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Emma Kenney Chats Season 8 of ‘Shameless’


Truly one of the most nuanced and honest actresses of her age, 18-year-old Emma Kenney is a force to be reckoned with. Over the past 8 years on Showtime’s Shameless, we’ve seen Kenney tackle issues such as abandonment, neglect, and teen pregnancy with a sense of grace and poise you would expect from a veteran actor—not someone just 13 at the time. After a night of binge-watching The Real Housewives, Kenney caught up with us to chat about growing up on screen, being a teen in Hollywood, and the future of her character Debbie.


Top: Petersyn, Skirt: Chaser, Shoes: Gucci

Cliché: You started acting at age 10. When did you know that this was something you wanted to pursue?
Emma Kenney: I’ve always been a fan of film. I used to watch weird ‘60s movies with my mom, just like classic ones growing up. I grew up on Alfred Hitchcock; he was my favorite director and his movies just seemed like so much fun. I’d always make knock-off movies at 8 years old with my friends. I would try to make them so suspenseful.

We’ve all watched you grow up on Shameless. What has that experience been like?
It’s been cool growing up on the show. Growing up in an industry is kind of an experience in itself. I’ve been on the show since I was 10 years old and it’s been a total family dynamic because the entire cast and crew have taken us under their wing. A lot of people think because of the content of the show it might have forced us to grow up fast, but I don’t think that’s true. We’ve grown up in a positive way.

How do you balance being on a show and then having a normal teenage life?
It’s an interesting dynamic. You have to pick and choose what you do and who you surround yourself with. You have to make sure people aren’t in it for the wrong reasons, you know what I mean? LA can be kind of sketchy in general, so you have to work hard to find your inner circle and good people you can hang out with. I love to go to the beach and do adventurous things. I’ve been wanting to travel more.

It’s been cool growing up on the show. Growing up in an industry is kind of an experience in itself.

Well, you get to travel a bit, right? You also shoot in Chicago?
Yeah, we shoot there twice a season at the end of every six episodes. Chicago rocks and it feels like a vacation. The entire cast and crew go; it’s the best week. We just eat so much food and go out for group dinners. It’s a really great time.

I saw on Emmy Rossum’s Instagram the crowd that was drawn to your sets the last time you were in Chicago on location. What’s that experience like?
Yeah, it never used to be like that. It was pretty crazy. Before the show hit Netflix, it was kind of an underground, indie show. But, since then, we have attracted a whole new audience and the show has tripled its viewers. It’s been nice to meet so many people, too. I’ll admit some of it was a little scary and overwhelming, but that’s a great problem to have. I love interacting with all of them whenever I can!

Do you have any specific fan encounter that comes to mind? Any time that was particularly funny or moving?
Honestly, I love when someone comes up to me and says they relate to the show. Obviously, I don’t love when they say their dad is an alcoholic or something, but it’s nice to feel like we’ve touched someone’s heart. I always leave feeling good after that because I don’t want anyone to think we are making fun of poverty or the south side of Chicago. Some people consider it to be a comedy, but the entire cast thinks it’s a drama. A dramedy, maybe.

Bralette: One Way, Sweater and skirt: Ronny Kobo, Jacket: Chaser Brand, Booties: Cecelia New York, Black choker: Nissa

So, in season 8, where do we find Debbie?
We have amazing writers and they have given me such hard stuff this season. I have a lot of cool scenes and I get to check off a few ticks on my actor’s bucket list this year, but I can’t give away too much. In general, she’s a lot more motivated this season and is working hard. She just sees everything in a much more positive light and knows what she’s trying to accomplish.

Aside from Debbie, do you have any scenes or arcs from other characters from the series as a whole that, as a fan, you were excited to see unfold?
Honestly, every character has such beautiful arcs. I like Ian’s arc a lot. I love Lip’s arc. I think they are both beautiful. I love how we saw them as young Gallaghers, but not as young. We started in the mix of their rebellious age and those are really tender moments in a person’s life. I think the viewers have a special relationship with both Lip and Ian.

