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Truly 'Shameless': William H. Macy's drunken run for the Emmy

May 5, 2011 |  7:53 am

"Shameless" star William H. Macy may be rewarded for portraying the worst dad on TV with an Emmy for giving the best performance.

Macy not only has a very good shot at being nominated for best lead actor in a drama series, but he could win. After all, the star who's dominated the category the last three years, Bryan Cranston, isn't currently in the contest because "Breaking Bad" didn't air during the awards' eligibility period.

Shameless Macy showtime newsWhat boosts Macy's Emmy odds: He plays a showy character -– the drunken, rascal dad of a wildly dysfunctional family. In fact, Macy's role of Frank Gallagher may set a new low for fathers in TV history, but Macy nonetheless believes that he's fearlessly carrying the flag for the many other blotto papas just like him.

"I've made a career out of being a spokesperson for the disenfranchised, for the little guy, for the one who has no one to speak for him -– and now I'm following that tradition with Frank," Macy said in our webcam chat. "You may not like us and you may not appreciate us, but at any given time across the world, a lot of us are really toasted. I mean just drunk as skunks, and we have rights and we pay taxes, so I am now the spokesperson for the inebriated."

But Macy said he believes Frank has some redeeming qualities: "He has a very infectious joie de vivre. He's got a sense of irony. I think someplace deep down Frank appreciates his family. I think he realizes that his kids are kind of a lifeline for him."

Macy has won two Emmys in the past -– for writing and starring in "Door to Door," a 2002 telefilm about a man with cerebral palsy who struggles to become a salesman. At this point in the current Emmy race, it looks like his toughest rival will be Jon Hamm, who'll probably submit a flashy episode of "Mad Men" called "The Suitcase" to the jury.  Packed inside is a big, woozy drunk scene to rival one of Macy's "Shameless" benders.

-- Tom O'Neil