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.” –
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