well over the last couple of seasons.

9 Jeremy Allen And The Beautiful Emma Greenwell Were Actually Head Over Heels IRL


Lip and Mandy had a pretty complicated relationship on "Shameless". And like most relationships Lip has been in, it didn’t end well. But it turns out that Lip actor Jeremy Allen and Mandy’s Emma Greenwell were hitting it off perfectly. In fact, it seemed like they were headed towards their very own happily ever after. But somewhere along the line, art imitated life and the two split up for real. But it worked out for Allen, who met her partner Addison Timlin. The two ended up having a baby girl in 2018, whom they named Ezer Billie White. Hopefully, Lip will one day get his happy ending.

8 In The UK Version, Fiona Only Appears In A Total Of 19 Episodes


In the US version of "Shameless," Fiona is a main character. In fact, she’s just as important as Frank, who’s more of an anti-hero. But in the original UK version, Fiona only appeared in 19 episodes. That’s a huge difference when you think of the fact that Emmy Rossum’s character Fiona has been on the show for all nine seasons. Both Fionas had the same upbringing, but they wound up in different places. The British Fiona got tired of looking after her family and decided to move to Amsterdam with Jimmy where she ended up marrying him. Will Jimmy return in the US version and whisk Fiona away before Rossum leaves?

7 The Creator Of The Show, John Wells, Has Banned Scripts From The Set


“Shameless” creator, John Wells, is not the kind of boss you want to mess with. If you forget your lines, you’ll end up looking like a total dingbat in front of everyone. And don’t even think about reaching for your script! Actors are required to know all of their lines by heart. So, scripts are not allowed on set while filming. Of course, no one’s perfect, and we’re sure someone’s fudged their lines now and then, especially the kids. Now, most shows allow actors to read and rehearse their script before filming takes place. But the pressure is on when you’re on the “Shameless” set.

6 In A Major Turn Of Events, Emmy's Grandma Passed Away Exactly When Fiona's Granny Did


When Fiona Gallagher had to say goodbye to her grandmother, Emmy Rossum had no issues getting into the role. She knew what her character was going through because she had experienced a loss too. In what many might call an unusual twist of fate, Rossum’s grandmother passed away at the same time as Fiona’s grandmother did. But then again, losing someone is a part of life. And if there’s one thing you can say about “Shameless” is that they have plenty of relatable moments, huh? So, after nine seasons on the air, Rossum was bound to see something on the script that hit close to home.

5 Ethan Cutkosky Asked To Be Written Off The Show


Ethan Cutkosky has played Carl Gallagher for 9 seasons. When he first started out, Carl was a street-smart kid with a tendency for getting himself into trouble. He also had a forgiving nature when it came to his dad, Frank. But he was a total rebel. Eventually, he became friends with a cop and went off to military school. But that was the writing team's way of temporarily writing off Carl from the series, and it was the actor’s idea. Cutkosky wanted to start high school and be a regular kid. But he returned to the series after a brief break. Still, his character remained in military school.

4 Shameless Writers Are So Good At What They Do, That Season 4 Scared Emmy Rossum


Over the years, the characters on “Shameless” have done some things that were pretty shameless (pun intended). But the writers are so good at pushing the envelope on these characters. And they don’t hold back, either! This includes the use of bad language and the use of controlled substances, among other things. But the moment that shook Emmy Rossum to the core was the season 4 storyline that saw Fiona behind bars after her little brother Liam consumed something he shouldn't have. She admitted to having a panic attack while doing the scene where she was searched in prison. So, if you re-watch Fiona’s terrified expression on that episode, you'll notice Rossum’s not really acting that much. Her fear is very real!

3 Casting Directors Almost Didn't Give Emmy A Chance


There aren’t a lot of actors out there who can do what Emmy Rossum does. The way she balances raw emotion and comedy is magnificent. In fact, we can’t imagine what it’s going to be like without her on the show! But believe it or not, casting directors didn’t even want to let Rossum audition for the role of Fiona. She blamed the fashionista persona that haunted her after her role in 2004’s “Phantom of the Opera” for almost losing the part. Rossum is uber gorgeous, perhaps, even too pretty for a drama-based TV show, but the directors were sure she was more than just a pretty face. And they were right! She's able to be raw and gritty, and play the role of Fiona wonderfully.

2 Isidora Goreshter's Russian Accent Is Spot On, But She Was Actually Born In California


Isidora Goreshter played the stunning Svetlana, a Russian girl who was hired by Mick’s dad to make him a “man”. She eventually ended up having his baby. For several seasons, Goreshter had us fooled that she was indeed a Russian native. Not that she never claimed to be one in real life, of course! She was actually born in Long Beach, California and has an American accent. After being a part of V and Kevin’s life on the show, Svetlana found her happy ending by marrying a rich elderly man. But sadly, Goreshter said "Das Vi Daniya" (that’s Russian for "Goodbye") to "Shameless" at the end of season 8. Too bad! We would've loved to see a bit more of Svetlana on the show, don't you agree?

1 Woody Harrelson Was Supposed To Play Frank Gallagher


In an interview with ShortList, William H. Macy confessed that he wasn’t necessarily the director's first choice to play Frank Gallagher. “Oh yeah. I ran into Woody recently, actually. He said, “Whatcha doing at the moment?” And I said, “Shameless,” And he said, “Oh yeah, I talked to them about that.” I thought, “Great, so I’m at least second choice.” He said, “I watched the British version and I just thought it was really good. I didn’t think I could do it better than that.” There was a little bit of a pause and I just went, “I can.” And clearly, he did! Sorry, Woody! You're one incredible actor, but "Shameless" just wouldn't be the same without William!

Sources:  Twitter, VarietyScreenrant, Hot World Report, People

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