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Shameless' Nichole Sakura Never Imagined Amanda Would Become So Involved With Lip

Throughout its 11-season run on Showtime, "Shameless" narratives provided no particular shortage of love interests for the various members of the Gallagher family. And as any fan of the series might be quick to point out, hooking up with a Gallagher was, more often than not, a prescription for heartbreak, if not an outright ticket for emotional humiliation.

Given that Frank Gallagher (William H. Macy) was their emotional role model growing up, it's hardly a surprise the Gallaghers struggled mightily with relationships. But throughout the series tenure, few of the family's romantic lives were quite as frustrating as that of Phillip "Lip" Gallagher (Jeremy Allen White), whose knack for blowing up relationships rivaled only his uncanny ability to wreck, well, pretty much every other facet of his life.

Still, few of Lip's doomed romantic entanglements proved quite as upsetting as the row he had with a well-to-do coed named Amanda (Nichole Sakura) during his tumultuous college days. That fling ended, of course, after Lip entered into a disastrous relationship with one of his professors. His handling of the matter was far from delicate and was all the more upsetting as Amanda did seem to want the best for Lip. In any case, Sakura shined in the role throughout her run, even though she apparently didn't expect it to go on as long as it did.    

Sakura was surprised how prominent her character became on Shameless

For point of reference, Nichole Sakura would eventually make 17 appearances as Amanda on "Shameless," with those spots spread out over three different seasons. That's an impressive feat for a character that initially seemed ticketed for a sparkle and fade sort of run on the show. Still, something about the character stuck with "Shameless" creatives, who continued to not only work Sakura (who then went by Nichole Bloom) into scenes but promptly bumped her character up to a legit love interest for one of their primary cast members. 

For her part, Sakura admitted in a 2014 interview with The Dodgy that she was not only elated for the opportunity on "Shameless," but equally surprised by how much her role on the show changed. "I was grateful to be cast in a quality show, but I didn't know that my role would expand to the extent it did," she explained. Specifically, Sakura didn't know things would get so complicated between Amanda and Lip, stating, "I never expected Amanda to get so involved in Lip's life. Reading the episodes week to week and finding out something new about my character was fun."

Sakura says she was lucky to be working on the show with an actor like Jeremy Allen White. She also admits that "Shameless" cast mate Joan Cusack is the one series regular she got legitimately star-struck around. And that's saying a lot given how many talented people were on "Shameless" during its heyday.