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.” –

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

  • Mike Fleiss

    ‘The Bachelor’ Creator Mike Fleiss Accused of Attacking Wife

    “The Bachelor” and “The Bachelorette” creator Mike Fleiss has been accused of attacking his wife Laura Fleiss at their home in Hawaii on July 4, according to documents obtained by Variety. The documents show that Laura Fleiss, who is currently pregnant, filed for an emergency domestic violence restraining order against her husband after he allegedly [...]

  • James Cordon Drag Race Handmaids Tale

    Emmys Trivia: 20 Surprising Facts From 2019's Nominations

    For a show that technically wasn’t eligible at the Emmy Awards in 2019, “The Handmaid’s Tale” did quite well this year. The Hulu drama picked up 11 nominations, including major ones like outstanding directing, writing, guest actress and guest actor, thanks to a quirk in the TV Academy’s Emmy rules. As previously noted, most of [...]

  • 'Schitt's Creek' Emmy Nominations Give Boost

    'Schitt's Creek' Emmy Nominations Give Boost to Pop's Profile

    The core executive team at Pop TV expected to be disappointed, but they still gathered at the CBS-owned cable channel’s Playa Vista offices early Tuesday morning for the reveal of this year’s Primetime Emmy Awards nominations. They were not disappointed. “Schitt’s Creek,” the quirky comedy series that has punched above its weight for Pop since [...]

  • Beyonce-HOMECOMING-Netflix

    Beyoncé, Sara Bareilles Vie for First Emmys as Ramin Djawadi Looks to Reclaim Throne

    Beyoncé and Sara Bareilles could add Emmy trophies to their awards shelves this year, having been nominated in key music categories Tuesday by the Television Academy. Beyoncé’s “Homecoming” special on Netflix was nominated in six categories, and four of those include a nod for the pop superstar herself. Only one of those is in a [...]

  • Disney Content Sales President Janice Marinelli

    Disney Content Sales President Janice Marinelli to Depart

    Janice Marinelli, president of global sales and marketing at Walt Disney’s direct-to-consumer and international segment, said Tuesday that she would step down from her role after a 34-year career at the company. “It has been an honor to work for this company and a privilege to work with so many outstanding professionals,” said Marinelli in [...]

  • Dusty Slay

    Late-Night Bookers Take to the Internet in Search of Emerging Comics

    With Netflix releasing a comedy special every week and YouTube offering a portal into both cutting-edge performance and the best comedy sets in history, it’s never been easier for audiences to access an endless stream of standup. But for fledgling comics, there’s still no more game-changing showcase than a five-minute slot on a late-night talk [...]


    CBS Warns DirecTV, AT&T U-Verse May Drop Network

    Some of CBS Corp.’s biggest stations and its flagship network could be dropped from AT&T’s various cable and satellite services if a carriage agreement between the companies is not reached by July 19. “CBS has reached timely, fair agreements with hundreds of other cable, satellite, telco and internet providers to carry our industry-leading, fan-favorite programming,”  [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content