I was born in San Antonio, Texas and grew up on a sailboat. I've been all over the world, been in cool movies and TV shows, and currently play Kev on SHAMELESS. Life imitates art - last season Kev's character had twins, and I just found out that myself and my wife are expecting twins. I work with the Starlight Children's Foundation when I can to help out seriously ill kids. I got to meet a bunch of seriously cool parents & kids when I visited in Los Angeles. And because I lived on a sailboat, I'm really into keeping the oceans clean, so I work with Oceana.

Victoria's helping me out today via phone. AMA!


UPDATE: Thanks for your questions everyone. I'm so glad to have done this. We wouldn't be able to be going into this 5th season without the fans. We really appreciate you & the support. Tune in Sunday, tell your friends & family about it. SHAMELESS 2015! JANUARY 11! Sunday!

Comments: 173 • Responses: 68  • Date: 

superbek17 karma

TWINS?! Congrats! Babies EVERYWHERE on screen and off!


I loved you as Van and Kevin steals my heart week after week on Shameless. I feel like Kevin is kinda like a "grown-up" Van. How do each of these characters relate to your own personal life? Also, season 4 of Shameless had very serious tones, can we expect more comedy and light heartedness from our favorite gang of misfits this season?



As a mod of the Shameless subreddit, I believe I speak for all of us when I say that we are so excited for the new season, thanks for keeping us laughing!

SteveHowey12 karma

Aw, that's nice.

Um... well they relate to a lot of my personality, because I play the characters. It's true. I think, you know... as an actor, and as a person, I wear my heart on my sleeve, and I'm goofy, so that's a lot of who Kev is, in SHAMELESS, and who Van was, in REBA... and then as far as this season, we have a lot more laughs this season. There's still a lot of heavy storyline - of love and social poverty and growing up and pains of life, but there's a lot of cool stuff ahead too. Specifically with Kev and Veronica, it gets really heavy for us, but we peppered in a lot of funny and warm moments. The Gallaghers get crazier this year!

PolishHeadlock14 karma

How hard is to not pop wood when you are fake banging V?

Also do you think I have any chance of being cast in the next Jurassic Park? I attached my head shot. Imgur

SteveHowey18 karma

Because there are sweaty, fat, hairy crew members standing right next to me, off-camera. And looking at them is the opposite of popping wood, or whatever you said.

It's already been done. Chris Pratt's in it. None.

angmar280512 karma

Hey Steve! I've been a HUGE fan of Shameless since Season 1, and Kevin is without a doubt my favorite character. What has been your favorite storyline on the show? Also, congrats on the twins!

SteveHowey19 karma

Thank you very much!

And I think my favorite storyline has anything to do with Veronica... the actress, Shanola Hampton, who plays her is the best to work with, I really do love her. And she's just a great person.

0907199211 karma


SteveHowey22 karma

Yeah! Um, I'm 6 feet 4 inches, 220 pounds, I have the forehead of a cinderblock and fists made of hammers. I am a bodyguard. When we go out. And inside, I am a caring lover.

Advice: wear proper-fitting pants, and a good pair of shoes goes a long way. Good pair of boots, you know?

And walk with a strong gait. No awkward shuffling.

freekobe083210 karma

Where is Ethel?!?!?

SteveHowey13 karma


Where is Ethel?

She's running a B&B in Billings, Montana.

mickeyandmumbles10 karma

Who's the biggest Ian and Mickey fan from the cast?

SteveHowey11 karma


TombieOutbreak888 karma

My buddy and I watch Shameless religiously. We've looked for Old Style in our local liquor stores but it's not available around us. When you watch the show yourself, do you drink a beer? Do you drink Old Style?

SteveHowey13 karma

Thank you dudes! I have enjoyed Old Style. It's Chicago-based, which is why you probably can't get it. But go to Chicago and have yourself an Old Style.

ziplockered7 karma

Steve, Shameless is one of the best shows on TV right now, but I can't help but think you guys keep getting snubbed in regards to the Emmys. Last year Shameless was submitted as a comedy, rather than a drama, and had the most nominations to date. Do you think the show's too old to get a best lead actor/actress in a comedy or best comedy series, or even best writing? Should the show have been submitted as a comedy from the first season?

SteveHowey17 karma

It has nothing to do with our category, it has everything to do with our storyline. People who are battling drug abuse, alcohol abuse, or poverty is not hip. The stories might be good, but the hip factor isn't. I think it has everything to do with the people we are portraying.

