EmmyRossum

Q&A with Emmy Rossum

The actress on baths, Alaska and hitting up outer space someday.

Despite how convincingly NYC-native Emmy Rossum brings to life her, shall we say, contentedly crazed character Fiona Gallagher on Showtime's Shameless, their similarities consist of serious city smarts and um, that's kind of it. We caught up with the actress on the eve of the show's season two finale (premiering Sunday at 9pm EST) to find out what her life looks like when she's not portraying the accidental matriarch of TV's most lovably disfunctional family.

Typical workout:
I do like to run, but I prefer to exercise in a group. It takes my mind off of the "work" in the workout. I love spin classes and kickboxing classes. And one of the great luxuries about living on the west coast right now is getting to exercise outdoors as well. There's nothing quite like a hike on a beautiful day. I always take my iPhone with me and take pictures when I get to the top.

Her multitasking tips:
I'm not as much of a multitasker as Fiona, but I do like to catch up on my TiVo while I'm cooking dinner. I try to focus on one thing at a time and give it my full focus. But I have been known to check my email on the treadmill.

What we'd be surprised to find in her refrigerator:
Lots of garlic! I love to cook and I usually use fresh garlic. I'm superstitious that it keeps me healthy — especially during flu season. I like to make soups over the weekend so I have them all through the week. My favorite to make is dairy-free carrot ginger.

Ultimate healthy meal:
Brown rice, steamed or sautéed spinach with garlic and my mom's recipe of lemon roasted organic chicken. I'm also a big fan of eggs for any meal, not just breakfast. I am allergic to gluten but I love the taste and flavors of pasta and pizza. I love to scramble egg whites with tomato sauce and Italian Parmesan cheese. I also love cherry clafoutis and that is pretty healthy as far as desserts go.

Ultimate decadent meal:
A black-and-white milkshake, a medium rare cheeseburger on a gluten-free bun and sweet potato fries.

What completely relaxes her:
A hot bubble bath is the ultimate relaxant for me! It quiets my mind after a crazy, busy day. I use some scented bubble bath and turn on some jazz music and soak until I prune! I also love having game night at my house. I'll invite my friends over on a Friday night to play board games (Monopoly, Settlers of Catan, Apples to Apples). We have wine and get rowdy and play board games. That's my ideal Friday night.

Three things on her bucket list:
I've never really thought about a bucket list. I suppose three things I would like to do are:
go into outer space (I really wanted to be an astronaut as a kid, and it seems like Richard Branson is making that dream slightly more possible), have a family and be a great mom and learn other languages.

Best vacation she's ever taken:
Alaska with my mom. We bush-planed into the tiniest little places inland, fished during salmon season, walked on glaciers, and I stood an arm's-length away from brown bears and made it out alive! It was very Bear Grylls-style cool.

Last thing she recommended to a friend:
Bing (for searching), fresh carrot juice (to cure a cold), the Post Ranch Inn (for a weekend get-away) and the TV show Happy Endings, which makes me laugh out loud every week.

Biggest vice:
Nail chewing, still trying to kick it.

What she's totally over:
I'm over Foursquare. I think it's kinda creepy for people to know where you are all the time. I keep telling my girlfriends to stop "checking in" everywhere!

Latest obsession:
Pinterest! Joan Cusack showed it to me at her house in Chicago a couple months ago. I love seeing the images that inspire my friends.

How much sleep she logs:
I like to sleep 8½ hours a night when I'm not shooting. On weekends I can easily sleep 10 hours. When I'm shooting Shameless it can be as little as 6 hours as we shoot long hours, and then I wake up early to study scenes. I usually nap during lunch break on set.

Style icons:
Tilda Swinton, Cate Blanchett, Audrey Hepburn.

Favorite city of all time:
New York! It always feels like home to me. I like the anonymity of the city, the mix of different cultures and foods, and the access to art and culture. I wouldn't be who I am today if I hadn't grown up in New York and been exposed to the things that New York has to offer.

Number one reason for taking care of her body:
To be healthy and strong, so I can see and do and experience everything I want to see and do and experience.

Her go-to snack on set:
Natural peanut butter on gala apple slices. I also love low fat string cheese and grapes.

Message she'd send out to the world with one request (Only catch: It has to be 140 characters or less):
Do something kind for someone today. Smile when you see people on the street. When you wake up, know that today is a blessing and never take that for granted.

Photography by Patrick Fraser/Corbis Outline

Filed Under: Interviews