11/11/2011 11:28 am ET | Updated Jan 11, 2012

Cameron Monaghan On 'Shameless' Season 2 And Playing Ukelele With William H. Macy

It's been a long wait for fans of Showtime's hit show "Shameless," but the loveably dysfunctional Gallagher family will be making their rowdy return to cable in January -- and Cameron Monaghan promises more family antics than ever. Monaghan, 18, plays closeted gay teenager Ian Gallagher, the third-oldest Gallagher sibling. But just because he's the most orderly Gallagher doesn't mean he's perfect. In fact, the words "perfect" and "Gallagher" will never be used in the same sentence again.

Ian smokes, curses like a sailor, loves porn and has lots of sex -- with his married Muslim boss Kash (Pej Vahdat). Typical teenage boy stuff, right? Last season ended with Ian being arrested after being caught in a stolen car with his older brother Lip (Jeremey Allen White). The Huffington Post caught up with Monaghan to give us some shameless scoop on Season 2.

So the last time we saw Ian, he had just spent the night in jail with Lip. Where are things going to pick up in Season 2?

Season 2 picks up in the summertime. When we left off, it was winter, so now we flash-forward five or six months, and we pick up with the Gallaghers where they currently are. It's hot, it's sticky, and it's summer so everyone is out of the house. Everyone is kind of getting into trouble and doing their own things. It's a little bit more laid back because everyone is out of school. We're all doing odds jobs, trying to save up money for the upcoming fall when we're all going to be back in school, and it's going to be cold and miserable. So it's really just us enjoying our last few months of summer.

But Ian's still going to be getting himself into trouble like always, right?

Oh, definitely. More now than ever.

What about his love life this season? What's going on between him and Kash?

We pick back up where he is about to be re-released from juvie, and he's still with Kash at the time, but basically it's going to focus a lot on him coming into his own, with his relationships and his sexuality. You see that he starts realizing what he wants and what's right for him. That will also cause a lot of problems for him too. There's a lot of really fun stuff in store for him this season.

Now, there are some shows on network television, like "Glee" and "Modern Family," that have gay characters that are really flamboyant and somewhat feminine, but what I love about Ian is that he's totally different from that. Was that important for you?

It's definitely important for me. I think the gay community, just like anybody, should be represented in all forms and all types. I know gay men who are flamboyant like that, but I also know plenty of gay guys who are just like Ian, and the point is that you don't know. You can't just look at someone and guess their sexuality. There's no point in assuming that every gay man has just one personality type. No, everyone has an extremely multifaceted personality, and Ian is one of them.

What's the chemistry on set? You all work so well as one dysfunctional unit.

In many ways, I think the Gallaghers are extremely functional. The kids, especially, are more functional than a lot of families because they've had to be so close to survive. Obviously, with their parents, they've never had a good connection. In reality we are a family, just like we are on the show. We really do care about each other. We've become a tight group, and we genuinely enjoy spending time together.

What about William H. Macy? Is he the best crazy drunken dad ever?

Oh man, he's fantastic, both to work with and to spend time around. He's so unlike Frank. He's a family man, completely grounded and focused on his work. He's so passionate about the show too. I've always been a fan, so it's nice to finally work with him and also realize that he's a really nice guy too. He wrote an episode this season, and I found that really interesting because I'm really interested in writing and want to get into that. So I've talked to him a lot about the writer's process, and I got an inside scoop on the writers' room for our show. I got to learn how everything works, so it was awesome to get some advice from him about that.

Have you written any screenplays yet, or is there anything in the works?

I haven't written any yet. Right now, I'm more focused on short story writing and poetry, but I have a lot of ideas for scripts in my head. I think I'm going to have to start working on them.

Do you charm the ladies with your poetry?

Ah, yes, I have been known to do that once or twice.

So do you have any other hidden talents? I know you play the guitar.

I do play the guitar, and I can sing, but just enough to carry a tune. I try to keep myself busy. I actually just started playing the ukelele. Bill (Macy) always brings his ukelele to set, so he's gotten the entire cast into playing it.

What song are you learning right now?

What am I playing right now? I don't know. I've been playing "Pumped Up Kicks" and a lot of Foster the People songs on it.

Season 2 of "Shameless" premieres Jan. 8 at 9PM ET on Showtime. Can't wait? Check out this behind-the-scenes look at Season 2 below.