"I recycle, drive a hybrid, and just try to be conscious," says Emmy Rossum. "It's a Lexus SUV. I have animals I lug around in it, a Yorkie and a stray cat that I got in Chicago named Fiona G. Kitty." Rossum recently spent time in Chicago filming exteriors for her Showtime series "Shameless," which is set there. "I think I wasn't the first logical choice because the other roles that I've played have been more glamorous, period-type with corsets, and musicals," muses Rossum, who finds it liberating that she's spending less time in hair and makeup to play a struggling young woman in a dysfunctional family.

"They live in a depressed financial environment, they're not depressed people," she differentiates. "A lot of people would wear anger, depression or aggravation as their first layer, and they don't. They very much understand what's really important in life. They're resilient. It's survival of the fittest," says Rossum, who sees her character as "the darker side of me. I would try to make healthier decisions than she does, but I think that she's doing the best that she can. I really love her."

She also loves "the license we get to really just say anything and do anything. And, we hope that, slowly but surely, we can offend everyone. We don't want to leave anyone out," Rossum says, expecting viewers to either "love it or be completely offended, and we welcome both. As long as people have a visceral reaction to something you've created, I think that's cool. I hope the audiences will embrace us and we'll get to do more."

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