Although Fiona and Jimmy’s (née Steve) official reunion wasn’t a surprise to anyone, their on-again relationship — paired with Lip’s return at the end of the hour — left the mood for the already-ordered Season 3 very hopeful. Here, the scene partners dish about this season’s intense final few episodes, their undeniable chemistry and what they hope to see next.
TVLINE | There was the big “I love you” scene after the very sad beginning of the finale. Fiona and Jimmy are seemingly finally happy — do you think that will last?
EMMY ROSSUM | I think that Jimmy has shown himself to be kind of reliable in kind of a backwards, unexpected way. I think that people say they love you, but then when she actually gives it to him, let’s see how he reacts. It will be interesting to see who he is when we come back next season, and what their relationship is.
JUSTIN CHATWIN | They’ve never fully been committed to each other — it’s always been one foot in, one foot out — so even if they do start communicating and having some sort of healthy relationship — which will never happen because then there would be no show [Laughs] — it will be interesting to see where their dynamic goes. I think a lot of their connection has been charged through the excitement and the sexual chemistry and the obstacles. I personally can’t even see what other obstacles you could come up with, but then again I didn’t see them coming up with the obstacle of a Brazillian wife, and you know, importing someone to the States in a crate.
TVLINE | Although the episodes leading into it were intense, the finale itself felt pretty mellow. Did you sense that when you were filming it, or was it like a typical Shameless episode?
CHATWIN | [Executive producer] John [Wells] took his time with the episode; he said to “breathe, walk, feel and discover” in all the scenes, which is different. The pace that we [typically] go is like a speedball — you don’t really have time to process anything, or sit or feel or think — so it was interesting. I like [the finale's] pace, but Shameless wouldn’t be Shameless if it wasn’t rocket-fast.
ROSSUM | A lot of the fireworks were in Episode 11, but I hope that Monica going back to her life as a lesbian and leaving Frank and the family was the last straw. I like the way that Steve — or I guess you now call him Jimmy — stepped up to the plate to deal with the crisis. The scene where she’s cleaning the blood up off of the floor, and for him to see her in her most vulnerable state, literally covered in her own mother’s blood, was very intense. I liked that he was so strong for her, and I felt like it was kind of like a rebirth for the family.
TVLINE | How difficult was it to shoot that scene?
ROSSUM | When we did the scene where Monica is cutting herself, we didn’t see the “blood spray” until the cameras were actually rolling, so it was very shocking, scary and incredibly life-like; the tubes were underneath this fake bit of skin that they had pasted onto her. And at this point, after five months of non-stop shooting, I’m exhausted. When you’re at that kind of tenuous place, it can only take imagining my own mother and the blood pouring out of her body to send me into hysterics.
CHATWIN | I don’t have to prepare — I work with Emmy Rossum. I mean, I just look at what she’s doing, and it’s there.
TVLINE | Looking toward Season 3, what would you like to see, both for your characters and the rest of the cast?
ROSSUM | I want to see her do something with her GED, and I love that Lip’s home now. And as he keeps getting older, it will be easier for Fiona to try to figure out what she wants for herself. I think I want to see Jody and Sheila get married, too; they are such a bizarre, bizarre, sexually strange couple — I find them very interesting. I think it would be interesting to see where Frank is in all of this. Is he moving back into our house? How is Fiona going to feel about that?
CHATWIN | I know that if I had any ideas about where I wanted the story to go next season, our writers and John Wells would have ideas that were 100 times better than mine. In my opinion, their sick, demented minds are the best of the best in cable television. And I am very willing to be their puppet. [Laughs]
TVLINE | Do you think Steve is ready to be Jimmy for good, taking his “real” persona back on?
CHATWIN | I think Steve really thrives on that excitement, on that adrenaline. I’m really interested to see what happens if you do drop him down into a vulnerable, real relationship. If Fiona ever went, “Alright, let’s do it. Let’s get married. Let’s move out of here, just me and you. Let’s start a real family,” I wonder if he would stick around? It would definitely put their love to the test.
ROSSUM | I think he has to start from the beginning now, because she doesn’t really know who Jimmy is. We see her kind of meet his family, and I love Harry Hamlin and Ian Gallagher’s storyline. I think the fact that [Hamlin] is Jimmy’s dad is just hysterical. I’d like to see that relationship continue, because I think Harry Hamlin is wonderful in that role; he and Ian are just so awkwardly interesting.
TVLINE | When Harry Hamlin is at that bar, and then later you see him at the restaurant as Jimmy’s dad, it was very shocking. Were you surprised?
ROSSUM | Yeah! When we were at the table read, we didn’t know who was cast, and then Harry Hamlin walked into the room. I was like “What?! Isn’t he married to Lisa Rinna? What is happening right now?!” [Laughs] And then that, him being Jimmy’s dad, I was just like, “Shut up!”
TVLINE | And Hamlin’s character, Ned/Lloyd, is a lot like Jimmy. Or is Jimmy a lot like him with the name games? Chicken and the egg here.
ROSSUM | Yeah, he’s going by false names too. Apparently it’s just a thing they do — it runs in the family; their family’s just f–ked up.
CHATWIN | It will be interesting to see what other double lives Jimmy has repeated, just like his father.
TVLINE | You two have been working together for a while now. Do you still have awkward moments filming certain scenes?
CHATWIN | No. We have chemistry! We have chemistry that I’ve never had with any actress, the kind you can’t create, you can’t buy. It’s just… we have something that’s indescribable with words. It’s really special, and I am so grateful for it. I don’t even know what it is. I don’t even like to talk about it — I just appreciate it what we have.
ROSSUM | I don’t think we’ve ever had an awkward moment. I feel more awkward with the other people they throw in that I don’t know as well, like when I worked with [guest stars] James Wolk and Taylor Kinney this season. I call it going “full peen,” so I tease boys on set, even if they’re just a guest star, like, “Are you gonna go full peen?” They’re like, “What is that?” and I’m like, “Oh, you’ll find out!” [Laughs] I feel more awkward when somebody else is naked than when I’m naked, but when Jody was full-frontal, I realized how awkward everyone else must feel when I’m naked.
TVLINE | What do you like most about the Jimmy/Fiona dynamic? What do you like best about them?
ROSSUM | I love the push and pull; I love how they tease each other; I love how they can hate each other and love each other at the same time. It feels very real to me. I like how they talk to each other. I think it’s just really well written, although I have told the writers that I don’t want it to be like that show that goes on for six years with the characters struggling to be together. Like, either have them together or don’t have them together — freakin’ make a decision! Our show has only been on for two seasons, so I’m OK with the back-and-forth so far. I hate when my favorite shows toy with my emotions with the characters — “Are they together? Are they not together?” — like that Meredith Grey and McDreamy thing [early on in Grey’s Anatomy]. I think it would be more interesting to see how a real relationship develops and how you fall in and out of love, because I think they do have that connection.
TVLINE | Especially with the obstacles they’ve faced and overcome in the last three episodes. He steps up to the plate and shows Fiona he will be there no matter what, especially at her lowest.
ROSSUM | And in that sense, if you have a guy who is adorable and will clean your mother’s blood up off the floor and not run away when you know, your mother slits her wrists at Thanksgiving, that’s a pretty cool guy.
TVLINE | Last question: A fan wants to know if there will be a Dragonball Evolution 2….
ROSSUM | Dragonball 2…. Gosh, I hope not! [Laughs] Only because I can’t see Justin getting back in that outfit. That was definitely a moment in time.
CHATWIN | Oh no! [Laughs] It’s like this ongoing joke that will never die, the fact that we did that movie.