Entertainment TV 'Shameless' ' Emma Kenney Claims Set Became a 'More Positive Place' After Emmy Rossum's Exit "Maybe she was struggling with her own inner problems and taking it out on other people," Emma Kenney said of her former Shameless costar Emmy Rossum By Gabrielle Chung Published on October 14, 2021 01:26 AM Share Tweet Pin Email Photo: getty (2) Emma Kenney is speaking out about her experience working with former Shameless costar Emmy Rossum. The 22-year-old actress — who played Debbie Gallagher, the younger sister of Rossum's character, on the Showtime series — opened up about the show on Wednesday's episode of the Call Her Daddy podcast, claiming that the set "became a little bit of a more positive place" following her castmate's departure in 2019. Recalling her time with Rossum, 35, Kenney said that their work dynamic was much like a sisterly relationship in both "good and bad ways." "I was obviously a lot younger," Kenney explained. "There were times when she would try to be a good influence, and then there were times where she would be blatantly giving me ... not the best advice." "Maybe she was struggling with her own inner problems and taking it out on other people," she continued. Paul Sarkis/SHOWTIME RELATED GALLERY: The Cast of Shameless: Where Are They Now? Kenney also noted that she felt a "weird competition" between herself and Rossum at times, adding, "I don't know if it was other people on set creating that or if it was her creating it, but I know I wasn't creating it." She said that she "never understood" why their relationship would be viewed in that way "because I was nine and she was like 10 years older than me." When Rossum exited Shameless after nine seasons, Kenney said working on the show felt "weird at first, for sure, but the set became a little bit of a more positive place." "I remember before ... her leaving, I'd go to set some days and I'd be very anxious about having a scene with her because if she had a bad day, she made it a bad day for everybody," she claimed. RELATED VIDEO: William H. Macy on Defending Emmy Rossum's Fight for Equal Pay: 'It's a No-Brainer' Still, Kenney has "a lot of love" for Rossum, who welcomed her first child with husband Sam Esmail in May. "I've known her for so long. We haven't spoken in years ... but that's okay," Kenney said. "I hope that she finds her happiness. I heard she had a baby and that's beautiful. I'm sure she's going to be a lovely mother." Shameless, an adaptation of a British show that centered around a dysfunctional family, premiered on Showtime in 2011. It ran for a total of 11 seasons before coming to an end this April. Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images Inside Emmy Rossum's Public Fight for Equal Pay on Shameless In 2016, Rossum made headlines when she refused to sign on for the eighth season unless she was offered more than costar William H. Macy to make up for the seven years she was paid significantly less. Days later, the Golden Globe-nominated actress and Warner Bros. came to terms on a new contract. Rossum first announced her plans to leave the show in 2018, writing in part on her Facebook, "The opportunity to play Fiona has been a gift. There are few characters — female or otherwise — as layered and dynamic. She is a mother lion, fierce, flawed and sexually liberated. She is injured, vulnerable, but will never give up. She is living in an economic depression, but refuses to be depressed. She is resourceful. She is loyal. She is brave. I knew it the second I read the pilot script, this was different, this was special." "I know you will continue on without me, for now," she shared at the time. "There is much more Gallagher story to be told. I will always be rooting for my family. Try not to think of me as gone, just think of me as moving down the block."