Where would the Gallaghers be without their big-hearted neighbor, Kev? Luckily, we never had to find out, because good old Kevin Ball shows up, played by Steve Howey, in every single episode of “Shameless” — and only a handful of times without his partner in crime, Veronica (played by Shanola Hamptom who, Howey revealed, is his best friend, taught him how to manscape, and is like a mother on set, a confidante who “knows everyone’s secrets”).
Howey, in particular, has reflected gratefully on just how close the cast of “Shameless” grew during the series’ run, and how he believes they will stay in touch. Ahead of the release of the final season, Howey commented on the “rarity” of such a long and successful career, an 11-season, decade-long run in which the cast and crew genuinely “grew up together.”
There’s a sense of coming-of-age inherent in the show’s gritty subject matter. Since their own parental figures were constant sources of turmoil, it makes sense that the characters would rely on “chosen family” members and parental figures like Veronica and Kevin. Those bonds can be seen among the actors, as well. In fact, as he told Muscle & Fitness, Kevin’s notorious physique is actually a result of Howey cutting out alcohol and adopting an insane exercise regimen — all in the pursuit of becoming a healthier, happier, and better father.