Debbie “Debs” Gallagher might have been the worst character of Shameless’ 7th season, but it was Shameless teen star, Emma Kenney, who was behind making you hate her. If you haven’t noticed, Emma Kenney has grown up with one the most difficult coming-of-age roles ever. She’s one of the most underrated actresses of her time. Although, it’s not like growing up on TV is anything special…or new. You’ve got Disney stars growing up every day, yet Emma hasn’t grown up on shows like Hannah Montana or even ABC’s Modern Family. No, she’s grown up on Showtime’s Shameless. The entire show is based on the irresponsible shameless acts of the Gallaghers. Emma’s only a year younger than Ariel Winter. However, Emma’s recent storylines rival the real-life horrid home life stories of the cheeky Modern Family teen star herself. Plus, Emma’s storylines are definitely more trashy than anything Alex Dunphy would ever do on ABC’s series.
Shameless star Emma Kenney’s character, Debbie, has had storylines like dating a much older guy. Emma’s character also tricked her second boyfriend, Derek, into fatherhood, which didn’t exactly go as planned. Those are just a couple of Emma’s storylines that have made Shameless fans squeamish. Meanwhile, the actress behind the character has been going through her real teenage years. In fact, she barely resembles Debbie Gallagher when she’s off set. You might’ve missed it, but Emma’s social media accounts are peppered with the sort of photos that you’d expect from Ariel Winter. Yep! Emma Kenney’s all grown up, and it’s almost as if it happened overnight! Asides from that, it’s amazing how little we know about Shameless teen star Emma Kenney.
So, in honor of her recent accomplishments in making us love to hate Debbie Gallagher, here are 15 Things You Didn’t Know About Shameless Teen Star Emma Kenney.
15. Emma Kenney’s A Blusher
On more than one occasion, Emma Kenney has admitted that she’s totally a blusher. If you also blush easily, then you already know just how embarrassing this can be. It’s like your face gives everyone around you insight into your soul. Girls have it the worst. If you’re a blusher and you’ve got a crush, then it will not stay secret for long.
This is just what Emma had to face as a nine-year-old on the set of Shameless. Apparently, Emma had the biggest crush on Jeremy Allen White, who plays her older brother Lip, on Shameless. In a 2014 interview, Emma went on about how she had the biggest crush on her older co-star, and that even four years later, she could barely speak to him without blushing. We all know that Emma Kenney’s character, Debbie Gallagher, has had her fair share of crushes and semi-relationships. Let’s just hope that Emma’s blushing hasn’t gotten in the way of her real ones.
14. Emma Kenney Just Turned 18
That’s right! Break out some birthday emojis and tweets. Although, if you don’t follow her on social media or keep up with her birth year, you might be a tad bit late. She just turned 18 on September 14th. However, her character, Debbie Gallagher, runs about a year behind her. That’s the fun thing about TV; you can always act out parts younger than your real age. In fact, she has another teen role coming up, but there’s no news on how old that character will be just yet.
Meanwhile, did you ever wonder how a Gallagher would celebrate her 18th birthday? Emma Kenney started hers off on the set of Shameless and followed up by going to dinner with her Shameless family afterwards. Luckily, the cast appeared to leave their characters back home.
13. A Second Dysfunctional Family
The most up-to-date news on Emma Kenney is that she’s joining another dysfunctional family. Don’t worry. She’s not leaving Shameless…just yet. However, she did just get scooped up to act as Darlene and David’s daughter, Harris, on the upcoming Roseanne reboot. Roseanne was what a dysfunctional family used to look like on TV. It was headed by Roseanne Barr, back in the ’80s to ’90s, although on a slightly higher level than the Gallaghers. The Connors weren’t at the bottom of the poverty line, but just slightly above. You never saw the kids on Roseanne make a spam turkey now, did you? Plus, neither Roseanne nor Dan were absent. They loved to poke fun a lot, but they were always there when their children needed them the most.
Emma’s Roseanne character, Harris, wants to make it farther in her life than both her grandparents and parents have. Emma will still be acting as a rebellious teenager, only one who’s also caring; sort of like how we pictured Debs to turn out. But that was before she began to bite the hand that feeds her. Debbie was a cute and caring child, but these days, she’s full of spite and ready to do things her way.
12. She’s Growing Up Before Our Eyes
It might seem as though Emma Kenney turned 18 overnight, but she’s really grown up right before our eyes. On Shameless, her character, Debbie, is way ahead of her time, but she’s actually a year behind the actual actress is herself. No, Emma Kenney isn’t running around trying to knock herself up (at least we hope not), but she has been doing everything that most teenage celebs begin to do.
For example, her Instagram and Twitter are both on fire with pics of Emma Kenney, doing what all teens do best—experimenting with her looks. The past couple of years have been all about selfies, all of which show her changing style in clothes, makeup, and hairstyles. Her wardrobe has gone from a colorful array from a kid’s closet to daisy dukes, short dresses, and ripped jeans. Her makeup went from slightly overdone, to natural yet noticeable. She’s growing up before our eyes and she’s gorgeous. Even in the photo above, the look on her face says that this is something that she knows all too well herself.
