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Exclusive Interview: Christian Isaiah has big plans now that Shameless has ended

Image of Christian Isaiah and production still from Shameless.
Christian Isaiah starred in Shameless as Liam Gallagher. Pic credit: @christianisaia9/Instagram and Showtime

Many Shameless fans had a hard time saying farewell to the beloved series. The popular comedy-drama had been airing on Showtime for over a decade, spanning 11 seasons, before the show aired its final episode. Young actor Christian Isaiah starred in the show for roughly four years, taking over the role of Liam Gallagher in Season 8. 

Since then, Isaiah has gone on to star in multiple big-name productions including 21 Bridges where he played a younger version of the character Andre, played by the departed Chadwick Boseman. He also voices the character Phil Saunders in his adolescent form, for the horror podcast Borrasca which also stars Cole Sprouse.

Isaiah has additionally found passion in clothing design, launching his own brand King Legacy. Speaking about his interest in fashion, the 13-year-old actor told Monsters & Critics, “I’m really interested in working with fashion. I really like clothing. There are certain clothing brands that I would really like to collab with. So, when I’m older, I would love to sort of do stuff like that, where my clothing is big and top-tier, up there with other clothing brands.”

Monsters & Critics had the opportunity to chat with Christian Isaiah about his life throughout the coronavirus pandemic, his future acting plans post-Shameless and his clothing brand. 

On pandemic life

Monsters & Critics: As you explored in Shameless, the pandemic has changed everything for so many people, what have you been up to? What have you been binge-watching lately? 

Christian Isaiah: I really haven’t been binge-watching anything. Me and my friends, in a group, started watching this show called Grand Army. That’s really good right now. That’s been really good.

I think it’s the only thing I’ve really been watching. I’m waiting for On My Block right now.

Monsters & Critics: Are you going to school in-person or virtual, right now? 

Isaiah: I go to school in person. So, I go to school Monday, Tuesday, don’t do school on Wednesday, and then do school on Thursday and Friday.

Monsters & Critics: Do any of your friends from school watch your television shows or movies? 

Isaiah: Some people did watch movies, some people didn’t like. Some people even watch Shameless, which is crazy! Some of my friends watch Shameless but they have to, like, watch it on the low. They can’t watch it with their family or anything like that.

Saying goodbye to Liam Gallagher

Monsters & Critics: I’m sure you have said goodbye to your character in Shameless and you are ready to move on to great, incredible things. Can you tell us a little bit about the process of saying goodbye to Liam Gallagher?

Isaiah: I feel like the process was not waking up and going to work; that was a process as well. Like waking up, doing every day; waking up and going to work. That’s what that process was of being Liam. 

But Liam, the character itself, I think I didn’t really have to say goodbye too much because it wasn’t like I had to turn a switch on and off for my character. Even though, sometimes Liam will be shy in certain moments or be dope. But other than that, I don’t think I really said goodbye.

Monsters & Critics: What do you hope is next? Like, what’s your dream role? Do you want to be in a superhero movie or a horror movie?

Isaiah: I want to do a horror movie, but I feel like it’ll be too much like CGI and stuff like that. But I want to be in a movie for sure. I want to be in a movie soon. 

Monsters & Critics: Is there a genre that you’re dying to do? 

Isaiah: I really wouldn’t want to do superhero. Yeah, I just feel like it’s too much CGI. I like that natural feeling of a movie that feels real. So, I think I wouldn’t really want to do Marvel.

I mean, I would love to do a Marvel movie, but if I had to pick, I would do sort of like a Denzel Washington type movie. It’s a lot of action, but it’s not over the top.

On King Legacy

Monsters & Critics: What inspired you to have a brand? Was there a brand that inspired you or did you just want to get your designs out there? 

Isaiah: I just want to get my designs out there. I don’t think there’s really a brand, but there’s so many like different brands and how they look and how they feel that I just really love. So I was like, “OK, I’m going to do my own clothing line and try to do that on a smaller scale and then get bigger and be like on their level.”

Monsters & Critics: Do you want to focus on streetwear or high-end?

Isaiah: I actually want to do both. The sweatshirts and stuff are now, but I’m trying to get into suits and bowties — and certain things like that with different types of fabric. And then streetwear, like graphic tees or something.

Monsters & Critics: Did you watch the Oscars, did you see an outfit that blew your mind?

Isaiah: I’m going to be honest with you: I really think I was sleeping. I didn’t watch the Oscars, but I saw photos and stuff. The suits were very amazing, but I don’t think it really caught my eye that much. I really like vibrant things, so nothing really caught my eye. But I really like the suits and the dresses that the actresses and actors were wearing.

Check our our full interview below

Shameless Seasons 1-11 can be streamed on Showtime.

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