Emmy Rossum on why it was important for her to be at today’s event, why this is a topic we need to continue to shed a light on, if she’s seen their facilities at The Rape Foundation’s Annual Brunch At Greenacres in Los Angeles, CA
One could understand if Hilary Swank resents Emmy Rossum, her co-star in the new film “You’re Not You,” opening Friday.
That’s because during filming, Swank had to restrict her diet to show herself wasting away — while Rossum had the opposite challenge: eating all she could to add muscle for the task of having to lift a dying woman.
“There was a lot of bonding while I was stuffing my face with chocolate chip cookies and she was fasting on green juices,” says Rossum, 28, who plays Bec, an unqualified caretaker to Swank’s Kate, an ALS patient. “I’m glad the shoe wasn’t on the other foot, because I can get really hangry.”
Part of the challenge of playing Bec was the physical intimacy she has to develop with Swank. During one of their first scenes together, Bec has to help Kate in the shower, even holding the naked woman.
“It was so cold that when they turned the water off, we just wanted to sit in the hot water. So we found ourselves sitting in the shower, staying in the moment between takes,” Rossum recalls. “It’s very intimate when you’re touching another person’s body in the way that a caretaker does. It’s an intensely emotional thing.”
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Emmy Rossum, 28, may not be ready for kids, but she does have some maternal instincts. “I adopted a cat from Chicago that was living under the porch where the Gallagher house from Shameless is,” she says of her hit Showtime series.
"The cat was freezing in the snow. Now it lives with me and my two dogs in California. It’s complete chaos. I have lots of scratch marks."
Her care-giving skills also proved up to par while shooting You’re Not You, in theaters Oct. 10. She plays a college student/budding rock singer hired to assist a classical pianist (Hilary Swank) diagnosed with ALS.
"It’s a movie about friendship, not illness," Rossum says. "I think of it as a non-romantic love story. Through her illness, Hilary’s character really teaches this young girl how to live and a better way to value herself."
A singer herself, Rossum wrote and performed a song for the film and currently has an album out. She started singing professionally at age 7 with the Metropolitan Opera Children’s Chorus, and starred in 2004’s The Phantom of the Opera.
"Music is part of me. I like to express that way. I sing anything from rap to Plácido Domingo. I sing at the gym, in the shower, everywhere – although not in my hotel room at 4 this morning, which is when I got back from work."
And, when she’s not singing, she’s serving as an advocate for “women and domestic violence and breast cancer awareness.” Being a voice for the voiceless started early – when Rossum was in elementary school.
"When I was a little kid, there was a handicapped girl in my grade, and everyone was making fun of her. I got so mad I started screaming at the top of my lungs for them to stop. They were so mean. I was the one sent to the principal’s office because I overreacted. I’ve always been the kind of person who fights for the underdog."
The actress reflects on lessons learned while making a movie about the debilitating disease.
By Emmy Rossum, as told to Justine Harman
emmyrossum Saturday morning tramp workout with @doriegolkin. Thanks for making us sweat @sharonamoves!
On Saturday, Sept. 27, Golden Globe™ nominee, Emmy Rossum (The Phantom of the Opera, Shameless) will attend the Fest to receive the Avalon award, which honors an actor or filmmaker making waves within the Hollywood community by continually entering “uncharted waters” within their career and standing out from their peers.
Emmy Rossum having lunch in Beverly Hills (September 19, 2014)