11. Emma Is A Pescatarian
You might not know that Emma Kenney loves pasta. In fact, she’s totally against eating meat. Well, almost. Emma isn’t a vegan nor vegetarian; she’s a pescatarian. A pescatarian is someone who refrains from eating most meat yet still eats fish. Emma has said in several interviews that she’d be completely vegan, if she could. However, she’s “super, super anemic.” Eating fish is how she keeps her iron up. Meanwhile, she does promote veganism on her social media accounts as often as she can. She often shares her meals via social media and isn’t afraid to show off her love for vegan food.
As seen in the image above, Emma Kenney definitely enjoys her pasta. She even added a fun comment to her post saying, “when u eat so much pasta u have to unbutton ur pants.” This is one girl who’s not scared to be photographed while eating. Then, there’s her favorite hashtag “#Vegan.” Hey, Emma! We hear you, but I some of us carnivores would probably rather eat that spam turkey the Gallaghers had for Thanksgiving, then give up our meat. But, it doesn’t hurt to try!
10. Emma Grew Up Gallagher
It’s hard to imagine that this little girl is all grown up! You’ve seen Emma Kenney grow from a cute little girl into a hot, brilliant teenager. You could say that she grew up alongside her own character, Debbie Gallagher, on Shameless. However, what you might not realize is that while Debbie was growing up, Emma was succeeding in doing more than a Gallagher would in a lifetime. She was just nine when she was first cast on Shameless, but she had already appeared in three national commercials, including one for Scholastic Books.
Following that, Kenney began acting in short films. The films were produced by the students of NYU. This inspired Kenney to begin writing and directing her own short films. By the time she was 12, Emma was filming for Shameless’ 2nd season, she had written 50 short films, and she had directed 20 of them. One of which was selected as a finalist in a 2009 New Jersey Film Festival. Now, Emma Kenney is just 18 years old and about to be juggling two TV shows. After all, she has grown up a Gallagher, alongside talented actors and actresses, such as William H. Macy and Emmy Rossum.
9. Emma Kenney Owns Debbie Gallagher’s Status
Google the worst Gallagher on Shameless and you’ll find that Debbie ranks high on everyone’s list. Redditors say that she’s the most annoying teen on TV, while others say that she’s a teenage witch, only with a b, instead of the w. Debs was once the sweet Gallagher. But then, puberty hit her. Now, she’s ungrateful, egotistical, and thinks she knows it all.
Meanwhile, Emma Kenney has been soaking up the hate! She’s said that making Debbie Gallagher the most annoying teen on TV is just what she was aiming for. And, as you can see above, she’s loving the fact that she’s succeeded in making “Debbie Gallagher the worst character on Shameless.” So, hate all you want! Spell it out in chalk on a sidewalk! Emma Kenney embraces your thoughts. She owns Debbie Gallagher’s status.
8. Emma Doesn’t Look Like Debs Anymore
Take a good look at this clip from Shameless season 7 because it might be the last you’ll see of that Debbie Gallagher. You might not have noticed the drastic changes in Emma Kenney, but they are terribly hard to ignore. For one, she’s dyed her hair. Dying hair is something most teen girls do, mainly to experiment with their looks. But this might also have something to do with her new role on the Roseanne reboot.
Also, Emma’s body has changed considerably. She’s slimmed down quite a bit in recent years, but none so much as this past year. Emmy Rossum’s hot, but just think of how she looks on the show. Nope. Emma’s new look probably won’t transfer over onto Shameless, but it’s still nice to know that she’s looking hot these days.
7. Emma’s Heavy Into PETA
If that image doesn’t make you want to adopt cute animals, then what would? The one thing that Emma Kenney has in common with her Shameless character, Debbie Gallagher, is that she knows how to speak her mind. Most recently, Emma has been using her voice and outgoing personality, as a spokesperson for PETA2. PETA2 is the youth version of PETA, which is designed for those who are 22 years old and younger and interested in getting involved with animal rights.
In fact, the T-shirt that Emma’s wearing suggests that you should adopt instead of buying puppies from Puppy mills. Emma also went on a serious yet hilarious rant, telling off dog breeders. She even showed off her creative side by comparing the inbreeding of puppy mill dogs to American Horror Story or the Lannister family from Game of Thrones. Plus, let’s not forget Emma Kenney telling you to “get your head out of your a**” and go rescue a pet from an animal shelter. She’s hilarious, cute, and to the point. There’s no forgetting that rant!
6. Emma Loves Wearing Daisy Dukes
Another thing that you don’t know about Emma Kenney is that she loves her daisy dukes. I know, it’d be hard to find a teen star that didn’t these days. Just look at Ariel Winter or Bella Thorne. Those girls are everywhere wearing daisy dukes, but it’s a tad more difficult to know about Emma’s love for the low-cut shorts, as the Gallaghers aren’t really prone to showing their sexy side very often. I guess Emmy Rossum wears her fair share of dukes as Fiona. Although, Debbie’s look is more designed to make her look overweight, lumpy, and without a clue.
