"Shameless" star Emma Kenney is speaking openly about the departure of her former co-star and on-screen sister Emmy Rossum, saying that the set became "more of a positive place" following her exit.
Rossum left the show in 2018 — a move that Kenney called "bittersweet" during an appearance on Wednesday's episode of the "Call Her Daddy" podcast. The 22-year-old actress explained that she had "a lot of love for Emmy," who she hopes "finds her happiness." That being said, there were some difficulties.
"It was weird at first for sure but it also — the set became a little bit more of a positive place, I'm not gonna lie," she admitted about what it was like after Rossum left. "I remember pre [Rossum] leaving, I'd go to set some days and I'd be very anxious about having a scene with her because if she had a bad day, she made it a bad day for everybody."
During the interview, Kenney elaborated on her relationship with Rossum, which "one hundred percent" felt like a sibling relationship "in good and bad ways, to be honest."
"We were both so young, I was obviously a lot younger. There were times where she would try to be a good influence and then there were times where she'd be blatantly giving me not the best advice," Kenney recalled. "Maybe she was struggling with her own inner problems and taking it out on other people, but we all handle situations differently."
Kenney admitted that it felt at times as if people were pinning the two against each other.
"I was nine and she was over 10 years older than me, so I'm like why is there a weird competition here when I'm not trying to compete?" she continued. "I don't know if it was other people on set creating that, or if it was her creating it, but I know I wasn't creating it."
Rossum did not appear in the final season of "Shameless," which suffered a few hiccups due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Not getting the actress back to film due to restrictions was one of those obstacles.
"You know, she very much wanted to, and we wanted her to. It just hit at just the wrong time with the continuing shutdown," showrunner John Wells told Deadline. "She lives in New York, and you know, we were trying to make it work, but there were quarantine setups that were in there if she came out to LA. We couldn’t figure out how to do it in a way that would work with her schedule. So, it was disappointing for everybody, and we would've loved to have her back, and she wanted to come back, but it was one of those things that couldn't get done during the pandemic."
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