Shameless' Emmy Rossum on Fiona's New 'Normal Existence' -- and How She Blows It Up

Shameless Season 4 SpoilersShameless heroine Fiona Gallagher has finally found stability in love and work in Season 4 (which premieres this Sunday at 9/8c on Showtime) — but can she hold onto it? And does she even want it?

Boyfriend Jimmy may be out of her life, but Fiona is still addicted to danger, so she messes up her healthy relationship with boss Mike by beginning an “unwise affair,” previews star Emmy Rossum.

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And things only get more troubling when Fi gets ‘cuffs slapped on to her wrists. Meanwhile, Lip isn’t quite fitting in at college, and Debbie is entering her teen years with frightening gusto.

Read on to find out what else is in store for the Gallagher brood.

TVLINE | At the end of last season, we found out what happened to Jimmy, but Fiona didn’t. What does she think is going on?
She definitely misses him, but I think she thinks… They ended with that big fight. He said he’ll come home, and then he didn’t. It goes to reinforce her old male issues and trust issues and abandonment issues. When we pick up, she’s dating her boss at the cup factory. She has, for the first time, a normal existence. She has this good job. She has money coming in. She has health insurance for the first time, which is huge. The kids are getting $5 for lunch instead of whatever leftover brown bag lunch she can pick up from the kitchen. They’re hanging out with his family. They’re doing tailgating parties outside the Bears game. She’s living this very normal existence.

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TVLINE | Is she enjoying that normal existence?
No. It’s this internal struggle. If you’ve always struggled your whole life, and then all of a sudden you don’t have to, there’s that misplaced energy and that familiar chaos that you long for. Basically, a couple of episodes in, she’ll start to get antsy. She begins to self-sabotage, much to my own chagrin. It is believable with somebody that’s grown up with chaos that they would explode.

TVLINE | Is not knowing about Jimmy affecting her?
No. It’s very believable to just hope somebody would go away, that they took your word for it and went away. It definitely causes her pain to a certain extent, but she just views it as a break-up. And I’m secretly hoping that maybe that’s all it is and that if you don’t see a character on television shot in the head, that they can actually come back.

Shameless Season 4 SpoilersTVLINE | What are Fiona and Mike like compared to some of her past relationships?
Mike listens to One Direction in the morning. He’s chipper, excited and he cares about her. If she doesn’t call when she says she would, he freaks out. So he’s not a car thief. He’s not dangerous. He’s sexy. He’s stable. For somebody that hasn’t grown up knowing that that’s what you should want, that’s what’s supposed to feel good, it doesn’t feel good for her.

PHOTO | Shameless Season 4 Poster

TVLINE | I hear his brother (played by The Newsroom‘s Nick Gehlfuss) comes in and shakes things up.
That’s one way of putting it. Yeah, his brother’s name is Robbie, and he’s fresh out of rehab. He is just her easiest way to mess everything up. She’s really addicted to chaos — not addicted to drugs or alcohol in the same way that Frank is. But there’s really a chaos about the Gallagher house that makes her feel safe, that makes her struggle but makes her feel comfortable. It’s familiar to her. So she starts to create that when there’s an absence of it.

Shameless Season 4 SpoilersTVLINE | Lip is now in college. How’s he adjusting to that?
He realizes that he’s not the smartest one in the room anymore. You actually have to work hard in college, and it’s not just about partying and mouthing off to your professors and being the smartest one in your high school classroom. That’s not enough in the college where he is. So he’s struggling to find his way there, to make grades and stay in school. When Fiona starts really struggling at home, he wants to leave college and come pick up the mess that she’s created at home. She doesn’t want that. She wants him to stay in school. She wants to fix her own problems.

TVLINE | And Ian enlisted at the end of last season. Does that mean we won’t be seeing him?
No, he’s back. He’s just back later in the season. That’s a fascinating arc because he’s been away for a couple of episodes, and the changes that have happened in him are pretty drastic.

TVLINE | What’s new in the other kids’ lives? Debbie is growing up.
Which is terrifying. She’s got these friends in school that are very sophisticated and very grown-up themselves. They’re much more progressive, romantically, than she is. One of them is even 13 and pregnant. And they’re advising her on dating and how to hold down a man. So she’s going through the process of trying to figure out what dating is, what feelings of infatuation and love are. It’s very interesting how that all gets confused with sex, control and power for her. And of course, she’s only 14, so we’re not doing anything to the actress that is at all uncomfortable for her. But it’s a more adult storyline than she’s ever had.

TVLINE | There’s a trailer with a clip of Fiona getting arrested. What’s going on there?
I can’t say anything more than Fiona makes a huge mistake.

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26 Comments
  1. EJ386 says:

    I want Ian back… I missed him last episode.

  2. Lauren says:

    It’s going to be hard seeing Fiona self-destruct. I’m with Emmy, I hope Jimmy comes back in the future. He was pissing me off last season but I think they can still redeem him and make his character fresh again.
    I miss Ian too, it’s not the same without him.

  3. Eliza says:

    I do miss Jimmy. The character got way in over his head & his relationship with Fiona really suffered. But I still couldn’t help loving Fiona & Jimmy together as well as Emmy & Justin – who have amazing chemistry imho. Although, NGL, I have had a crush on Jake McDorman since Greek so I am happy to see him as a regular. And I happen to like Fiona & Mike a lot. I won’t enjoy watching her screw everything up. But I am also still hoping & praying that Jimmy isn’t dead, and there’s a possibility of a reunion down the line.

