Cameron Monaghan's role in 'Anthem of a Teenage Prophet' is quite similar to his gay-Jesus role from 'Shameless'
Monaghan is about to wow us again as Luke in the upcoming film - yet another messed up, complex character trying to make sense of things.
If you were a fan of Ian Gallagher from the Showtime dramedy 'Shameless', the last year might have been painful for you. After nine successful years on the show, Cameron Monaghan, who plays Ian, quit the show shortly ahead of season 9's mid-season finale. But the good news is that the face behind Ian, Monaghan, has once again taken up the role of a troubled teen, Luke Hunter in 'Anthem of a Teenage Prophet,' and as it turns out, there might be streaks of Ian visible in the new character.
Speaking exclusively to Meaww at the new film's premiere, Monaghan shared with us what had inspired him to become so involved and invested in the project. "The film is based on a novel by Joanne Proulx which I thought was wonderful. I talked to our director Robin Hayes about it pretty early on in the process. And it was in a conversation with Robin that we realized we both have a lot in common and how we viewed our teenage years and some of the stuff that we went through."
The film deals with the story of a young teen who gets a premonition of his friend's death and it inadvertently sparks a bond between him and the best friend's girlfriend (Peyton List.) According to Monaghan, there was also an active interest in sharing the not so glamorous side of teenage life through the film.
"We just really wanted to show an honest depiction of what it means to be a teenager - what it means to come of age. And we wanted to show something that dirty, and gritty, and rough and tumble. Not the polished stuff you see a lot of the times when it's about teens," shared Monaghan, adding: "That stuff is great, and it's great that they wanted to do that. But we wanted to do something that's a little bit heavier, and it's harder and more challenging for the audience. So we thought that it would be nice to have a movie that didn't talk down to kids but was about kids."
This brings back memories of Monaghan's last few days as Ian on 'Shameless' where he went through a downward spiral even though the character was deemed as a 'gay Jesus' among the LGBTQ community on the show. Ian, who had been diagnosed with bipolar disorder in the past, decides to go off his medication, sending him on an erratic binge when it comes to processing his issues. Soon he becomes an icon in the gay community and the young kids look up to him for their answers, which are often executed with brutal activism.
Drawing a parallel between the two characters of Luke on 'Anthem of a Teenage Prophet' and Ian from 'Shameless,' Monaghan remarks that "(They) both have a certain level of sensitivity to them that shines through both the characters." According to Monaghan, both the characters represent "young men who are experiencing a lot thrust upon them and are trying to find themselves and express themselves at the same time. That's something we can all relate to some extent and I wanted to put parts of my own experience in both of these characters, and, hopefully to every character I enact."
'Shameless' is set to return with the latter half of its ninth season on January 20, and even though Ian will no longer be a part of the show, we are about to see some pretty massive action unfold. The show's leading lady Emmy Rossum is also quitting the series after this season, meaning a lot of emotional drama is expected to happen. But if you're a hardcore Ian fan and wish to see him on the screen once again, you can always check out another avatar of his - Luke, on 'Anthem of a Teenage Prophet.'