An American remake of a popular British show of the same name, Shameless managed to become a pretty big hit. Focused on the Gallagher family and the people who come in and out of their lives, the show depicts a world unlike what audiences see in most mainstream television.
In the midst of airing its 9th season at the time of this writing, over its extended run the show has been consistent in one thing above all else: the often outrageous characters it focuses on. Considering that many of the actors have worked on the show for years, it is easy to believe they have a lot in common with their character. However, there are photos floating around out there that prove things are not as they seem behind the scenes. With that in mind, it is time to look at these photos from the Shameless cast and crew that change everything.
In order for an image to be considered for possible inclusion on this list, it first and foremost needs to relate to something from behind the scenes of Shameless. That said, it should be noted that we did not limit ourselves strictly to images that were captured during the show’s production process. As a result, you may find images from the personal lives of the cast included here but only if they somehow relate to the show. For instance, images of the show’s cast spending time together away from set could be found here.
Here are 25 Behind-The-Scenes Photos From Shameless That Change Everything.
25 Original Cast Members Looking So Young
Uploaded to Facebook by Emmy Rossum, everything about this image makes Shameless look a lot older than it is, which is really saying something. It looks like it was taken by a Polaroid camera which is technology that has all but disappeared at this point. If that weren’t enough, the photo also is in black and white, which always brings to mind images from decades ago. Finally, many of the cast members look much younger in this shot than they are now.
When you add all of that together, it makes Shameless seem a lot less contemporary than it actually is.
24 On-Set Feast
As characters that usually get by one day at a time, the Gallaghers don’t have the luxury to expect to get the best things in life. In some cases, they even scrape and scrap to get the basics of life. For that reason, they have become experts at working hard and cutting corners to get their hands on whatever they need. Obviously, that’s a way of life the actors that play them have not been forced into ever or in many years.
This picture shows just how different the cast’s way of life is to their characters.
They’re enjoying free food that looks pretty high-quality during a break in filming.
23 City Street Silliness
Currently 19 years old, Emma Kenney first began starring in Shameless she was only a child. As a result, a photo like this one that shows how much she has grown up is going to be surprising to those that have not kept up with the series. On top of that, however, there are other aspects of this photo that make you look at Shameless in a slightly different light.
It is remarkable to see this talented young actor clearly goofing around while shooting the show.
If that weren’t enough, the cop in the background appears to be there to secure her safety instead of chasing her down, which is what cops typically do to Gallaghers.
22 Spending Their time off Together
One of the most important aspects of the core Shameless characters is that at the end of the day they almost always have one another’s backs. Well, at least that is the case for everyone but Frank, whose never-ending shenanigans have turned off his closest friends and family.
For that reason, it is heartwarming to see so many of the show’s stars happily spending time together away from the set. In fact, that aspect of this image only serves to underline the feeling the show gives to its audience. However, the fact that they are holding their little get-together at an obviously high-end restaurant goes against everything we know about their characters.
21 Fiona’s not so glam wedding
Set to depart from Shameless at the end of this season, Fiona Gallagher has been such a key part of the show’s success that it is hard to imagine it continuing without her. She has been the focus of some of the series’ biggest moments, including an episode in which she almost married the character Sean, who was played by Dermot Mulroney.
In a shot that was taken during the filming of that episode, we see Emmy Rossum wearing her character’s veil and some street clothes. Considering how gorgeous she ended up looking in the full wedding dress her character wore, seeing her pair things with casual clothing is strange.
20 Surprisingly Sweet Svetlana
At this point, seeing Svetlana Yevgenivna go from Shameless managed to be both a disappointment and a huge relief. Her character was entertaining to watch as she was uniquely competent for the show and she also had an incredibly crafty and selfish side. However, after she took complete advantage of two lovable characters, V and Kev, it felt good to see her get her much deserved comeuppance which resulted in her departure.
Considering how destructive Kev, V, and Svetlana ended up being to each other’s lives, it is really interesting to see the three actors that played them happily posing among other co-stars in this photo.
19 William H. Macy at a Writer’s Meeting
An actor who made his television debut all the way back in 1978, William H. Macy has had a lengthy career that has involved playing a wide array of characters. All of that work has allowed him to mostly escape being typecast by either casting agents or audiences.
When Macy’s name is brought up almost everyone is bound to think of him as being an actor.
Despite that, here we have a photo of him in the midst of attending a writer’s room meeting in relation to a Shameless episode he wrote that was named “Can I Have a Mother”. Shameless viewers knew he was skilled, but not like this.
