10 years on a television series is the kind of job security many actors dream of, but apparently it can also be a detriment to The Craft. This is according to Shameless star Jeremy Allen White, who says in a new GQ interview that being Lip Gallagher that long messed with his mind.
“I love Shameless so much. I love everybody that was a part of it, and the experience was incredible. But I’m not sure if shows are meant to go that long,” he says. “There was a period where I stopped feeling like an actor and I started feeling like I was just here to do this show. It was an upsetting head space to be in.”
While he viewed the series finale with relief, it also threw him for a loop: “When it was going to end, I was questioning: Maybe I do just exist on this show. What else is there? Am I an actor? I was definitely having a lot of doubt when I was finishing Shameless.”
It may come as a surprise, then, that White chose to sign on for another show about yet another guy with working-class Chicago roots, but he identified with The Bear’s main character and their mutual self-doubt. “I think that was something Carmy was really struggling with, too,” he explains. “We kind of found each other at a similar place. He knew he’s really gifted at this thing, but he could be painfully insecure about his abilities as well. I was feeling a little insecure at the end, too.”
He admits to being “too concerned with what other people might think” about the overlap between Shameless and The Bear, but says, “I also knew that if I said no to this, that whoever ended up doing it, I would hate them forever. So there was some spiteful stuff going on, too.” Given The Bear’s freshman success, he may be in for another long haul on this series, too.