While most 13-year-old girls have crazy busy social calendars, Emma Kenney's is ... beyond.
Earlier this week, the "Shameless" star started high school. That's where the typical teenage life stops. At the end of the week, she flies to Los Angeles to begin shooting Season 4 of her Showtime series. And in between, Yahoo TV caught up with her at New York Fashion Week.
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Despite her jam-packed schedule, the auburn-haired teen was calm and carefree when we chatted with her at the Nanette Lepore show, where, despite her age, she looked pretty cozy seated in the front row. Here's what we learned about life as a teen TV star...
Going to high school is awesome. No freshman jitters here! "I started high school on Monday," reported the actress, who lives in New Jersey when she isn't filming in L.A. And? "I loved it. It's fun!" But it's also fleeting. "I went Monday and Tuesday, but now I don't get to go until February because I'm leaving for Los Angeles to shoot 'Shameless.'" She'll do her work remotely until then.
She has no first week of high school horror stories. "Everybody's like: 'Do freshman eat in the bathroom?'" she laughed. "But, no, I can tell you I ate in the cafeteria with my friends. And it was so much fun."
But she's not your average freshman. While talking about her adorable owl phone case, she let it slip that she met One Direction during her summer vacation. "Liam Payne actually complimented [my phone case] too," she smiled. So where did she meet the British boy bander? "At the premiere of 'This Is Us.' At the after party."
Kenney (with her owl phone case!) in the front row at the Nanette Lepore show. (Getty)
However, she kind of is. Kenney recounted her conversation with the 1D hottie, which didn't go as smoothly as it could have. "He was like: 'I love your phone case.' I was like: 'Thanks. It's an … owl," she recalled blushing again at the thought of the conversation. "It was so awkward," she added with a laugh.
She's way more stylish than her character. The Gallaghers (including William H. Macy's Frank and Emmy Rossum's Fiona) pretty much live hand-to-mouth, meaning Debbie's duds are sometimes, well, duds. "I've always been a big girly girl," Kenney, who turns 14 this month, said of her style. "I'm into heels and dresses. It's so much fun to get dressed up and come here for Fashion Week, and quite a contrast from being Debbie."
She's as excited to find out what happens to the Gallaghers as the viewers are. "We begin shooting September 23," she shared. "I got my script for the first episode today. Literally today. I was checking my email all morning. I kept refreshing and refreshing. Is it there? Is it there? I'm so excited."
"Shameless" returns to Showtime's lineup on Sunday, January 12.
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