  4. Francine says:

    Thanks for the interview! Emmy is fantastic on this show and really deserves more recognition. I will miss Jimmy’s character, but not the character the writers made him out to be last season. I would be all for him coming back at some point though. I want to know more about what Kev and Veronica will be up to this season. They do so many weird and disturbing things, but they crack me up and they so obviously really love each other.

  5. DN says:

    Talk about self-sabotage, perhaps the show runners are projecting their own horrible error in Fiona’s decisions. For three seasons they built up Fiona and Jimmy’s relationship, only to be all thumbs in their dismissal of him (how unoriginal was it to have him be killed in the exact way we were warned early in the season!).

    I’m curious to see what the ratings will be. I know that I’m done with the show. Do not invest in it for the producers will yank that proverbial rug from under you for no particular reason. Bad writing.

  6. HAP says:

    Would that more shows had such bad writing.

    • LM says:

      Speaking of bad writing, what the ????

      If you are trying to express that the writing is good and other shows would be lucky to have such writing as “Shameless” does, perhaps you need to pay better attention to how the show was written last season (e.g. Fiona doesn’t connect Estafania to Jimmy’s disappearance? Seriously?).

      And now, I understand Lip’s well established genius is gone, for he’s struggling in college (I’m not watching any more, but I’ve seen comments).

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  8. pria says:

    Can’t wait for Ian to return. Him and Mickey are very compelling to watch.

    Emmy is wonderful. Can’t wait for Sunday!

  9. erica says:

    Even Emmy wants Jimmy back! COME ON SHAMELESS PRODUCERS. I don’t care how you bring him back; I understand what a brat Jimmy was last season. But he is, for me, a HUGE part of this show. :(

    • LM says:

      Jimmy was only a “brat” in season 3 because the writers made him that way. There is a core to “Shameless”, and that’s Fiona and Jimmy (whatever happened in her world, he was there for her).

      In fact, it would be easy to bring him back, as we never saw his mafia hit (thanks to the producers running out of rental time on the yacht!) I thought it would be interesting to see their story move forward and how that would effect her family (e.g. proposing to her and/or getting Fi pregnant).

      • erica says:

        Oh, I mean I totally agree with you. I know that the writers trashed his character in Season 3. Fiona and Jimmy were why I even watched Shameless. I was more conceding the point that he was kind of terrible last season preemptively because usually when I say something about wanting Jimmy back I get tons of “HE WAS AWFUL TO FIONA” comments in response. I’m really hoping the producers take advantage of the lucky draw in not showing his death and bring him back.

  10. stephen says:

    I miss Ian.

  11. Art says:

    It’s not the same with out Jimmy the show sucks with out him it will be more exiting season him coming back.

  12. Alex says:

    Really a big fan of the Ian and Mickey storyline. You mentioned he would be back later in the season with drastic changes. I hope that doesn’t include turning heterosexual as he did in the shameless overseas…

  13. Alexa says:

    Okay seriously, if the producers are still going to use & show Justin’s ass in the opening credits then he deserves a spot on the show. I enjoy watching shameless, it’s my guilty pleasure but the show is so sobering, I enjoy the dynamic of the new characters but jimmy being gone is sad really. He’s apart of this series & even the way they supposedly “got rid of him” is so corny. I will still watch shameless but if they don’t bring jimmy back then the show won’t be so interesting. I wish they would bring him back with a clean fresh start.

  14. Dulce says:

    Completely and totally disappointed that Jimmy is no longer on the show. The way he was written off was stupid, and they would be better off bringing him back on a clean slate. The chemistry between him and Fiona are the sole reason I watch the show.

  15. b .chandler says:

    emmy rossum/justin chatwin chemestry off the scale. they should do a real love story,all her sex seens now look like acting,.to much shock not enough real life in the show.emmy rossum in interviews has to defend her self as a good person no hard drugs or one night flings so she is a great actress.looks like she will start turning tricks or porn in the show,where is show and the real family unit one of the shows strengths gone to it is still good but it was great

  16. I think that Fiona needs to own up to what she has done.
    I understand it was your birthday but why would u do coke in the house with kids in the house. And why would u open it up and now lip is going ro take over as legel gudian. And I love Debbie she ia real funny and she is in love. And I want Ian back to the way that he used to be.

  17. carol says:

    Bring Jimmy/Steve back, he is one good lesson I watch the show, chemistry between him and Fiona is great, need a love story here readers. They’re each others true love!

    • Shannon says:

      I think Fiona and Mike should get back together. He must still love her if he post bail. She messed up and so did his brother. But he tells his brother he. Got her out of jail. I think since she is in jail she knows she has messed up big time. I think Mikes the best thing that ever happen to her. At one time he was going to move in with her. That’s a big step with all the kids.i hope I see more of Mike with Fiona. Please don’t take him off the show. We see more of his brother than him.

  18. michael stainforth says:

    the last episode of series 3 has just been shown here in the united kingdom,i was expecting there would be no series 4 as all the characters seemed to be having end stories and was surprised to see it continue.much as i love the usa version and the quality of acting sadly missing from some of your other imports to our shores, i fear that the american tv networks will again do the keep making it until the quality diminishes and the ratings drop trick,stargate,lost etc and many others that could best be forgotten.

  19. michael stainforth says:

    oh yeah,……your frank is too nice……

  20. Willingham says:

    Thanks for your nice blog. It was great working with you and all the students in Sacramento.I encourage you to add screen shot of your app and also link to it

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