Frajer7 karma

How do you think Kevin stays so optimistic ?

SteveHowey13 karma

His love for Veronica.

ClaudiaAbby6 karma

Do you think Kevin likes Ian and Mickey as a couple? do you? :P

SteveHowey9 karma

Yes and yes. Some of my best friends are gay and I don't think Kev gives a shit.


You are going to be stuck on a deserted island for a year. During this year, you are only allowed one book to read and one music album to listen to. Which book and album do you choose?

SteveHowey2 karma

Probably the book would be OLD YELLER. And the album would be Weird Al Yankovic's best hits. First thing that came to mind!

freekobe08325 karma

Love Shameless! Was there a storyline that you didn't like at first but turned out to be good? And vice versa, was there one you liked a lot but didn't turn out so good?

Also, is it awkward showing your junk on camera?

SteveHowey18 karma

Well, the last question answers the first, which is: I didn't like the fact that I had to show my junk, because it's not that impressive. But after it was done, it felt very liberating and I felt good about it. Hahaha! Cuz, like, I didn't get into acting to become a porn star, right? I became an actor to act, and to express my humanity and I didn't know I had to express that much humanity, but it was really cool to do. So yeah, that last question answers the first. I was really nervous going into it, but afterwards it was like not that big a deal - who cares? We're only on this planet for a short time, and who gives a shit what your outside is?

God, I sound like Deepak Chopra there.

Your outsides are nothing compared to your insides! My insides are much larger than my outsides!

HarborMaster15 karma

Hey Steve! If the Gallaghers had a battle to the death, who would be the last one standing and why?

SteveHowey17 karma

Debbie. Debbie Gallagher would be the last one standing. Because she's unassuming, but I think she's the most ruthless out of all of 'em.

It's always the unassuming ones!

Velorium_Camper4 karma

What is the coolest thing you've gotten to keep from the set of Reba?

SteveHowey5 karma

Haha! Uh... I have a lot of wardrobe from REBA, still, that i still wear. But i think the coolest stuff is the pictures of me and the cast, and Reba got the cast from the first season a leather jacket that said REBA on the back - and that's kinda cool. An original.

dmoneyra4 karma

Why do they list Joan Cusack as a special guest star if she's in almost every episode?

Also, do you have a favorite episode, or a favorite guest actor that was on the show?

SteveHowey12 karma

That's a very good question. It's because she doesn't live in LA. She has to fly into work.

Zooter_McGavin3 karma

Hi Steve! Huge fan of Shameless and your twitter account. I used to work summers at a marina and interacted with many liveaboards during my time there. How did growing up on a sailboat effect your childhood? Any memorable stories you wish to share?

SteveHowey9 karma

It had a lot to do with why I became an actor. One, because it made me go crazy a little bit, because during gales - not a storm, a gale- which is a storm on the sea - I would have to be below, talking to myself, for many hours. And the opposite of that - I got to fish for lunch and dinner, I got to sunbathe in the tropics, I swam with sharks, I cleaned barnacles off the bottom of my boat, I saw a whaleshark, I saw Haley's Comet, I saw the green flash when the sun sets on the horizon of the Pacific Ocean... I do thank my parents for giving me that. They kidnapped me, I had no choice. They wanted to do it for themselves, but I have those memories.

dmoneyra3 karma

Hey Steve, huge fan!

Is there a character you wish Kev would have more scenes with?

SteveHowey10 karma

Yeah, Ian!

mickeyandmumbles3 karma

Your cast mates have said you're the funniest guy on set, but who do you think is the funniest one (after you)? :)

SteveHowey3 karma

A lot of the crew members are really funny, and our writers. Some directors. But I think the funniest, besides me... I don't know?

Ieatpeas223 karma

Steve. What's your favorite sandwich?

SteveHowey10 karma


That's a good question.

My favorite kind of sandwich is a hoagie. Lots of different meats. And olive oil & vinegar is key on my sandwiches.

Ieatpeas222 karma

Meh, I would take you for a grilled cheese kind of guy.

SteveHowey8 karma

Nothing wrong with a grilled cheese! But if I'm going to have to go with a sandwich, I can't just have some hot cheese. I'm gonna have to have some meats, some veggies, some delicious baked breads, some mayo, some mustard- but the KEY INGREDIENT is not melted cheese, it is oil & vinegar!

tracyrofu3 karma

Congrats on the impending twins! Shameless is my favorite show. I loved seeing Kev and Mickey as business partners last season. will your characters be interacting this season as well? You and Noel are a super amusing pair.