Meanwhile, this girl’s Instagram and Twitter pages are buzzing with the same hot styles that other young hot celebrities are into. The majority of her summer styles include daisy dukes, similar to the ones she’s wearing above. Why not, right? People can argue that booty shorts are inappropriate, but what’s wrong with a girl wearing what makes her feel hot? You can’t preach confidence, yet get mad when a girl or woman is confident in how she looks now, can you?
5. Emma’s Not Covered Enough By Press
No teen star is complete without a girl squad, and it appears that the ladies above are a part of Emma Kenney’s girls squad. Kenney captioned this Twitter image, “Coachella fitting at @LFstores today with my girls!!!!” making it obvious that she wanted the world to know she was ready for this year’s Coachella with her girls. However, when you research Emma’s friends on the bottomless web, all you get are celebrations with the Gallagher gang. Come on! That’s her television family, not her off-set friends. Sure, Emma has described them as her second family, but the only person on set that’s her age is Ethan Cutkosky, who plays Carl.
Emma Kenney is so underrated that you’d think her life was all Gallagher. You can call Emma’s Shameless cast members her co-stars, mentors, and even her second family, but they’re not her girl squad. The fine ladies that you see with Emma above are her friends. Besides, who covered Emma Kenney at Coachella? She’s young, hot, and more talented than any Kardashian-Jenner, but she’s rarely covered by the media. I suppose you’d have to be named Kardashian or Jenner and have pregnancy rumors swirling to get a bone with the press these days.
4. The Look You’ll Never See On Shameless
There are any number of things that you’d never know about the cast members on Shameless, but the biggest of all would be how nice they clean up. I know it’s all about poverty and shame, but would it hurt for anybody in the Gallagher family to look hot other than Fiona? Debs might’ve started out as the chubby awkward daughter, yet she’s gotten seriously hot! Although, you’d never know it watching the show. You’d think it was a crime for another Gallagher daughter to be shameless and hot rather than an awkward mess. They should let Emma’s off-screen look bleed through a little.
We all still see Debbie Gallagher as that cute freckled little girl, and that’s the problem! It wouldn’t hurt to let fans see Debs as a hot young lady; sort of like Karen or Mandy. You know, flaunt Emma’s new look a little bit. It might help her character’s image somehow. Carl’s post-adolescent personality wasn’t met with near as much criticism, yet he went through his white chocolate, corn row phase, and came out of his adolescence without any complaints. Meanwhile, Debs has kept the same look, only older and meaner. And yet, they wonder why she’s considered a waste of airtime.
3. Emma’s Loads Of Fun
Photos can say a lot about a person’s personality. In most of Emma’s, she’s either smiling, goofing off, and bursting with that feminine courage. Emma is obviously loads of fun to be around. The people surrounding her always appear to be having an awesome time or completely interested in what she’s doing. Plus, it’s evident that Shameless teen star Emma Kenney is totally comfortable with being herself.
Most teen stars are constantly busy setting up the perfect selfie shot or acting fake because they know they’re probably being watched. However, Emma rarely seems concerned about being fake. Instead, she appears to be more concerned with the moment and the fun that she’s having at that time. So many young celebrities are caught up in keeping their image picture perfect, 24-7, but not Emma Kenney! She’s not scared to let that goofy side take over. There’s something extra special about a beautiful celebrity who’s hot but able to get lost in the moment and let loose.
2. Emma’s Got Back
You wouldn’t be the first if you never noticed that Emma Kenney had such a nice shape. Shameless is great at hiding Debbie’s true shape. For instance, she’s always wearing clothes that are unflattering for her body shape. The Debbie clips from last season weren’t even that appealing. Yet, Emma Kenney has many hidden assets, as you can see above.
Emma’s most hidden asset is probably her backside. Emma Kenney has back! Of course, you wouldn’t notice this from Shameless, with all of those baggy clothes she wears. However, a look at her social media feed will give you a great view of her greatest asset. Yep, Emma definitely has some junk in her trunk. In fact, she’s packing enough to make you look twice, maybe three times, as you pass. Plus, those jeans are almost as revealing as some of those daisy dukes that she’s so fond off.
1. Channeling Kylie Jenner
Yes! Every teen celebrity has done it, and Emma Kenney is no different. They all have that one photo floating around. The one where they channel their inner Kylie Jenner—the tight-fitting clothes, matching makeup, and pose. They all scream Kylie Jenner. Hell, Emma’s probably wearing a Kylie Jenner lip kit in this photo. You might be thinking that Emma Kenney doesn’t seem like the type to dive deep into that fake celebrity world—the one where image is everything and who you are inside is nothing.
Yet, what teen girl hasn’t been there? Emma might be more down-to-earth than most celebrity teens, but the Shameless teen star has this photo, where she’s not cracking a joke, holding her arms up in excitement, squealing with her friends, or slurping noodles from a plate. Emma Kenney isn’t your average teen celebrity. She’s unique, outspoken, and lives in the moment. She preaches about puppy mills instead of buying furs. Emma’s more about having fun than she is about striking fake poses. Plus, you should be smiling the next time Debbie Gallagher gets on your nerves or if Emma’s making you feel like you hate her character. Just remember, that’s just how Emma Kenney intended it.
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