If you’ve been able to watch the brilliant pilot episode for Showtime’s “Shameless,” you’ll understand why we previously wrote that coming out may be the most innocuous thing Cameron Monaghan’s character does all season.
He not only plays a gay teen in an unwelcome environment, but he’s having an affair with Kash (played by Pej Vahdat), who is married and Muslim.
“I think it’s definitely going to affect his life if his secret ever gets out,” Monaghan, 17, tells Zap2it. “He’s extremely protective of it, because it’s a neighborhood that’s just not at all accepting to something like that. It’s a very, very rough neighborhood and it’s a secret that for his own safety he has to desperately hide and that causes a lot of struggle for him.”
Despite identifying as straight, Monaghan says he gets Ian. “Pretty much any teen can relate to some kind of confusion about one’s self,” he says. “And feeling like they have to hide certain parts of themselves as far as being insecure and not wanting to feel open. I think that he’s a very distinctly human character. It’s not just about him being gay. He’s just a very relatable person in general.”
Monaghan tells us he has very little qualms when it comes to the gritty nature of the role, since, “after all, it’s just acting,” he says. And he doesn’t feel the show’s violent, sexual and off-kilter relationship elements are there for just shock value.
“I saw how shocking [the scenes] were,” he says. “But I saw the full script and how amazing they all worked together and how honest it is. It’s not just shocking for the sake of being shocking. It just wants to be really realistic.”
So, what lies ahead for Ian this season? “There will definitely be more reveals for Ian,” he hints. “There might be a love triangle of some sort. There could be some form of competition, maybe multiple competition for Kash. Also, because my character is under 18 and he’s over 18 and married, there’s going to be some trouble there.”
“Shameless” airs Sundays at 10 p.m. ET on Showtime.
What are your thoughts on Ian and “Shameless” so far?