18 Sammi Getting Cozy with the Gallaghers
A tangential member of the Gallagher family, Sammi is Frank’s oldest daughter who played a recurring role in Shameless’ fourth season and was upgraded to a series regular the following season. Brought into Frank’s spiderweb because he was desperate to get a liver transplant from her, Sammi had every reason in the world to detest her father. Of course, this being Shameless, things only went downhill from there and by the time she left the show, her main goal in life seemed to be attaining revenge on her extended family.
For that reason, seeing the actor who played Sammi hanging out with and even cozying up to the people behind Fiona and Ian Gallagher is extraordinary.
17 Ethan Cutkosky in the center of it all
Many child stars grow up to be the focus of major controversies and it can be hard to understand what tends to go awry for these people. Then you look at a shot like this one and it provides some insight into what sets these kids up for struggles later in life.
Featured in the middle of this image, the young actor who plays Carl clearly spent much of his time in an environment that required him to be professional.
On top of that, as he sits and waits, a member of the show’s crew is seen working hard right beside him. If that doesn’t inflate make a child grow up fast, nothing will.
16 Emmy Rossum Directing
Always portrayed as being a talented person with huge potential, recently Fiona has attained greater successes than most Gallaghers could even fantasize about. However, based on the history of her character, whenever things start to go well for her, it seems like only a matter of time until she does something dramatic to torpedo it. Even in the current season when her business efforts have taken off, she almost put it all on the line to get Ian out of jail despite his recent behavior being erratic, to say the least.
Due to that fact, seeing this shot of the actor that plays Fiona, Emmy Rossum, totally in control while directing an episode of the show is remarkable for Shameless fans.
15 William H. Macy and Noel Fisher Having Fun
Never hesitant to introduce new characters that become the focus of major storylines, Shameless has hired and written off many talented actors over its lengthy run. Even though several of those performers were very skilled and played their parts to perfection, very few of them were missed by fans of the show for very long. Then you have a character like Mickey Milkovich, who was played by Noel Fisher.
Mickey’s been missed by many fans from the second he left the show.
In fact, he was such a marvelous part of the series that a picture of him on set like this one reminds us that Shameless is worse off without him.
14 Emmy and Cameron get in focus
If an actor gets too wrapped up in what is going on around them it can distract from their performances. After all, in order to put their all into their role, many actors put themselves in their character’s headspace.
There are some actors who care so deeply about their job and the craft of storytelling that they take an interest in other aspects of filming.
Evidently, two actors from that line of thinking, in this photo Emmy Rossum and Cameron Monaghan are picturing how a shot will be framed. The only problem is that their characters would be too busy hatching a new plan to think about other people’s work like that.
13 William H. Macy Getting Into Character
One of the most unique TV characters around, Frank Gallagher always comes up with a way to make his way to the surface no matter how far down he falls. A survivor of the highest order, when he finds himself in a bad situation he rolls up his sleeves and commits to his latest icky task with abandon. For instance, in order to escape the long arm of the law, in a recent episode, he dove into the contents of a Porta Potty.
Obviously, William H. Macy leapt into some other substance, but even pretending to do that would take some mental preparation. Seeing this image of Macy getting himself into character will disrupt the way some viewers see Frank.
12 Emmy Having Some Fun
Shameless‘ main characters like Lip the genius and Carl the sociopath are difficult to relate to for most people. That said, it is much easier to put yourself in the head of Fiona, a character who was thrust into a role of responsibility a lot earlier in life than most people. Since she grew up like that, it makes perfect sense that most of the time her character can be a worrywart or even something of a wet blanket.
Sure, she unleashes from time to time but it is hard to imagine her doing a silly dance like the one actor Emmy Rossum clearly was doing when this shot was taken.
11 Table Read
Another shot that comes straight from the Emmy Rossum’s social media, this time around we’ve got a photo of her cracking up at a table read for Shameless. It’s A heartwarming image, if you are a fan of the show.
It’s great that Rossum seems to enjoy playing her character so much, even though her time as Fiona is coming to an end soon.
Despite all that, this shot still goes against a lot of the things that we think about Shameless. No matter how much we love the show, it typically lacks the kind of punchlines that warrant an over-the-top reaction like this one.
10 Network Gifts
As it’s one of the highest rated Showtime series, as much as fans adore Shameless, the network should appreciate far more. Even though the Powers That Be at Showtime have every reason in the world to adore Shameless, it still seems to go against our perception of the series for a big corporation to embrace it.
Considering that it looks like the cookies seen in this picture came from the network, this photo doesn’t fit our underdog view of the show at all.