SteveHowey11 karma

Yeah, thank you! And no, we have some things, but not a lot. Mickey's dealing with Ian a lot, and I'm dealing with the babies and Veronica.

Alesandramw3 karma

Hi! Hope you're having a great Friday afternoon.

Congratulations on your twins! I just wanted to say that your character is so refreshing to watch when the drama with the Gallagher's gets too much and I look forward to more of your work this Sunday!

At what point of your life did you feel the most satisfied with the direction your career was heading?

SteveHowey3 karma

I'm still not satisfied. But I feel very lucky to have the opportunities that i've had. But I'm not satisfied. As long as I work with really great people, it appeases the desire for more. But in no way am I satisfied yet. Satisfaction is a luxury a lot of artists can't afford.

happy_nothlit3 karma

Shameless is the best! I go to UIC and I love it when they film here. Can't wait for Sunday!

What was your favorite episode/storyline of Shameless? Also what's a new show you can recommend me?

SteveHowey5 karma

I would say thank you very much. I love shooting in Chicago - we shoot all the exteriors in Chicago, and the interiors in LA. It's fun to shoot outside in Chicago (not when it's that cold). But it's another character, another lead. Another show? I don't watch a lot of shows. All the shows I watch are now done, so I haven't started any new shows.

Excel_and_Coffee3 karma

What are your interests outside of work? What do you do for fun?

SteveHowey10 karma

I like to ride motorcycles. I like to shoot guns. I like to travel. And I like to be with my friends & family.

sw33t1rony3 karma

Hi Steve, Shameless is one of my wife and I favorite shows, but we always have a hard time explaining it to someone who has never watched it. How would you explain it to someone whose never watched?

SteveHowey10 karma

That's a great question.

Thank you!

It's nice to see that your family's not the most fucked up.

get_outta_mah_swamp3 karma

Hey Mr. Howey, thanks for doing this AMA! My question is, what are some of the funniest things that have happened off-camera?

SteveHowey6 karma

You're welcome.

Off-camera? The cast got into a food fight at craft service. And we threw muffins and cakes and chips everywhere at each other.

Dalekz3 karma

What is your view on avocados?

SteveHowey6 karma

I love 'em. I love 'em mashed, slice, whole, pitted, peeled.

MasterEvilFurby3 karma

What was it like to work with Reba?

SteveHowey14 karma

It was amazing. Because I got to see what a real professional was like. She was first to set, last to leave, never complained, was always ready, anybody who had an idea was always appreciate and it was tried. She is a national treasure.

If Reba ever went to war, I would be on the front lines.

freekobe08322 karma

Were you really surprised at the end of last season when Jimmy/Steve/Jack showed up? I think I remember you tweeting that you were shocked or something like that.

Who's your favorite NFL/MLB/NBA/NHL teams?

SteveHowey9 karma

Yeah! No one knew! They didn't tell us. And when we saw that Justin came back... I immediately called everybody in the cast and asked if they knew, and nobody knew.

Well, I was born in Texas, so the Dallas Cowboys. My dad's from Cleveland, so I like the Browns too. My mom's from Denver, so I grew up rooting for the Broncos as well. But I'm from LA, I haven't been a Laker fan but I am a Clipper fan. And baseball... Dodgers.

lula24882 karma

What is your favorite pizza topping and how would you best utilize that in your acting career?

SteveHowey8 karma

Favorite pizza topping is... fresh mozzarella and fresh chopped basil. And I'm still working on it.

I'd rub it on my body before auditioning.

delron422 karma

When you did your bike ride with Macey did you think about making out with him...or did you just do it?

SteveHowey4 karma


lukeygirls2 karma

i'm a huge fan of shameless, that's my favourite tv show! my question is if you were another character on shameless besides kev, who would you be and why??

SteveHowey5 karma

Probably... I'd probably have to say Carl. Because he's always messing with blowtorches and drugs.

beernerd2 karma

I'm sorry, did you say you grew up on a sailboat? How did that happen?

SteveHowey7 karma

My father was in the Navy. His dream was to own a boat. He bought a boat, while we still lived in a house, and then they sold the house, and then we permanently moved into a 67 foot yacht, and then we'd sail to Catalina Island & back with friends, but it was too big for my mom & dad to mann - they needed other people there for help - so they sold that and bought a 38 foot schooner. And we sailed down Baja and down to Mexico. So living on both boats was about... 8 years, altogether.

beernerd3 karma

That's amazing. I grew up in a Navy family as well, but we never did anything that cool.

