On March 10, the ninth season of Shameless will end — and so will star Emmy Rossum's time on the series. Last year, Rossum made the surprise decision to exit Showtime's family dramedy, where she portrayed eldest Gallagher daughter Fiona since the show's premiere episode in 2011. While Fi's send-off will no doubt be emotional for the characters on the Chicago-set series, it's Rossum's co-stars who may miss her the most.
"She’s never going to be replaced; we’re just gonna have to figure out how to work it without her."
William H. Macy, who plays not-exactly-awesome parent Frank, also shared warm words about his onscreen daughter.
"I was completely behind her decisions, but I’m going to miss her," Macy told the outlet. "Emmy has serious acting chops. You can’t buy ’em, you can’t learn ’em, you’ve got to have ’em. It’s going to be brand new territory without her; who knows where it’s going to go?"
"As the time went on, the leadership role started to feel somewhat shared [with Macy]," Rossum said during a Vulture Festival panel in 2017. "I just felt that I love the show, I love everyone in it, I want to keep doing it, but I just wanted it to feel right."
Just as Macy was behind her decision to leave Shameless, he also supported her quest for pay parity.
"It’s unconscionable they would pay a woman less for the same job," Macy told the panel. “It’s show biz’s job to get us for as cheaply as they can — and our job to say no."
While Rossum may not be a day-to-day part of Shameless, showrunner John Wells told Variety the door is always open for a guest spot, should she want it.
"It’s what people do — they get on with their lives," Wells explained. "We hope she’ll come back in at some point and play with everybody again, but she’s got other options."
Macy admitted to Variety that he's eager to see Fiona return as well.
"I think Emmy will come back and make a guest appearance before this thing sets sail. She better, otherwise I’m gonna grab her by the ear and bring her back."
Let's hope Fiona is up for a family reunion in the future, though — once she finally gets some long awaited breathing room.