9 Noel Fisher’s PhotoShoot
As we touched on earlier in this list, Mickey Milkovich was a great addition to Shameless’ cast who continues to be missed to this day. Mickey has a tender side that his relationship with Ian revealed but to those who fell outside of his closest circle, he was an angry and violent young man.
Noel Fisher is the perfect actor to play both sides of Mickey. Seeing someone who appears to be so fearsome striking a fashionable pose like this for a photoshoot is hard to take.
8 Courteney Cox Filming a Scene
One of the most obvious indicators of whether or not a show has become a big enough deal to be embraced by the masses is when big stars sign up to guest star in a series.
It was very gratifying for Shameless viewers to learn that two TV legends had agreed to appear on the show: Katey Sagal and Courteney Cox.
On top of that, it is really exciting to be able to look forward to Shameless characters interacting with beloved actors like those two. Fortunately, this shot of Cox sharing a scene with Jeremy Allen White found its way online and provided a look at something that never seemed to be in the cards before now.
7 Jeremy Allen White and Emma Greenwell Coupled Up In Real Life
Considering how many human beings are on the planet, it is amazing to think about the circumstances that lead anyone to meet their significant others. A perfect example of that, Jeremy Allen White and Emma Greenwell became a couple because they spent time together on the Shameless set since they played Lip and Mandy.
However, them working together only came to pass because the original actor that played Mandy, Jane Levy, departed after the first season. As a result, it almost seems to be fate that these two met in the first place.
6 William H. Macy Directing
One of the best actors of his generation, William H. Macy probably has next to nothing in common with his fan-favorite Shameless character Frank. That said, no matter how much viewers of this hit show intellectually know that, it is still weird to see a picture like this one that shows him busy serving as the director of a Shameless episode.
If seeing him in that role wasn’t enough to make viewers view him in a different light, the fact that he was directing while fully dressed in his character’s clothes should be.
All of that said, judging by this picture, he seemed very comfortable in his expanded role.
5 Emmy Getting Silly In Between Shooting an Emotional Scene
If there is one through-line this list makes obvious, it’s that the core Shameless cast is so good at their jobs that it is hard to imagine there being much of a difference between them and their characters. For that reason, a shot like this one that shows Emmy Rossum and what appears to be some crew members having a ball is pretty surprising.
This is especially true because the scene Rossum was shooting this day called for her to completely break down and openly weep. As a result, Shameless fans who remember the scene that was being shot that day will be surprised to see her blowing off steam in between takes.
4 The Original Sheila
As she’s been gone from Shameless for a number of years at this point, it is far too easy to forget that Joan Cusack originally was one of the show’s main stars. She was cast as Sheila Jackson, who was involved with Frank off and on and ended up interacting with his family members as a result. Appearing in the first five seasons of the show, she was entertaining enough that many viewers would be very excited to see Cusack return to Shameless, at least for a short period of time.
Fans likely don’t realize is that a totally different and equally awesome actor originally played Sheila in the pilot, Allison Janney.
As much as we love Cusack’s work, it is really interesting to imagine Janney in the role.
3 Two Liams
Despite it being something that has happened again and again over television’s history, it is still surprising almost every time we learn that a young TV character is portrayed by a pair of twins. One of the most famous examples of this phenomenon is the Olsen twins rising to fame after combining to play the youngest member of the family at the core of Full House.
Despite TV history, it is crazy to see this photo of Brenden & Brandon Sims, a pair of twins who played Liam Gallagher for several seasons, with former Shameless star Justin Chatwin. Funnily enough, there also was a previous set of twins, Brennan Kane Johnson & Blake Alexander Johnson, who played Liam as well.
2 Shameless Friends
Shameless has very little in common with your average sitcom. For instance, the show certainly features moments that were designed to elicit laughs but it also gets highly dramatic at times too. If that weren’t enough, Shameless also doesn’t pull any punches in terms of the kind of behavior it features its main characters taking part in.
With all of that in mind, it is pretty surprising to see a photo of many of the show’s cast members that looks like it could have been shot to promote a mainstream sitcom like Friends.
1 Fake Backdrop
If you have seen a single episode of Shameless, it is abundantly obvious that the show shoots a fair amount of footage on real city streets. Due to that fact, it only seems natural to assume that they do the vast majority of the show’s production in real-life locations instead of sets. Then you see a photo like this one that shows William H. Macy and Shanola Hampton hanging out in front of a fake backdrop.
Evidently, this is the location where they shoot footage from inside the Gallagher house.
It truly did amaze us to learn how those scenes are produced. In retrospect, we probably should have suspected that Shameless uses typical sets, since almost every show does.
Did these photos change your perception of Shameless? Let us know in the comments!