SteveHowey4 karma

I didn't have a choice. I was young, and they kidnapped me, and forced me to have to swim in warm tropical waters and swim on the seas of paradise.

FollowillFan2 karma

Steve! I have loved you since Reba.

What has been the best thing both Reba and William H. Macy have taught you about acting and/or life?

Thanks for the AMA! I cannot wait for the premiere.

SteveHowey3 karma

Thank you so much!

I think Reba & William H. Macy have taught me to be kind to everyone. And to be a willing recipient of another actor's choices.

happy_nothlit2 karma

Who's your favorite actor/actress?

SteveHowey3 karma

I'm gonna give you a list, okay?

  • Jeff Bridges
  • Denzel Washington
  • Gene Hackman
  • Steve Martin
  • Michael Caine
  • and Sylvester Stallone! I love Stallone.

delron422 karma

Since you were on ER how often do you go around diagnosing peoples ailments?

SteveHowey3 karma

Well, I was on ER, but I was a patient, so I don't have any of the vernacular the other actors do.

Qaxza1 karma

Is there anything you and the rest of the cast do before or after shooting, kinda like a ritual?

You're one of my favorites on Shameless and I can't wait for this Sunday. Keep up the great job you're doing.

SteveHowey6 karma

Na, we don't have any rituals. But I'm going to start a new one. I'm going to start slapping everyone on their ass, like a sports player.


How's life treating you?

SteveHowey3 karma

Life's treating me very good. I'm not behind it. I'm not in front of it. I'm just riding it.

freekobe08321 karma

Any movies coming up for you?

SteveHowey2 karma

There is a movie where I play a gay Hawaiian called "See you in Valhalla." It's gonna be in theaters in February? It's a tiny little independent. Sarah Hyland, from Modern Family, is in it too.

freekobe08321 karma

Can I have a free drink next time I'm at The Alibi?

Are you guys having a watch party Sunday?

SteveHowey8 karma

You can have HALF a free drink.

freekobe08321 karma

Between you and me, how does Season 5 end?

On a serious note, keep up the good work! You are one of the best parts of the show (and that's saying a lot, because EVERYONE is so great!) Does Joan Cusack have a lot to do this season?

SteveHowey6 karma

Joan is one of my favorite characters on the show. I actually would like to have more scenes with her.

And as far as how the season ends? Thank you for being a fan. We kind of up the ante on being shameless.

MeowschwitzInHere1 karma

Holy shit!

Hey Steve! I love your role in shameless, and flipped when you were in Sons of Anarchy. Aside from the always sexy Emmy Rossum you're my favorite character.

I haven't seen it asked yet, but I'm sure there are a billion stories - what are your favorite moments throughout the filming of Shameless?

Keep up the good work man!

SteveHowey4 karma

Thank you so much.

One of my favorite moments - was the early season, we had to go bail Lip out of jail, it was really cold and snowing in Chicago, and we were outside a police station, huddled up, it was our last scene of the day, and our last scene of that SEASON, and it was when we bailed Lip out of jail. We all got in a huddle and told each other how much we loved each other. That was really special.

TombieOutbreak881 karma

You mention you've been all over the world. Any places I should check out when I get the chance to travel?

SteveHowey2 karma

Yeah, you know... Vancouver, Canada is close to us, but it's one of the most beautiful places I've ever seen. You might want to say that VICTORIA, Canada, which is north of Vancouver - just breathtaking. But probably... where did we go that was really cool? Hangzhou, China. It is the silk capital of China. BOOM!

usualsuspect021 karma

Hey, Steve. What was your favorite one episode role on a show?

SteveHowey2 karma

I have no idea! There's so many peppered in, you know? Some scenes are a favorite, while others are not. They are all different. There are definitely favorite SCENES, but not one episode.

courtiebabe4201 karma


SteveHowey5 karma

Not much. There's so much work to be done, and if you have any free time, you just lay in the water, or swim ashore if you're banked somewhere. It was literally a vacation every day.

lula24881 karma

What kind of work do you do with oceana?

SteveHowey2 karma

Well, I'm not an ambassador, but I've donated to the cause, and I'm an advocate of ways to keep our oceans cleaner.

tracyrofu1 karma

How was it shooting with the babies this season? Fun? Complicated?

SteveHowey8 karma

It was - honestly - hard and a little annoying, and I feel bad if i had attitude because I'm getting payback with having twins in real life.

BluesClues48941 karma

Why do you hate avocados?

