‘Shameless’: Why Emmy Rossum Didn’t Appear in the Series Finale

by Samantha Whidden
(Photo by Sean Zanni/Patrick McMullan via Getty Images)

The hit Showtime series Shameless came to an in April 2021 after 11 seasons and 140 episodes. But fans did wonder, why did one of the original main cast members, Emmy Rossum, didn’t appear in the show’s final episode. 

During an interview with Deadline, Shameless showrunner John Wells explained Rossum’s noticeable absence. “You know, [Rossum] very much wanted to, and we wanted her to. It just hit at just the wrong time with the continuing shutdown.”

The Shameless showrunner also explained that Rossum lives in New York City and although she and the crew were trying to make it work, but the quarantine setups that were in place if she actually came out to Los Angeles. “We couldn’t figure out how to do it in a way that would work with her schedule.”

Wells then stated that the whole situation disappointed everyone on the Shameless set. “We would’ve loved to have her back. And she wanted to come back. But it was one of those things that couldn’t get done during the pandemic.”

Rossum left Shameless in 2018 after nine seasons. She described her character, Fiona, as resourceful, loyal, and brave. “I knew it the second I read the pilot script, this was different. This was special.”

She also stated that being “ensconced” in the messy Gallagher family love is something she always dreamed of.

“But even off set, it feels real. We’ve watched the kids grow up into the strong, talented, independent human beings that they are.”

Emmy Rossum Described Her Time on ‘Shameless’ As an Incredible Journey

During a 2019 interview with Shape Magazine, Emmy Rossum opened up about her time as Shameless character, Fiona. “It’s been an incredible journey. I’ve learned a lot about myself as a person and as an actor.”

The former Shameless star also confirmed that she wanted to leave the show while she still loved it and knew the door was open to come back if that felt right. “I’m also extremely proud of what I was able to accomplish off-screen,” she explained.

The actress is referring to her negotiations for equal pay. The actress fought and successfully won to be paid as much as her Shameless co-star, William H. Macy, in 2016. Although she considered the cast as family, Rossum revealed she was excited about what lied ahead for her career.

“The way I look at it is that the end of one thing is the beginning of something else. I couldn’t be more thrilled to spend time writing, directing, and seeing what other characters I want to play.”

The Shameless castmate also described her departure as both scary and wonderful at the same time.