Fast forwarded to [hopefully] a long, long, time from now: it’s the series finale. Where do you hope to find Debbie?
I want for Debbie to be in a positive light with a good man—not someone who is going to screw her over, like Derrick and other guys she’s been into in the past. I want her to have a good living environment for her, but more importantly Frannie. I just want her to find peace with herself.

Honestly, I love when someone comes up to me and says they relate to the show…it’s nice to feel like we’ve touched someone’s heart.

You also just landed a spot on the Roseanne revival! Can you tell us a little bit about that?
Well, I used to watch the original on reruns because I wasn’t alive when it was first on. [Laughs] I just started watching the full show and I’m loving it; it’s so funny. I just came back from a network run-through of the first episode and it was just like watching an episode of Roseanne. It’s so well-written and the actors are so great. It’s been such a good experience.

So, is it weird to immerse yourself in a different ‘TV family’ because you’ve been a Gallagher for so long?
It’s not weird, but it is different. This is a whole different situation because these people, the original cast, have known each other for almost 30 years now and I’m just coming into it. But everyone has been so welcoming and it’s only my first week. I’ve never done multi-cam before and it’s a totally different ball game. We had our first living taping on October 13!

And you’re filming the two shows simultaneously?
Yup! I spend my mornings at Warner Brothers with Shameless, then race over to CBS for Roseanne.

Is it difficult to switch between characters?
I’ve grown up with Debbie so that character is more simple for me to play and I can just sort of slip into her because so much of me has been invested into her. But this new character I’m playing, Harris, is brand new. I’ve been writing a lot in the character’s voice—I have playlists and stuff—and just sort of getting to know her and start fresh. I’m excited to grow with her as well and for everyone to see a new side of me.

See more exclusive photos of Emma Kenny in our Oct/Nov 2017 issue.

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Emma Kenney Chats Season 8 of ‘Shameless’: Photographer: Quavondo, Assistant: Johnny Martini, Hair: Ieva Radina, Makeup: Erik Torppe, Stylist: Michael St. Michael 

Ed Letter: Oct/Nov 2017


The first thing Teel Yes co-founder Rui said to me mere minutes after we were introduced at Biggercode in New York City was “I love your earrings.” They were triangular, navy and gold Jenny Bird Flagstaff earrings and I’d be lying if I said I didn’t receive compliments whenever I wear them. When two passionate jewelry enthusiasts come together, complimenting each other’s choice of accessories is always a great icebreaker.


“I love yours,” I told her, inspecting her gold-tone water drop earrings that hung almost to the base of her neck. They were minimalistic and delicate, but so stylish, and perfectly appropriate for the preview event she was hosting.

“Thank you!” she smiled. “They’re from our collection. Let me show you.”

From there, Rui led me over to the long, decorated table where her jewelry pieces were laid out and walked me through the collections designed by YVMIN and MOB Legend. All the pieces were simply beautiful, intricate, and well-designed. I loved them all and knew right away that our Cliché readers would love them, too.

That’s my favorite part of my job: introducing fresh, new brands to as many people as possible and giving creators I admire a platform to get their message across and their products out there. In this issue, we are spotlighting a ton of our favorite fashion brands and beauty products you may not know about yet. There’s the brand Sand & Sky on pg. 22, whose coveted Pink Clay face mask has caused quite the buzz in the beauty and skincare community, and Petite Studio’s Fall Collection on pg. 36, which will make you rethink how you feel about mustard yellow and millennial pink. With fall finally in full swing, we are excited to try this year’s cool weather trends, makeup ideas, skincare tips, and much more.

Our two beautiful cover stars also have a lot to look forward to these next few months. Emma Kenney is gearing up for the season 8 premiere of Shameless, as is her loyal fan base, on November 5 on Showtime (pg. 96). Also, rising actress Madison Iseman is excited for the December release of Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle, where she plays the beautiful, but phone-obsessed, teenager Bethany. Sharing a character with Jack Black is just as crazy as it sounds, and Madison gives us all the details starting on pg. 88.

Happy reading!


Megan Portorreal

Now I want to hear from YOU! Got questions or comments about the new issue? Send me an e-mail at or tweet me @meganportorreal for the fastest response! I am also on PinterestInstagram, and Tumblr.

