If Emmy Rossum has one thing in common with her “Shameless” character Fiona, it’s her bravery to speak up.
Rossum recently sat down with The Hollywood Reporter for their Comedy Actress Roundtable issue, along with Pamela Arlon, Minnie Driver, Kathryn Hahn, America Ferrera and Issa Rae, where she didn’t hold back her thoughts on equality in Hollywood.
The 30-year-old actress opened up about a particular movie role that sticks out in her mind, “As recently as a year ago, my agent called me and was like, ‘I’m so embarrassed to make this call, but there’s a big movie and they’re going to offer it to you. They really love your work on the show. But the director wants you to come into his office in a bikini. There’s no audition. That’s all you have to do,'” she recalled.
“He wanted to know if I was fat now,” Rossum continued. “That was basically the question. And I actually had this moment like, ‘Well, how good is that part?’ For a second, I was like, ‘Would I do it? Send me the script. Maybe the character is in a bikini in the movie.'”
Which Rossum later revealed, she wasn’t, “Not in a bikini in the movie. Not naked in the movie. ‘We really love your work but we just want to see how tight you’re a** is.’ Are you f**king kidding me? Last time I checked, I’m not a f**king model.”
And it’s Rossum’s ability to speak up that got her equal pay to “Shameless” co-star William H. Macy. Rossum revealed she refused to return to the hit show unless she received equal pay, “I’ll tell you the person who supported me the most was William H. Macy,” she said.
“To have the man counterpart on my show be like, ‘Yes, she does deserve this and more’ was so validating. And after it became public, it was a quick resolution.”
But when Rossum realized her actions helped other people, making her hard work worthwhile, “It became such a big thing, I was at a health food store in Canada, and this little girl who worked there came up to me and was like, ‘What you did for gender equality really meant so much to me.’ And just the fact that I touched a real person meant something to me.”