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Why did Emmy Rossum decide to leave 'Shameless' after season 9? See if you can parse out the reason why.

Is this the real reason why Emmy Rossum left ‘Shameless’?

We all follow Shameless for its wild reputation. Whether it be for the intense romantic relationship between Mickey Milkovich (Noel Fisher) & Ian Gallagher (Cameron Monaghan) to Frank Gallagher’s (William H. Macy) “not so together parenting” to the extremely loyal family dynamic and southside pride.

However, the verdict remains that Fiona Gallagher, who was played by Emmy Rossum, has left an extreme mark on Shameless fans. As the “stand in” mother to the Gallagher clan, Emmy Rossum’s character has gone through a rollercoaster of ups and downs herself.

Audiences may recall such memorable Fiona Gallagher moments were: when she testified against Frank for child custody; when she cleaned up Monica’s (Chloe Webb) blood from the kitchen; when she punched the racist neighbor; when she sat through a horrifying performance of  the “The F Word” song after cheating on her ex. These instances are just to name a few. 

The exit

There is no doubt that Fiona Gallagher was a larger than life presence that made Shameless what it is today. The Showtime series had success in all eleven seasons, creating a wide audience that loves drama and the show’s complexity. 

Unfortunately, Emmy Rossum decided to leave the show after season nine in 2018. Shameless continued through the last two seasons without the main pillar of the show – and she has yet to escape anyone’s mind. 

Shameless has made its way into countless homes and hearts across America, winning over 30 awards since its premiere. Labeling it a highly binge worthy Netflix program.  So what was the real reason Emmy Rossum left such a successful show?

Relationships with co-stars

In 2017, Emma Kenney, the young actress who portrayed Debbie Gallagher, described her co-stars as like having a second family. Yet, most recently she revealed that working with Rossum caused her a bit of anxiety for the child actress. The Independent quoted Kenney,  

“I remember pre her leaving, I’d go to set some days and I’d be very anxious having a scene with her because if she had a bad day, she made it a bad day for everybody,” 

Emma Kenney continued to explain there was an environment created on set where she felt a sense of competition between her and Rossum despite their thirteen-year age gap.  Although Rossum’s mood swings did affect her, she said “everyone handles things differently.”

“During an appearance on the Call Her Daddy podcast, the 22-year-old revealed that Rossum’s exit from the recently-wrapped showtime drama “was weird at first,” however, ‘the set became more of a positive place’ after she left” reported The Independent 

Kenney admittedly stated that she and Emmy Rossum haven’t spoken in years but she still loves her greatly and wishes the best for her. There have been no statements from Rossum in response to Kenney’s comments and no other reported conflict behind the scenes on Shameless.

Spreading her wings 

When she announced that she was leaving the show, Emmy Rossum had expressed her gratitude for her time on Shameless. Ultimately she hoped to spread her wings toward new creative endeavors. 

According to Showbiz Cheat Sheet, Rossum explained her need to embark on a new path through an emotional departure and touching dedication to Shameless through a Facebook post.

“This kind of stability, this family, has nurtured me and made me feel safe enough to stretch and grow creatively,” she wrote to fans on Facebook. “The way [executive producer and showrunner] 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.”

Emmy Rossum’s professional experience on  Shameless as a director and writer has inspired her to take on new and challenging projects. She has since been featured on Cold Pursuit and her husband’s, Sam Esmail, Mr. Robot. 

New mom 

On May 25th, an elated Emmy Rossum announced the birth of her daughter on social media.  Shameless fans were taken back that she became a new mom and showered her with happy congratulations. 

While welcoming Rossum’s newborn into the world, viewers also put two and two together. They realized that Rossum’s pregnancy could have been the reason she didn’t make an appearance on the Shameless grand finale.  It was clear that Emmy Rossum had her hands full preparing for a new chapter in her life all together.  

What next?

In all honesty, there are many things to speculate on Rossum’s exit. The real reason as to why Emmy Rossum left Shameless could be an accumulation of on-set tension, growing out of the show creatively, or her life taking a new direction with motherhood. 

In addition, Variety reported that Rossum had demanded to be paid just as much as her male co-star, William H Macy. Instead, she settled on a contract the season prior to leaving to show. 

Perhaps the real reason is that Emmy Rossum flourished as much as she could on Shameless as her unforgettable role as Fiona Gallagher. In the end, it was time to move onto bigger and greater things. Fiona Gallagher is ingrained into the DNA of Shameless and that in itself is a great accomplishment . 

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