Emmy Rossum is saying goodbye to "Shameless." Rossum, who has played Fiona Gallagher on the Showtime comedy since it began, announced her exit in a lengthy Facebook post.
"This business is always an adventure, full of travel and opportunities to tell stories. Usually as an actor, every few months, you travel to a new place, start a new project, build a new character, learn new rhythms, new inside jokes with your crew, make new friends," Rossum wrote.
Until she joined "Shameless," she said she didn't know she craved the community the show gave her. "There are these real connections, real friendships that bring us back season after season after season," Rossum said.
"See, in real life, unlike Fiona, I'm an only child. I never had a big family. Being ensconced in that messy Gallagher family love is something I'd always dreamed of. But even off set, it feels real. We've watched the kids grow up into the strong, talented, independent human beings that they are. I taught Emma to shave her legs. I was there when Ethan learned to drive. Shanola and Jeremy and Joan and Bill danced at my wedding in New York last year. Our fearless leader John Wells thankfully held Sam and me up on those rickety chairs during the hora. I've spent the Jewish holy days in temple with David Nevins and his wonderful wife and kids. It really feels like a family," she said.
"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 said. "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 tirelessly prepped the audition with my coach Terry Knickerbocker. I walked to the appointment in the rain so I looked disheveled. During my third audition, when I got the part IN the room, I literally jumped up and down screaming in joyous relief and disbelief. Quite simply, the last eight years have been the best of my life."
Season nine of "Shameless" is currently filming and set to debut on Sunday, Sept. 9 with the second half of the expanded season poised to debut in January 2019.
Back in 2016, Rossum had a contract dispute with the series and she demanded equal pay ahead of season eight. It was later resolved.
"I know you will continue on without me, for now. 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," she wrote. "With love, always."