Click here to read the Oct/Nov 2017 issue

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Ed Letter: Oct/Nov 2017 originally appeared in Cliché Magazine’s Oct/Nov 2017 Issue. Photographs courtesy of Teel Yes

Danika Yarosh Interview


You may have seen up-and-coming actress Danika Yarosh in Showtime’s award-winning show Shameless as Holly Herkimer or as Olivia in Nick at Nite’s See Dad Run. If not, you can currently catch her in the film The Color of Time, starring alongside Mila Kunis and James Franco. With guest credits on shows like Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, 1600 Penn, and In Plain Sight, it won’t be long until Danika Yarosh is a household name. Below, we chat with this beautiful, young star about her lifelong passion for acting and what she plans to major in when she heads to college.

Danika Yarosh InterviewCliché: Did you always know that you wanted to be an actress?
Danika Yarosh: Yeah, I knew I always wanted to be actress. When I was 4 years old, they were shooting a movie in my hometown. It was The Stepford Wives, and my mom was in it, and she brought my siblings and I along. After filming, I found myself absolutely loving it. I asked my mom if I could try acting, and she initially said no, but I still asked, and she finally agreed to let me try it out.

What was your first role?
I did a lot of theater when I was younger, so probably theater. My first big role was a munchkin in the national tour of Wizard of Oz, and then after that, I did Billy Elliot for eight months.

What’s it like to play the mean girl on Showtime’s Shameless?
Oh my God, it’s incredible. I mean, Holly, she’s so bad. She is so mean, and the writers always write the most funny and outrageous things for her, and it’s always so great. I’m actually really good friends with Emma Kenney [who plays Debbie Gallagher], so in between shooting, we just laugh about the characters. I’m really excited about this season because you get to see a completely different side of Holly that you haven’t seen before. I like that a lot; it was a lot of fun to film. I don’t want to say too much about what happens because I don’t want to give away storylines. I feel like it was a good transition, and I think it was good to show a more vulnerable side of her, where she’s not so confident and mean.

Danika Yarosh In your new film The Color of Time, some of your co-stars include Mila Kunis and James Franco. What was that like?
It was amazing. You know, it was super cool to be a part of that project, and it was such an honor to be able to work with such incredible people.

Can you tell me a little bit about your character in the film?
I play Irene, C.K. Williams’ [played by Henry Hopper and James Franco] first love interest. We’re teenagers, and he falls in love with me, and throughout his life, it kind of brings him back. Throughout his life, certain things always bring him back to it because as they say, you can never really forget your first love.

Who would you say is your hardest character to portray, if there’s one?I wouldn’t necessarily say that I had any specific hard character to play, because once I get into the character, it just comes very naturally. I don’t really have to think too much about getting into the character.

In that case, which one would you say you were most like and least like?
There are some aspects of the characters that I portray that I relate to, but most of the time there is not a whole lot of relating. With Holly, I relate to the way she takes control of situations. On the show See Dad Run, I played Olivia, and I relate to the easy-going nature. She was just laid-back and went with the flow.

Who is your dream celebrity to work with?
I would say either Anthony Hopkins or Kevin Spacey. They are my two favorite actors.

What are you looking forward to the most this year?
I would say new opportunities. I’m a big believer in “new year, new slate.” I’m just excited for what this year brings in every aspect: school work, acting, and my personal life.

How is it balancing all those three things?
I use a lot of time management, I guess. Work is usually pretty early on in the day, and it sometimes goes to the nighttime. I do all of my schooling at nighttime. I take night classes, and that’s when I do my homework. My friends are really all cool with my schedule because the majority of them are actors, and so we hang out on the weekends and when we are not working.

And if you weren’t acting?
I think I would like to be involved in the industry in some way. Maybe directing. I’m a big science nerd, so maybe I would like to do something with that. I’m going to go to college for biology, so I’d like to do something involving that. I’m definitely going to still continue to work while in college because acting is still my dream. It is what I want to do until the day I die.

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Danika Yarosh interview: photographed by Sami Drasin