Why Did Emmy Rossum Leave ‘Shameless’ After Season 9?

by Lauren Boisvert
why-did-emmy-rossum-leave-shameless-season-9

Emmy Rossum, known for playing Fiona Gallagher on Shameless, left the show in 2018 after the 9th season. Theories abound as to why she really left: arguments, bad blood on set, not enough pay? Not exactly. The real reason is a lot more humble and wholesome than any speculation.

In 2018, Rossum shared on Facebook the reasons why she left Shameless. In short, she grew creatively and wanted to move on to something else. But she cherished Shameless for giving her that push she needed to be a better actor, writer, and director.

“This kind of stability, this family, has nurtured me and made 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.”

She praised her fellow cast members for how they’d also grown, writing, “Being ensconced in that messy Gallagher family love is something I’d 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.”

Of Fiona, Rossum said, “She is resourceful. She is loyal. She is brave. I knew it the second I read the pilot script, this was different, this was special.”

Could There Be ‘Shameless’ Spin-Offs?

Maybe, but showrunner John Wells doesn’t want fans to get their hopes up. The series ran on Showtime for 11 seasons, with the head of the Gallagher household, Fiona, played by Emmy Rossum, taking her leave after season 9. The show followed the dysfunctional Gallagher family as they dealt with bills, debt, a missing alcoholic father, and feuds within the family.

“I would love to be able to do more of something,” Wells told Deadline. “We wanted to do more years of this. But now that we’ve finished it up and I saw all of the sets in the trash at Warner, I think we’re really done.”

Wells was asked if he was sure there would be no more Shameless. He replied, “Well, never say never in the world that we live in now.” Which is true; in this day and age of film and television, things get revived all the time, even if they shouldn’t be. Not naming any names (cough, Space Jam).

But, as far as Shameless goes, it seems like the story met its natural conclusion. Sure, it could probably have gone on forever, following the exploits of the Gallagher family. But things have to end eventually. Now the actors are free to creatively flourish outside of Shameless. And, if one day Showtime decides to bring it back, everyone is just a phone call away.

Outsider.com