SteveHowey2 karma


rebull3971 karma

who do you think would win in a fight Reba or Sheila? What was the first thing you bought with your first big paycheck as an actor?

SteveHowey1 karma

Reba. Reba can kick my ass!

That's a good question. I think it was a boat? A powerboat.

ImOnADie-OhFood1 karma

Hi Steve! What something unexpected made you reprospective?

SteveHowey2 karma

The smell of a pine tree.

SoltanPill1 karma

Have you ever met Kristen Wiig?

SteveHowey2 karma

No I've never met her.

jillsgoodbye1 karma

What was the hardest scene to film on Shameless? Who is your favourite scene co-star on Shameless?

Huge fan! You're insanely comical on Shameless, and I LOVED you on Reba.

SteveHowey6 karma

Thank you so much. The hardest scene was probably - I tore my achilles tendon on Season 4 and there was a lot of moving around I had to do, I was on crutches, that was the hardest. That whole season was hard, cuz i was on crutches, it was a real injury. And my favorite to work with is... EVERYONE. There's nobody I don't want to work with over and over again.

tracyrofu1 karma

Assuming there's a season six (there'd better be!) do you know when you'd start shooting again? Probably not for a while, huh?

SteveHowey1 karma

I think it's going to be summer again. So probably... I don't know... spring? What's after winter, spring/

ismellliketuna1 karma

What are your favorite parts of Chicago to visit and what places do you recommend to eat at in Chicago ?

SteveHowey3 karma

I love the classics. I love hot dogs. I love Al's Italian Beef. I LOVE IT!

JangoCrutch1 karma

What pisses you off the most?

SteveHowey3 karma

That's a general question.

That's a stupid question. I mean, be more specific. The list is too long.

linklove11 karma

What is the best advice you have ever been given?

SteveHowey3 karma

The best advice? Stop talking. You have one mouth and 2 ears. Listen more.

BrunoGrand1 karma

What's your favorite movie?

SteveHowey11 karma

My favorite movie - I would have to say PLANES, TRAINS AND AUTOMOBILES.

rebull3971 karma

What was it like working with Anne Hathaway in 2009?

SteveHowey2 karma

Great. She's lovely. She was working on press for GET SMART and working on BRIDE WARS, so she was always sleeping in between takes, so I didn't get to talk to her that much because she was sleeping.

freekobe08321 karma

Have you ever turned down a role that you regretted later? What is the shooting schedule for Shameless like? Are you guys done with Season 5?

SteveHowey6 karma

No, I haven't regretted any role that I've turned down. The shooting schedule for SHAMELESS is too short. We only shoot 12 episodes. I'd rather shoot more. And we are done with Season 5! Tune in this Sunday to see the first episode.

rocker20141 karma

Shameless is one of my favorite shows and your character is AWESOME!

It seems like the cast is really tight in real life, what's the atmosphere on set? Also, what was filming Sons of Anarchy like?

SteveHowey5 karma

Thank you! Yeah, we're all very close on-set which makes our job easier. We're all friends, on and off the stage. And then Sons of Anarchy was like winning - I was just a fan that got lucky enough to be on the show. It was a dream come true. Cuz I was just a fan, and then I met the creator, begged him to be on it... and I am very lucky.

freekobe08321 karma

Do you still talk to Laura Slade? Could you put in a good word for me?

SteveHowey4 karma

I haven't talked to Wiggins in a while, but if I see her, I definitely will.

dmoneyra1 karma

Thanks for taking the time to do this!

Will anymore Southland actors appear on the show?

SteveHowey2 karma

I'm sure there will be, because the John Wells community - we're all one big happy family. Hopefully cuz they are all really good actors!

[deleted]1 karma


SteveHowey7 karma

He has done the FARGO voice a couple of times. Not much. But working with him is going to an acting masterclass. Sometimes, while we're working together, I'll forget a line, because I'm just watching what he's doing. That's literally - literally... working with William, I get paid to go to acting class.

NeilParmesan1 karma

Are you similar to your character in real life?

SteveHowey2 karma

Yeah, I'm similar to all the characters I play.

shs20141 karma

What has been your favorite memory from your career?

SteveHowey6 karma

Meeting my wife.

shs20141 karma

Who would you consider to be your biggest idol?

SteveHowey2 karma

Well, growing up it was Tom Selleck. And then

delron420 karma

I used to work for Mah. Did she help design your home?

Do you call her Ma Mah?

SteveHowey4 karma

Not sure what you're talking about!