Zach McGowan: A SHAMELESS Pirate

Zach McGowan and Friend - publicity photo

Zach McGowan and Friend – publicity photo

Zach McGowan may play naughty Jody Silverman in Showtime’s Shameless, but in real life, he’s quite an accomplished young man, as I discovered during a recent interview.

The Goal in Sight

McGowan’s goal has always been to become an actor.  And he revealed to me that he tried “many” jobs en route to that end.

One of his first acting jobs (and one that stuck with him) was that of a voice-over actor for everything from movie trailers to video games.  His sexy tone was (and still is) in quite a high demand.

Eventually, guest spots and other TV/film appearances followed, which led to a Shameless audition.  And, though he’d only seen the pilot at the time of that audition, his talent was so well received that he became a cast regular at the beginning of Season Three, which began in January, 2013.

Silverman Not a Bad Guy

Cast as what McGowan described to me as “a truly honest and loving guy,” Silverman could become quite the mischievous one.

Not wanting to hazard a guess as to what might eventually become of his character, McGowan told he’d be content to let the writers handle it.  Acting the part would be quite enough for him.

A Surprising Hobby

Though McGowan sought after it as gold, acting would remain as only one of many surprising gifts held by this young man.  He is an avid gardener as well as an impressive runner.  He told me, “I started growing things when I moved to California, and I’ve grown pretty much everything now at one point or another.”  His gardening seems to have taken on a therapeutic role as well.  He said, “I am fascinated by life, and a garden is a great place to get to understand its cycles.”

Running A Passion

His gardening hobby was just one surprise to me.  There was another.  McGowan is also an accomplished runner (running 10 miles a day).   “My father and brother are Marines,” he told me, “and I have always been an athlete. When my brother came back from the war for the first time, he got me into running.  He also got me wearing the Vibram FiveFingers sports shoes.  Now, running’s just a part of who I am.”

A Bright Future

Besides playing Silverman, McGowan can be seen as pirate Captain Charles Vane in the Jerry Bruckheimer-produced Black Sails, premiering in January, 2014 on the Starz network.  He revealed that, “Captain Charles Vane is everything that Jody isn’t.  I think people will be quite surprised when they meet him.  And, I would love nothing more than to play Captain Charles and Jody Silverman for a long time.”

Shameless airs on Sundays at 9.

Cheryl has been a freelance TV/film writer for more than 10 years. Simultaneously, she has worked in PR for Bon Jovi Productions in NYC, PolyGram Records (also in NYC), and Rogers & Cowan Public Relations. Cheryl has published articles at, “Sci-Fi Entertainment” magazine, and “Soap Opera Weekly.” She was also a credited researcher for English author Denis Meikle’s JOHNNY DEPP: A KIND OF ILLUSION. Cheryl enjoys writing for the entertainment industry and meeting new people. She is also an animal lover. 

Article originally posted at Suite101.


  • Jodi Goodman

    Playing around on your site and decided to check and see if you watch/review my current favorites. Have you given Black Sails a try yet? We just got completely addicted. It’s a good replacement until Game of Thrones is back. The first season tries a little hard to be GoT, in my opinion, with the unnecessary sex and nudity, but by the second season, I feel like it found its groove. I’m totally hooked.

  • I’m such a huge fan of Black Sails! I’m behind on this season, but there is something BEYOND incredible about Toby Stephens (You know he’s Maggie Smith’s son, right???)!!

  • Jodi Goodman

    We are just starting season three. I did NOT know that, but that makes me love him even more. The entire cast is pretty amazing.