Emma Kenney has had quite the season playing Debbie Gallagher on Showtime’s addictive, over-the-top, comedy, SHAMELESS. We’ve seen her character grow so much this season, whether it’s embracing her independence or having her first real relationship, our little Gallagher is growing up. I chatted with the talented young actress about her character’s growth this season, Bianca and Sammie joining the show, and what we can look forward to in tonight’s season finale.
Debbie’s changed a lot over the years. How has that been for you?
It’s kind of like how we are in life, we are constantly changing and experiencing new things that make us change as people. It’s been fun to play Debbie like that and really get to see her as more of an older teenager with different kinds of responsibilities and focuses in her life besides her family, like we’ve seen in previous seasons.
Do you like Debbie’s relationship with Derek? (Luca Oriel) Do you think he’s a good match for her?
Yeah, I definitely do! I remember when I read the first episode with Derek she was kind of playing hard to get in sort of a mean way. I remember thinking “he kind of seems like a jerk and I don’t think they are going to be good together.” But we really get to see that Derek has a soft spot for Debbie and he’s really sweet together, and he definitely treats her well, I really like them together.
How do you feel about Bianca’s (Bojana Novakovic) storyline with Frank (William H. Macy) this season?
I love that storyline! It’s kind of interesting and really nice to see Frank genuinely in love. We’ve seen him with Monica (Chloe Webb) but I almost don’t think that’s love in a way, he’s infatuated with Bianca and we kind of see a sparkle in his eye. Bill Macy is playing that storyline beautifully and obviously so is Bojana. It’s a nice difference, it shows that Frank doesn’t just care about himself and that he is putting all of his energy and worries into someone other than himself, and not worries like how much alcohol he has or when he’s going to get drunk, he’s showing responsibility, which is nice.
How do you think Sammie has shaken up the Gallagher household this season?
I love Emily Bergl so much as a person, but I hate Sammie the character. That just means Emily is playing her well because that’s the point. I think it’s kind of interesting to see, ever since Sammie joined the show and joined becoming a Gallagher last season I’ve noticed the Gallagher’s don’t like change and we changed a lot this season with Carl especially and Debbie too, everybody really. Imagine adding someone to your family, that’s just weird for anybody, especially the Gallagher’s who are a tight-knit group. It’s weird to see Sammie in the Gallagher house because she is sort of breaking the cycle.
How will we see Debbie react to the news that Sammie isn’t dead?
Well you’ll have to just watch and see! The storyline with Mickey (Noel Fisher) and Debbie where they plan to kill Sammie was one of my favorite storylines to do. Working with Noel Fisher is amazing; you instantly become a better actor whenever you’re around his presence because he is so talented. He’s also so nice and so fun to work with; he’s such a positive, good person. We were dying and cracking up filming those scenes. The part in the scene where Debbie is in her bed explaining to Mickey her whole dream sequence. They had the cameras rolling for fifteen minutes improvising and we were doing all of these facial expressions and we kept laughing. It was really great!
What shows are you loving on TV right now?
I don’t really watch TV, I just watch Netflix. GOSSIP GIRL is my all time favorite show, and I’ve been watching BATES MOTEL on Netflix and it’s really good. Psycho is one of my all time favorite movies and Alfred Hitchcock was my favorite director.
What can you tell us about tonight’s finale?
For my character at least there is such a shocking scene, I don’t even know how it’s going to play out. There’s a lot of suspense for sure, I think every season finale that SHAMELESS has ever had has had a big cliffhanger and this season one of the bigger cliffhangers is involving my character. So I’m really excited about that!
You can watch Emma on the season finale of SHAMELESS tonight on Showtime.