Shameless US star Emmy Rossum will be bowing out of her role after the upcoming ninth season as she confirms her exit from the show.
Emmy has starred in the Showtime series since its pilot in 2011, playing eldest Gallagher sibling Fiona, who had to step up and take over caring for her family while living with her alcoholic father Frank (William H Macy).
In a lengthy and emotional Facebook post, Emmy reflected on her years on the show, explaining that the cast and crew had become like family to her over the eight years since the series started.
“In real life, unlike Fiona, I’m an only child. I never had a big family,” the actress wrote. “Being ensconced in that messy Gallagher family love is something I’d always dreamed of. But even off set, it feels real.”
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.”
Emmy ended by sharing that she knows the series will “continue on without me, for now”. “There is much more Gallagher story to be told,” she added. “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.”
Shameless showrunner John Wells also confirmed Emmy’s departure in a statement, sharing that they’re currently working on a “Gallagher-worthy sendoff” for her character Fiona.
“Emmy Rossum will forever be part of the Shameless family,” he said. “She has been integral to the show’s success, from her wonderful portrayal of Fiona to her leadership role on set, as well as directing multiple episodes of the series.
“We are hard at work now creating a season nine finale for Shameless which we hope will provide a Gallagher-worthy sendoff for Fiona that honours the great work Emmy has done. It is always bittersweet when an ensemble member decides to move out of the proverbial house, but our door will always remain open for Fiona to return home for a visit, or to move back in.
“I look forward to continuing the stories of this wildly unpredictable family and all of us on Shameless will miss Emmy and her wonderful Fiona.”
Before Fiona moves away from the Gallaghers, she’ll first have to get through another series of misadventures with her family when Shameless returns next month.
Earlier in August, it was confirmed that TV greats Katey Sagal and Courteney Cox would be guest starring in the show’s upcoming ninth season, with Sagal appearing as Ingrid Jones, a psych patient that Frank meets in the ER, while Cox will star as Jen Wagner, a former actress with an alcohol problem.
Shameless returns for season 9 on September 9 on Showtime in the US, with Netflix airing the show in the UK.
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