The casting directors behind Shameless‘ US adaptation initially saw Emmy Rossum’s beauty as a roadblock on her path to the unvarnished Fiona Gallagher. “They didn’t want to see me; they wouldn’t even [let me] audition,” Rossum told Manhattan in 2013 (via E! News). “They thought my image was too glamorous, that I couldn’t be pretty.” These doubts, however, fueled Rossum’s drive to work harder. win the role and get down to business. “I really had to fight for this job,” she told Showtime in 2011. “It was kind of like a do or die situation.” Rossum recorded her own audition tape, sent it to the casting directors, and persuaded them to see her in person.
Ultimately, Rossum might not have wanted to play the part so much if it had come easy. “I get more inspired and more energized when people reject me,” she told AOL in 2014. “I have that fashion persona, and that doesn’t always translate to, ‘She’s gritty, she’s raw, she’s unafraid to be real and go to ugly places.’ So I had to prove myself,” she added. “I’m more comfortable proving myself and having to fight an uphill battle than I am if somebody hands me a job. If somebody hands me a job and it’s amazing, I’m always like, ‘What’s wrong with it? Why is this coming so easy?'” As Fiona Gallagher, Rossum proved that behind her pretty face lies immense talent and versatility.