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Emma Kenney Dishes on Emmy Rossum’s ‘Shameless’ Exit: She’s ‘A Powerful Woman’ and ‘We Support Her’ (Exclusive)

Emma Kenney, Emmy Rossum, Shameless
Emma Kenney and Emmy Rossum attend The Weinstein Company's screening of 'August: Osage County' at the Landmark Theater on December 5, 2013 in Los Angeles, California.Alberto E. Rodriguez/WireImage

The show must go on! Emma Kenney opened up to Us Weekly ahead of the Shameless season 9 premiere where she spoke about Emmy Rossum’s surprise exit from the hit Showtime series.

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“You know, we’re all really close so we all are kind of in the same loop … We’ve had nine amazing seasons with Emmy helping guide the ship and I’m so grateful for that,” the actress told Us on Friday, September 7, of her onscreen sister. “She’s been such a rock and such a focal point of our show and I think she’s brought in so much confidence and given so many people a voice on our set and I’m really grateful for that.”

The Conners star, 18, added: “I think that Emmy’s a powerful woman and she’s going to continue doing amazing things in her career and life. We support her!”

As for how the comedy series will continue without Rossum’s character, Fiona, Kenney noted, “The Gallaghers have always had people leave in their life and I think that they’re gonna continue thriving in their own Gallagher kind of way.”

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The actress also dished on what viewers can expect when it comes to her own character, Debbie, on the upcoming season. “I think this season Debbie explores her sexuality and is kind of trying to find herself and find who or what or, you know, whatever it is that makes her happy,” she told Us. “Debbie finds a connection with someone new this season and I’m really excited for people to see this love story.”

Kenney also reflected on the 100th episode of Shameless, sharing some of her favorite memories from her time on the show. “I think some of my favorite Debbie storylines are any that Debbie feels empowered in,” she gushed to Us. “I love when Debbie drowns the girls in the swimming pool back in I believe season three. That was a fun scene for me because I had always wanted to do an underwater scene a that point in my life, and yeah, I believe Debbie was standing up for herself and that was actually kind of her first time doing that at a young age.”

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Rossum, 31, revealed the news that season 9 will be her last in a Facebook post to fans in late August.

Following a lengthy message about the business of acting, Rossum concluded: “Malcolm Gladwell says it takes 10,000 hours to become truly good at something. To become world class. Well by my calculation, 100 episodes, 7 days per episode (plus Chicago weeks), 12 hour days, we’re just at about 10,000 hours. So I guess we’re finally good at this. I can say for certain that this cast and crew, who I’ve been have truly honored to work alongside, are world class. I am proud and I’m filled with gratitude. 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.”

Season 9 of Shameless premieres Sunday, September 9, at 9 p.m. ET. on

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