Last fall LA TV Insider Examiner had the pleasure of visiting the Shameless set right here in Los Angeles, and where better to sit down with series star William H. Macy than in Kev’s bar, right? In between takes (though not while sharing a pint), Macy shared with us just how far Frank takes things this season. We always knew he had questionable morals, but season three certainly takes that to a whole new level!
“The bar is very high here. Everybody acts really well; they’re well written; they’re well directed. So that keeps you on your toes [because] you don’t want to be the one guy where they say ‘How’d Wednesday go?’ ‘Great! Except Macy…again.’ There’s a level of truth or honesty in the storytelling and in the performances, below which we don’t allow ourselves to go, and that makes it a little harder. Sometimes when you have this outrageous stuff to do—it’s farcical; that’s comedy, folks!—when you hold yourself to a certain level of reality, you have to work a little bit harder. You can’t just tell jokes,” Macy said.
FRANK HAS BEEN AWAY FROM HOME FOR 137 DAYS WHEN THE SEASON PREMIERE OPENS. “I wake up in Mexico, and I say to a guy ‘Did I miss [Christmas]?’ and he says ‘Dude, you missed Easter’, and so the first episode is me getting back across the border and the clever way I do it,” Macy said. “It’s not like when Steve had to get that camper; this time it’s all up to Frank, and he has no money, no passport, and no kids willing to take his calls.”
ONCE FRANK IS BACK HOME, THOUGH HE WEASELS BACK INTO SHEILA’S LIFE BY TAKING ADVANTAGE OF HER EXHAUSTION. “Sheila lets me back in the house because I’m so good with the kid, but as it turns out, it’s because I grind up Valium and give the kid Valium. But you know what? People finally get some sleep!” Macy laughed. “Frank’s attitude is that neglect is the best thing you can do for your kids because it prepares them for later traumas, and it makes them tough.”
TRYING TO WIN SPORTS TICKETS, FRANK CONVINCES CARL HE HAS CANCER. “It’s kind of a Make-A-Wish situation. Frank shaves his head and everything, but hey, Carl got to go to camp; Carl had never gone to camp, and from what I understand, it was great at camp. And that would not have happened without his dad!” Macy said.
FRANK BLACKMAILS FIONA. The Department of Child and Family Services steps in and splits up the Gallagher children in the middle of season three, and since Monica is not around, Fiona has no choice by to lean on her dad to get the family back together. “She really needs him because he’s the only one who is the legal guardian, and he uses that to get his old room back,” Macy said.
“[But] he gets taken to his knees with the actuality of his family getting split up and when he finds out who did it…One of the ways to keep this character in the air is to make sure there’s always something redeemable about him. I think we’re going to have a big surprise at the end of this season in terms of Frank and his attitude and his take on life. Something shakes him to his core,” Macy continued.
So maybe there will be some growth for good ole Frank Gallagher this season after all?
Shameless airs on Showtime on Sunday nights at 9 p.m.
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