Jewish Journal

Emmy Rossum Exits ‘Shameless’

Photo: Brian Bowen Smith/SHOWTIME

Emmy Rossum is leaving “Shameless,” the Showtime drama she has starred in since 2011. She confirmed her departure in a letter posted on Facebook, without disclosing the reasons for it.

“Until ‘Shameless” came into my life eight years ago, I led that kind of transient wonderful life of an actor. And I never realized how much I actually craved the kind of continuity that this show has given me. And given all of us in the crew. Season after season I’m amazed that our same crew comes back. And it’s not just because it’s a wonderfully written, wonderfully layered show. There are these real connections, real friendships that bring us back season after season after season,” she wrote.

“In real life, unlike Fiona, I’m an only child. I never had a big family. 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. I taught Emma to shave her legs. I was there when Ethan learned to drive. Shanola and Jeremy and Joan and Bill danced at my wedding in New York last year. Our fearless leader John Wells thankfully held Sam and me up on those rickety chairs during the hora. I’ve spent the Jewish Holy Days in temple with David Nevins and his wonderful wife and kids. It really feels like a family.

“This kind of stability, this family, has nurtured me and made feel safe enough to stretch and grow creatively. The way 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 continued.

“The opportunity to play Fiona has been a gift. There are few characters — female or otherwise — as layered and dynamic. She is a mother lion, fierce, flawed and sexually liberated. She is injured, vulnerable, but will never give up. She is living in an economic depression, but refuses to be depressed. 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…quite simply, the last eight years have been the best of my life…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. With love, always.”

Rossum does appear in “Shameless’” ninth season, which premieres Sept. 9. She will be seen on the big screen in “Hard Powder,” about a snow plow driver (Liam Neeson) at a Rocky Mountains resort who seeks revenge against the drug lord who killed his son. It will be released Feb. 14.