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The Surprising Object That Was Banned On The Set Of Shameless

Based on the British series of the same name and developed by John Wells, "Shameless" aired on Showtime from 2011 to 2021 for a total of 11 seasons. The series follows Frank Gallagher (William H. Macy), a neglectful father who leaves his eldest daughter Fiona (Emmy Rossum) to take care of the family while he goes on frequent drinking benders. By taking on various jobs, Fiona manages to take care of the rest of the family — which includes siblings Lip (Jeremy Allen White), Ian (Cameron Monaghan), Debbie (Emma Kenney), Carl (Ethan Cutkosky), and Liam (Christian Isaiah). Other main characters include the Gallaghers' next-door neighbors, long-term couple Veronica (Shanola Hampton) and Kev (Steve Howey).

"Shameless" is, well, shameless when it comes to facing provocative topics head-on — some of the most out-there storylines of the series include Frank trading his own son to pay off a gambling debt, teenage Debbie getting pregnant on purpose to keep her boyfriend, a young Carl selling guns at school and, even the Gallagher siblings getting so fed up with Frank that they throw him off of a bridge.

However, the set behind "Shameless" was much less chaotic — in fact, it was somewhat of a strict environment for the cast and crew, so much so that a rather unexpected object was banned from the set.

Scripts weren't allowed on set

In a 2014 interview with Uproxx, star Emmy Rossum discussed what it's like to film "Shameless" — including the fact that no scripts are allowed on set, as all the actors, guest actors included, are expected to have their lines down.

"Sides [pages of the script being shot on a given day] are not allowed on our set," Rossum said. "No actors are given scripts on the day. Everyone shows up learning all their lines, even the guest stars on the day and the day-players. So it's really like you show up for theater and then you work. There's no bulls***. There's no cell phones on set. There's no Twitter on set. There's no distractions. Everyone shows up and is a professional, whether you're 12-years-old or you're 60. It's really almost like a boot camp." She also noted that she believes this method allows for the actors to have "freedom with the material," as, once it's memorized, they can "feel free to play with it and play in different directions."

Rossum's co-star, William H. Macy, has also talked about the on-set rule of no scripts. In an interview with the Television Academy Foundation, Macy explained that, while shooting the "Shameless" pilot, director John Wells suggested they keep scripts and cell phones off the set, leading him and the rest of the cast to take "that to be the word of God," thus leading to the longtime rule on set. Macy then added, "And when I show up sketchy on the lines, I am so humiliated."