Shameless' Emma Kenney Says She Had "Bad Days" on Set With Co-Star Emmy Rossum

Emma Kenney said the Shameless set became a more "positive" place after co-star Emmy Rossum left the series. A source close to Emmy shared her response with E! News.

By Cydney Contreras Oct 13, 2021 11:09 PMTags
Watch: Emmy Rossum Says Goodbye to "Shameless"

Emma Kenney is not holding back in a recent interview with Call Her Daddy.

The Shameless star shared plenty of interesting stories from her days on the series, recalling how she stole toilet paper from trailers and had her first on-camera kiss. But it's her experience working with Emmy Rossum that caught the attention of listeners.

According to Emma, the Phantom of the Opera actress who played her sister was like an actual sister—"in good and bad ways."

"I was obviously a lot younger," she explained. "There were times when she would try to be a good influence and then there were times where she would be blatantly giving me bad...not the best advice."

Emma didn't go into detail about what the actress, who is 13 years her senior, told her, simply saying, "Maybe she was struggling with her own inner problems and taking it out on other people." 

Shameless Cast Then and Now

Emma added that through watching Emmy and others she's learned the "things I want to carry on in my life and things I do not want to carry on in my life."

The star noted that she used to feel like there was a "weird competition" between herself and Emmy, who played Fiona Gallagher, adding, "I don't know if it was other people on set creating that or if it was her creating that, but I know I wasn't creating it."

Arturo Holmes/FilmMagic/Sean Zanni/Patrick McMullan via Getty Images

As a result, Emmy's departure from the series impacted the set environment, according to Emma. As she put it, "It was weird at first, for sure, but the set became a little bit more of a positive place. I'm not gonna lie."

"I remember, pre her leaving I'd go to set some days and I'd be very anxious about having a scene with her," Emma explained, "because if she had a bad day, she made it a bad day for everyone."

Despite these encounters, Emma said she has "a lot of love" for Emmy. "We haven't spoken in years, but that's okay," she shared. "I hope that she finds her happiness and I heard she had a baby and that's beautiful and I'm sure she's going to be a lovely mother."

Brian Bowen Smith/SHOWTIME.

Regarding the other cast members, Emma said she frequently turned to Shanola Hampton, who played Veronica Fisher, for advice, describing the actress as "so sweet."

"[She] would give me such honest and empowering advice," Emma recalled.

A source close to Emmy tells E! News that the actress is "planning to reach out to Emma privately" after hearing about her co-star's recollections. 

"This is not how Emmy remembers their work relationship and friendship," the source shared. "She's really surprised and disappointed about this as it's not the way she remembers her time spent on set and especially with Emma."


Emmy left the show after playing Fiona Gallagher for nine seasons. At the time, she wrote in an open letter that she treasured her time on the series, remembering how she "taught Emma to shave her legs."

"I can say for certain that this cast and crew, who I've been truly honored to work alongside, are world class," she said in part. "I know you will continue on without me, for now. There is much more Gallagher story to be told. I will always be rooting for my family. Try not to think of me as gone, just think of me as moving down the block."

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