Macy at home on ‘Shameless’ set

Vet feels he has much in common with drunken character

If the Gallagher household on “Shameless” seems swept up in chaos, the filming process on the acclaimed Showtime comedy is anything but. It’s this dedicated work ethic to which star William H. Macy attributes much of the show’s success.

“Everybody comes into each day of shooting solidly off book,” says Macy, who plays Frank Gallagher, an alcoholic near-absentee father of six who stumbles though life with a mix of self-effacement, narcissism and trademark skullduggery. “Because the blocking is pretty much set and everybody knows their lines, we shoot every scene from beginning to end without exception, which is great for an actor because we really get to rock out on those scenes.”

While Macy admittedly is “not a big preparer,” he has ample familiarity with his lead character’s motivation and backstory.

“Unfortunately, I know the character quite well,” he reveals. “I’ve been close to alcoholism before and I totally get Frank. He’s smart, funny and just happens to be an addict. But he’s so mired in his addiction, and that can turn you into a sociopath from time to time. No matter what you say about Frank, though, he’s got a great attitude about life.”

One of the season’s most compelling subplots revolves around Frank’s unexpected romance with Joan Cusack’s character, an agoraphobic housewife with a twisted appreciation for dirty sex.

“Our genuine affection seeped into it,” he says of their onscreen relationship. “It’s surprisingly sweet and touching, and Joan is a magnificent actress.”

Macy, who’s slated to pen episode six of the series next season, isn’t sure will become of Frank or the Gallagher gang, yet there’s one thing he can promise: “Frank is not getting sober.” –

ROAD TO THE EMMYS: THE ACTOR
Antiheroes and the actors who love them | Actors always playing the bridesmaid | Prior noms hope to repeat | Actors in Emmy contention
Lead Actor Contenders
Sean Bean | Steve Buscemi | Jeremy Irons | Matt LeBlanc |

Andrew Lincoln | Louis C.K. | William H. Macy | Tom Selleck

More TV

  • The Good Fight

    TV News Roundup: 'The Good Fight' Sets Season 2 Premiere Date on CBS All Access

    If the Gallagher household on “Shameless” seems swept up in chaos, the filming process on the acclaimed Showtime comedy is anything but. It’s this dedicated work ethic to which star William H. Macy attributes much of the show’s success. “Everybody comes into each day of shooting solidly off book,” says Macy, who plays Frank Gallagher, […]

  • Rachel Maddow

    Cable News Ratings: MSNBC Posts Biggest Percentage Gains of 2017

    If the Gallagher household on “Shameless” seems swept up in chaos, the filming process on the acclaimed Showtime comedy is anything but. It’s this dedicated work ethic to which star William H. Macy attributes much of the show’s success. “Everybody comes into each day of shooting solidly off book,” says Macy, who plays Frank Gallagher, […]

  • SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE: WEEKEND UPDATE --

    'SNL' Names Michael Che, Colin Jost Co-Head Writers

    If the Gallagher household on “Shameless” seems swept up in chaos, the filming process on the acclaimed Showtime comedy is anything but. It’s this dedicated work ethic to which star William H. Macy attributes much of the show’s success. “Everybody comes into each day of shooting solidly off book,” says Macy, who plays Frank Gallagher, […]

  • Emmy Awards Placeholder

    TV Academy Announces Rule Changes for 2018 Emmy Awards

    If the Gallagher household on “Shameless” seems swept up in chaos, the filming process on the acclaimed Showtime comedy is anything but. It’s this dedicated work ethic to which star William H. Macy attributes much of the show’s success. “Everybody comes into each day of shooting solidly off book,” says Macy, who plays Frank Gallagher, […]

  • Marvel's The Punisher Renewed for Season

    'Marvel's The Punisher' Renewed for Season 2

    If the Gallagher household on “Shameless” seems swept up in chaos, the filming process on the acclaimed Showtime comedy is anything but. It’s this dedicated work ethic to which star William H. Macy attributes much of the show’s success. “Everybody comes into each day of shooting solidly off book,” says Macy, who plays Frank Gallagher, […]

  • Sonia Saraiya's Top 25 Shows of

    Sonia Saraiya's 25 Best TV Shows of 2017

    If the Gallagher household on “Shameless” seems swept up in chaos, the filming process on the acclaimed Showtime comedy is anything but. It’s this dedicated work ethic to which star William H. Macy attributes much of the show’s success. “Everybody comes into each day of shooting solidly off book,” says Macy, who plays Frank Gallagher, […]

  • Nick Stoller

    Nick Stoller Inks Multi-Year Overall Deal With Sony Pictures Television

    If the Gallagher household on “Shameless” seems swept up in chaos, the filming process on the acclaimed Showtime comedy is anything but. It’s this dedicated work ethic to which star William H. Macy attributes much of the show’s success. “Everybody comes into each day of shooting solidly off book,” says Macy, who plays Frank Gallagher, […]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content