William H. Macy Q&A: ‘Shameless’

“Taking a phone call for a woman and saying she didn’t need a heart transplant, and she died.” That’s what William H. Macy says might be the most despicable thing his character Frank Gallagher has ever done on Showtime’s “Shameless,” which he discussed with us via webcam (watch above). He adds, “He also stole a prosthetic leg from an adorable 11-year-old girl, and he called child services and had all his kids taken to foster care.”

On top of all that, in this latest season of Showtime’s black comedy Frank “busted up [his daughter] Fiona’s wedding,” but Macy isn’t not sure that was such a bad thing. “In vino veritas. She was about to marry a guy who’s still a junky and didn’t tell her. Frank busted him. There’s a lovely speech they wrote for Frank where he says ‘I’m a messed up guy, I know that. But look at how screwed up all of you are, and I’ve accepted you.’”

But Frank isn’t just a messed up guy. He “generally says the difficult things other people are afraid to say,” Macy explains. “He’s got a great sense of humor. He’s a pretty clever fellow. He loves life. But he’s an addict and that messes up everything. The show deals with drugs in a funny way but it doesn’t shy away from the dark side of that. Addiction can ruin lives and ruin families.”

Macy has starred on “Shameless” for six seasons now, and in the time the show itself has become like a family — and a lot less dysfunctional than the one they portray. “Being the old fart, I’ve loved watching the cast develop as actors,” he says. “I’ve always thought actors are going to get a lot better or a lot worse on a hit TV show. These actors have gotten a lot better. They give me a run for my money. I do think my acting has gotten a lot better because I get to practice it a lot more. It’s a family like that. We’ve all watched each other grow and thrive. I have real love for them. It was thrilling to walk into that room to read for season seven today. The cast are all so interesting and got quite the lives. A lot of them have babies now they didn’t have when we started.”

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UPLOADED Jul 15, 2016 3:59 pm