Shanola Hampton

Shanola Hampton has her hands full these days. Not only has she actress recently wrapped up shooting season 8 of her smash hit series, Shameless, but she and her husband also have an 18-month-old son and a daughter who’s nearly four. But her busy schedule is not enough to keep her from enjoying her favorite pastime — binging on her favorite TV series. We caught up with Shanola to talk about all things TV, motherhood, travel, and the beauty of Brazil.


As Shanola explains, the fact that Shameless has been on the air for eight seasons means the show is experiencing a viewership renaissance. “It’s an interesting thing when you do a show that’s outside the box. And our show has been revived in a kind of way, because we have fans now that we didn’t have before. It’s almost as if the eighth season is like the first one all over again.” She adds, “It’s become such a huge hit now, almost more than it ever has been. I think that a lot of that is because it is so outside the box, and it’s relatable too. We portray the way a lot of Americans are actually living. We don’t glamorize it. So people are able to see how raw it is. Not only is it raw, but people also see the relationships and chemistry of the cast. There is such a clear chemistry with the characters on the show, and it really translates off-screen too. I think that’s what’s really made us be able to stay in the game this long.”

Having just wrapped up shooting of the show’s eighth season, we asked her what her favorite moment was during the filming. “I think the most fun I had was in an episode that’s coming up where Kevin goes to find his roots and his family lives in Kentucky. So I had a lot of fun working with the woman that played his aunt. That was a really fun time. His family is really backwoods and could possibly be racist.”

Playing the role of Veronica has been a labor of love for Shanola, and she’s learned a lot from her character. “I think what I love the most about Veronica is that she’s taught me to say what you mean without judgement. She’s very straight to the point and doesn’t mince words. But she doesn’t do it in a way that’s judgmental at all, and I love that about her. She also has no inhibitions and doesn’t care if you don’t like what she has to say.”

Strangely enough, Shanola and Veronica have had some interesting parallels. “Veronica and I had very similar paths. When I was trying to conceive so was she. There was such overlap there — I was shooting scenes that I was also experiencing in real life. Then she and I were pregnant at the same time. Some people think because I got pregnant that they made my character pregnant because of that, but that’s not true. Veronica was always going to be pregnant and I just happened to get pregnant at the same time.”

Unlike some actors who can’t watch themselves on TV, Shanola is a diehard Shameless fan and loves watching the show. “I love watching the show. I’m a huge TV addict anyway, so I would watch it even if I wasn’t on it. It’s one of my favorite shows. I really get wrapped up in it. I love all the Real Housewives shows. I love Love & Hip Hop. I’m a big fan of Queen Sugar. I’m also getting into SMILF which is really cool. I just finished watching all of The Handmaid’s Tale which is incredible. I also love The Crown and Survivor. I’m watching Scandal too, which isn’t my #1, but I’m almost done the final season.”

Considering she’s in the very first issue of BELLO Brazil, we asked Shanola about her travel Brazilian travel bucket list. “My husband and I love to travel. For me, a dream vacation in Brazil begins first and foremost with a rad hotel. Then number two is eating — eating delicious food nonstop, almost around the clock. And then a mix of relaxation and beaches, and doing adventures. My husband and I love ziplining, so it would be a mix of the two. As well as seeing some of the historical places and sightseeing. I would love to visit Brazil. It’s one place I have not been. One of my dreams is to dance with the Carnival girls. I would love to experience a whole night of partying with them.”

A lot her travel dreams have already come true. “I swam in the Great Barrier Reef when I was five months pregnant. I went on the bullet train in Japan which was so much fun, and getting to see Mount Fuji. I did Mykonos and its black volcanic beach. Most of the fun times I’ve had have something to do with a vacation. I love traveling.”

When we asked her what she’s most excited about in the months ahead, she told us, “I’m really looking forward to the holidays with my family, and cooking and hanging out with them. I would also love to find a dream project that I could do before going back to Shameless next year. That’s one side effect of being on a show as great as Shameless — you want all your other projects to be of the same calibre. It’s hard to find other projects that match the excitement I have for Shameless, or that would be as good.”

Leave a Comment