William H. Macy has embraced one hell of an acting challenge.
In the new drama 'Shameless,' which premieres Sunday on Showtime, he plays Chicagoan Frank Gallagher, the working-class father of six independent-minded kids.
The kids have had to grow up fast, because their mom left a few years ago and Frank isn't exactly working. He's an alcoholic. When he can be found in the family home, he's usually passed out on the floor.
"When you have an addicted parent, it does make the rest of the family coalesce," Macy said in a recent interview on the show's Chicago set. "They've got to look after each other. I think Frank's left-handed gift to his family is that they look after each other."
Macy's gift is making Frank someone you want to watch, no matter how self-serving and inept he is as a parent and as a man. It's hard to think of any other actor who could have made Frank appealing, but Macy gives Frank, who is modeled on the no-account father in a hit British TV series of the same name, an irrepressible joie de vivre and even a wily charm.
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