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Interview With Emma Kenney Of Showtime’s “Shameless”

Emma-Kenney2(PCM) Showtime’s hit series Shameless has recently premiered its’ third season and the ratings have been through the roof. Seems we just can’t get enough of the Gallagher clan and all of their insanely addictive antics. We recently had a chance to chat with series star Emma Kenney who plays youngest daughter Debbie Gallagher. We spoke about the ways in which her character is continuing to grow-up and mature, the experience of her first on-screen kiss and more!

Q: Congratulations on such awesome season three premiere numbers!  It was so awesome to hear!

Emma Kenney: Thank you so much!  I am really happy with the ratings and I’m really excited for you guys to see the rest of the season.

Q: Yeah, when I heard you guys were paired up with the Golden Globes, I thought to myself “Oh, no!”

Emma Kenney: We were actually really worried, but we had 2.6 million viewers which was more than we’ve ever had for any other episode, so we are really happy and that was with the Golden Globes. So that was good.

Q: That’s incredible. It really seems that Shameless seems to be continuing to pick up with the popularity from season to season which is great for you guys.

Emma Kenney: Yeah, thank you!  It is really exciting.

Q: I know you probably can’t reveal a whole lot, but is there anything you can share with us about what is in-store for this coming season? It seems to be off to a pretty exciting start.

Emma Kenney: Definitely. This season is off to a start with drama, comedy, romance, some mystery, and horror. Yes, we even have some horror coming up this season. It really spreads out among different genres and you really get to see all of our characters shown in different ways which is really really exciting.

Q: For you as an actress, how is it for you to get to explore some of those different sides?

Emma Kenney: It was really fun to play Debbie in a different way. It was really exciting and exhilarating because it was something I hadn’t done before, like for instance the episode where Debbie was beating up Frank. I was beating up Frank and was like finally Debbie has had enough and she just lashed out. I think she got a lot more respect from the other kids, the other Gallaghers, because she finally stopped holding on to that hope that Frank would turn over a new leaf and she could be daddy’s little girl. She finally let go of that and she is turning into a new person. She is a lot stronger now and it is really fun to get to play Debbie in that way.

Q: Absolutely!  I think we have always seen Debbie’s character as being the one that holds the last shred of hope for Frank, when the rest of the family has already given up so I think it was only a matter of time.

Emma Kenney: I know!  It was inevitable.

Q: Are there any scenes or episodes for your character in particular that you are excited for us to check out this season?

Emma Kenney: The whole episode five I’m excited for you to see which is probably my favorite episode of the whole show because you get to see Debbie trying to be a bit more social, trying to make friends and stuff and it just comes out really really wrong and socially awkward. You get to see Debbie start a new life and really experience a lot of new things.

Q: We are obviously seeing Debbie growing up a lot this season. Did I hear a rumor that she will have her first kiss this season?

Emma Kenney: Yes (laughs) Debbie has to kiss someone this season. Oh, my gosh!

Q: What was the experience like filming that for you?

Emma Kenney: It was so awkward! We do the scene and it is on a playground in Chicago and all the neighborhood kids were there watching along with the crew,so there were like 75 people watching us film the scene. It was just mortifying! I will never forget that experience. Right after we did the take, everyone started laughing and I was like “What’s happening?” “What did I do?” (laughs)

Q: Do you get a lot of people that come around and watch the filming like that?

Emma Kenney: We do, especially when we are in Chicago. Not really when we are in LA because it is a closed set there. When we are in Chicago, we are shooting in an actual neighborhood so there is an actual Gallagher house so really anyone who wants can come watch the filming. A lot of times we will get fans who come watch the filming and get to meet everyone, so that is really cool. The actual family that lives in the Gallagher house are so sweet. There is a little boy who lives in the Gallagher house named DJ who is like four or five who is absolutely adorable.

Q: That’s so cool!  I’m guessing it is like going to visit family again?

Emma Kenney: It really is and it is a lot of fun!

Q: How long do you film in each location generally?

Emma Kenney: We shoot all the inside scenes in LA and sometimes a few other places around California and at Warner Brothers for the first six episodes, then we go to Chicago for about two weeks and we shoot all the outside scenes like the Gallagher house, etc then we come back to LA and shoot the last six episodes, then we go back to Chicago to shoot all the outside scenes for those last six episodes.

NQ: It seems like you all have such great chemistry on and off the set. Any favorite scenes or fun moments that have happened behind-the-scenes?

Emma Kenney: Yeah, we are all really, really close. We have been working together forever now, so we’ve all gotten to become like family. I really enjoy doing the big breakfast or dinner scenes because they are always really chaotic and usually have everyone together making the plans for the day. We always have the best time joking around and it is really a good time.

Q: You are very active on social media such as Twitter and Instagram. Are a lot of fans of the show connecting with you on those outlets?

Emma Kenney: Yes, they are and it’s really great! So many people will tweet me about episodes and stuff!

Q: I see that you are pursuing a bit of photography. How did you get into that?

Emma Kenney: I guess I just like photography. I enjoy taking pictures. I am always taking a ton with my iPhone, but for Christmas I got a D3100 SLR camera, a polaroid camera and a 360 camera so I have been playing around with all of those and experimenting. It is a lot of fun, I actually have my Polaroid camera with me right now!

Q: Awesome!  You are going to get very addicted to that, trust me!

Emma Kenney: Yeah, I know!  I love it!

Q: What are some of your plans for the rest of this year? Do you have anything fun planned for this summer?

Emma Kenney: I am going to Paris with my friend this spring or summer, so I am very excited about that trip. My family and I are going to the Caribbean as well, so there are a lot of fun things planned on the horizon. I am also hoping to do a movie this hiatus so hopefully…if you know any directors…I’m only kidding (laughs)

Q: We will put the word out there!

Emma Kenney: Awesome (laughs)

Q: Do you have a dream role that you would like to tackle one day?

Emma Kenney: I really want to do an action movie! Maybe an Alice in Wonderland type of story-line, I really love Alice In Wonderland!

Q: That would be so much fun!

Emma Kenney: I don’t know how I would play Alice because I have auburn hair, but you know, whatever! I can play the Red Queen (laughs)

Q: Perfect!  Thank you so much for speaking with us today! We are certainly looking forward to the rest of this season of Shameless!

Emma Kenney: Yes, thank you so much!

You can follow Emma on Twitter



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