HomeEntertainment‘Shameless’: Why Emmy Rossum Almost Lost Out on the Part of Fiona

‘Shameless’: Why Emmy Rossum Almost Lost Out on the Part of Fiona

by Caitlin Berard
(Photo by Sean Zanni/Patrick McMullan via Getty Images)

The award-winning dramedy, Shameless, follows the chaotic life of Frank Gallagher and his gaggle of children as they navigate a life of poverty on the South Side of Chicago. Family patriarch, Frank Gallagher, is easily the most problematic of the bunch. However, each Shameless character is extremely flawed, contributing to each episode’s gritty, oftentimes emotional storylines.

Shameless was originally built around William H. Macy as Frank. The breakout star of the series, however, is without a doubt Emmy Rossum, who plays the Gallagher family‘s eldest child and matriarch, Fiona Gallagher. Though Rossum walked away from Shameless before the series’ conclusion, she carried the show for nine seasons, winning the admiration of fans around the world.

With that in mind, it might be surprising to learn that Emmy Rossum almost wasn’t cast as Fiona Gallagher at all. The producers of Shameless didn’t think the Phantom of the Opera actress had what it took to become the spirited yet ultimately self-destructive character.

In an interview with AOL, Rossum describes the experience. “Even for [Shameless], they didn’t want to audition me,” Rossum recalls. “I had to send in my own audition tape and convince them to see me in person.”

Though the real-life personality of Rossum didn’t fit the bill, the actress knew the challenging role was for her. “They knew me from The Phantom of the Opera and that character’s so unlike [Fiona],” Rossum said. “And I have that fashion-y persona that doesn’t always translate to ‘She’s gritty, she’s raw, she’s unafraid to be real and go to ugly places’. So I had to prove myself.”

‘Shameless’ Star Emmy Rossum Secures Role in Upcoming Thriller

The world of television might have thought Emmy Rossum incapable of believably portraying a difficult character before Shameless. However, there’s no denying her prowess now. Thanks to her success as Fiona Gallagher, Rossum landed another high-pressure role. This time, the actress will star in the anthology series The Crowded Room.

The series follows the inspirational stories of people who have successfully learned to live with mental illness. The lead role went to Spiderman star, Tom Holland, who plays Danny Sullivan, a character loosely based on Billy Milligan. If that name sounds familiar, it’s because Milligan was involved in a famous court case. He was the first person acquitted of a crime because of dissociative identity disorder.

Emmy Rossum will take up the role of Candy Sullivan, the mother of Tom Holland’s Danny Sullivan. Rossum will have her work cut out for her yet again as a distressed mother of a mentally ill child who spends her time dreaming of living another life.

Holland and Rossum will be joined by Amanda Seyfried. The Mean Girls star will play the role of Rya, a clinical psychologist tasked with the Sullivan case. With such a star-studded line-up and gripping storyline, the thriller is sure to be a hit.