Today’s TV Addict Top 5: Questions with SHAMELESS Star Cameron Monaghan

Just how much fun is the scandalous and sex-filled second season of Showtime’s SHAMELESS premiering this Sunday at 10PM (Monday at 9PM on TMN in Canada). So much so that we feel the inexplicable need to forgoe lunch at today’s action-packed NBC portion of Winter TCA 2012 to bring you a few words with last season’s break-out star Cameron Monaghan.

Despite the rising number of gay teens on television, a character like Ian on SHAMELESS still remains somewhat of a standout. What type of reaction have you gotten to your role on the show?
Cameron Monaghan: It’s been awesome. I like to focus on the social media, Facebook, Twitter and I speak to fans as much as possible. I get tons of tons of messages and comments saying that they’re a gay teen watching this or they were a gay teen growing up and this is their story. They feel like they can really relate to this and they’re glad that someone is portraying it honestly, fairly and without insulting their intelligence.

As a young actor yourself, was there any apprehension to tackling a role that right off the bat required you to partake in some incredibly graphic scenes so sexual in nature?
When I first read the script for the pilot it was definitely shocking because it was something that I hadn’t seen before and I didn’t know what exactly it was doing, it it was trying to be exploitative or shocking. But then I realized, No, it was just trying to portray a story as honestly as possible and after reading the entire script I just knew this was a project I had to be part of.

At the end of last season, your character came out to Fiona (Emmy Rossum). Is it safe to assume that Ian will be having more conversations of that kind with the rest of his family in season two and if so how do you think Frank (William H. Macy) will react?
At the end of last season Fiona was the first person that Ian really came out to by choice where he wasn’t forced out of the closet, so I think that will definitely continue throughout the series. As for Frank, Ian is kind of disdainful towards Frank, as all the family is. He’s the least understanding person on the planet, so it will be interesting to see how he reacts to the news.

What can you tease this season with regards to your character’s professional and personal goals. Will Ian make a decision between Kash and Mickey and does his post-high school plan still remain attending the Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (ROTC)?
Those stories definitely continue on but some surprising stuff comes up that you might not expect to happen (Editor’s Note: Kash and his store’s stock room does play a role in the first season back, while Mickey becomes a free man by the season’s second episode!) As far as the ROTC storyline, a lot of people were saying, ‘What’s going to happen with Ian and the whole military thing,’ because it wasn’t brought up much in the second half of last season, but it definitely becomes a big part of this season.

As a young actor, what is it like to step onto a soundstage with the likes of William H. Macy, Joan Cusack and Emmy Rossum?
Unreal. These are people that I grew up watching. William H. Macy, I’ve always respected to the point that I used to say I wish I could play his son so it’s amazing I finally can. And I’ve just learned how you can basically grow up to be a legend yet still be so incredibly humble. Joan is an incredible woman, when we first arrived in Chicago she invited us over to her house to eat pizza and have a little fun. They’re just so down to earth and are amazing.

SHAMELESS Season 2 premieres on Sunday January 8th at 9PM on Showtime (Monday January 9th at 9PM on TMN in Canada)

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