As The Conners continue their quarantine amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, Emma Kenney — who plays Harris Conner-Healy — tells fans to expect a “funny” Halloween episode on Wednesday, October 28.
“We shot a really fun episode, the Halloween episode actually, and I’m looking forward to seeing that,” the 21-year-old actress exclusively tells J-14. “I have a pretty funny moment onscreen and off with John [Goodman] in one of the Halloween costumes.”
The Conners‘ third season premiered on October 21 and follows the entire family as they tackle the new normal. For Emma’s character, specifically, the actress explained that aside from the coronavirus pandemic, Harris is trying to “shine a light on” the Black Lives Matter movement. Throughout the past few seasons, Emma said Harris has become “more mature” and gained “more understanding,” which really shows through in her season 3 storylines as her family goes through, what she called, “a revolution.”
“She’s very interested in the protests. It’s not just a season that focuses on coronavirus, it talks about a lot of the struggles in our country and what the world has been going through in the past six months,” the young star explained. “You see her maybe going to protests.”
Emma continued, “Harris is very passionate about using her voice. She’s young, she’s 18, but I think that this is kind of a new direction that she’s taking because she’s now an adult and she wants to use her voice for good. I think it’s really awesome.”
Production on The Conners was put on hold earlier this year due to the ongoing health crisis. When the cast officially returned to set, Emma said there “aren’t any negative changes” when it comes to all the new safety protocols.
“Everybody is handling this so well. Everybody’s being so responsible and mature about it and safe,” Emma explained. “I feel good about rolling into work. I’m not nervous about anybody doing something irresponsible and bringing COVID to set because we’re all taking this very, very seriously, of course.”
Aside from her role on The Conners, Emma is “double-dipping” at the moment and working on Shameless at the same time. Since she was nine years old, Emma played Debbie Gallagher on the Showtime series, which is coming to an end this year after 11 seasons on the air.
“It’s going to be really sad for Shameless to come to an end. It honestly hadn’t really hit me until, low-key, over the weekend,” she recalled. “We had our season 11 promo shoot and we had to do these interviews about it and that was kind of the moment I realized, ‘Oh wow, this is actually it.'”
Emma continued, “These are the most pivotal years of a person’s life, literally nine to 21. Everything I’ve learned honestly has a lot to do with Shameless. I remember when I was younger, a lot of the jokes would go over my head and now it’s funny to be reading the script and totally understand what they’re talking about, laughing at the nuances of the jokes and the depth of everything … I’ve learned so much [from playing Debbie].”
The Conners airs on ABC Wednesdays at 9 p.m. ET and Shameless season 11 premieres on Showtime on Sunday, December 6, at 9 p.m. ET.
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