‘Shameless’ Star Justin Chatwin on Sex, Lies, and Life as a Starbucks Barista

Shameless Justin Chatwin Interview

If you’re going to be on a show called Shameless, you have to be prepared to get, well, shameless. No one knows this better that Justin Chatwin, whose first moments on the show (and in its opening credits) two years ago focused largely on his ample rear end. And, well, it’s all gone downhill from there — in the first few episodes of Season 3, Chatwin’s character Jimmy (née Steve) has witnessed a body being chopped up into pieces, taken a s**t onscreen, and had more a**-exposing scenes with costar Emmy Rossum than the hookers on Game of Thrones. It’s a lot. But Chatwin (née Bubble Butt, according to his nasty high school classmates), is up for the job. It’s a good thing, too, because things are about to get much, much worse.

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“Jimmy is not a man of his word,” Chatwin says. “He has a problem with the lie of omission — or just the lie of the lie. He’s not manning up… not taking responsibility for his actions. He’s being selfish, [by] trying to do what makes him feel good. He’s not taking care of the different crashing plates that he has taken on in his life.”

The “crashing plates” Chatwin is referring to are no joke — he married the daughter of a South American drug lord last year, at the insistence of her insane, murdering father. Now that gun-toting father knows that Jimmy has abandoned his dear Estefania (something he learned when he entered her apartment and found not Jimmy, but her new lover — whom he promptly shot in the head), for the true love of his life, Fiona. Of course, Jimmy has decided to keep this tiny little secret from his lady love, and now has a member of that insane cartel tracking his every move. Oh, and he’s totally broke. I’d count on those plates crashing down very, very soon.

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“The Estefania character… she’s someone who he’s been neglecting, and she starts to get very antsy, very restless, and wants more,” Chatwin says. “Jimmy is at a point where he’s out of money — he can’t do what he’s done, [stealing cars], to make money anymore. He’s running out of resources. His lies are getting old. His own movie reel of what people are seeing… people are starting to see through it.”

NEXT: Life as a Starbucks barista. 

So, what will Jimmy do to make Estefania and her dad happy? Why, get a job of course! “Everything that he relied on as a Plan B, C, and D has completely fallen apart,” Chatwin says. “He asks [Estefania] for money, but she won’t give it to him. She’s smart. Jimmy has become reliant on a lot of different sources, and all of those sources are now saying, ‘No, Jimmy.’ What do you do when everything, all of your solutions, are gone? You’re left with becoming a barista, at Starbucks.”

No offense to any Starbucks employees out there but… yeesh. Oh, how the mighty have fallen. Jimmy was born into a wealthy family, led by patriarch Lloyd (Harry Hamlin) — he’d ask him for money, but there are some major, life-altering changes going on in that arena as well. Mainly, that Lloyd is secretly gay, semi-broke, and engaged in an illegal relationship with Fiona’s younger brother, Ian (Cameron Monaghan). This will all come to surface very, very soon. And, naturally, it won’t be pretty.

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“Jimmy is a little bit homophobic [when he finds out],” Chatwin explains. “Then we realize it’s not homophobia he’s reacting to, he’s reacting to the same thing Fiona is reacting to with Jimmy. ‘Is my entire relationship with you dishonest? Is it untrue? How much have you been lying?’ I think Jimmy has this very judgmental response to [the gay relationship], and I think through judging his father, he starts to see more about himself. Maybe.”

Basically, Jimmy is going to be up s**t’s creek with Fiona in the very near future, as well as with a South American, murder-friendly drug lord. It’s not the best situation to be in — but Chatwin is a glass half-full, sunny-side-up sort of guy. Because, you know, at least Jimmy isn’t exposing himself to minors, like we saw with that guy in episode three. “Jerking off in a bus is really sad,” Chatwin says. “I mean, think about the last time you jerked off in a bus.”

It’s been awhile. Watch Shameless Sunday night at 9PM, on Showtime. Or else.

Follow Shaunna on Twitter @HWShaunna

[PHOTO CREDIT: Showtime]

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