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Emmy Rossum Doesn't Care About Having a Perfect Instagram Life

by Lindsey Metrus

When Emmy Rossum enters a room, you know it right away. 

I'm sitting on the couch in a suite at the Mondrian Park Avenue, and Rossum, I'm told, is in the bedroom, polishing off room service and getting touchups with Burt's Bees products (she recently became the ambassador for the brand's new cosmetic line, Burt’s Bees Beauty, and I Am Not Synthetic campaign). Suddenly, the mirrored door panels dramatically slide open and Rossum appears in the frame striking a pseudo-pose, as if the stage curtain was just pulled and she's standing on her mark. Lights, camera, action.

The energy in the room is palpable as Rossum works the Polaroid for our shoot, whipping her thick, wavy brunette hair in the air and letting out a booming laugh that spreads from person to person like a germ. As it turns out, Rossum's infectious presence is the product of over two decades of being a performer, from singing in the Metropolitan Opera Children's Chorus at age seven to portraying hardened-by-life-and-better-for-it Fiona Gallagher on Showtime's Shameless.

On the surface, one wouldn't assume private school–educated, immensely poised Rossum was typecast for the latter, but within mere minutes of chatting with the actress, it's clear she's not a spoiled theatre kid (or even your typical Hollywood 30-something). The actress was raised by a hard-working single mother in a one-bedroom apartment in Manhattan, a humble upbringing that's engineered her grit and tenacity. She's sincere, leaning in close enough that our knees almost touch, her brown eyes piercing into mine to punctuate the candor of her every word. Soon, I'd learn more about what sets her apart in Hollywood (the factors abound), why she's the perfect fit for Burt's Bees, and how she deals with the immense pressure of celebrity. Keep scrolling to read all of this and more, in Rossum's own words.

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