Cameron Monaghan celebrates his 23rd birthday this week and we couldn't let the occasion pass without highlighting some of the young actor's greatest moments on-screen. Whether you know him as Ian on Shameless or Jerome on Gotham, Monaghan has not been short of work lately and, when watching him, it's clear why that is.
For someone so young, Monaghan's acting ability is incredible. He's already received so much acclaim for his various character portrayals so without future ado, let's take a look at five moments when he shone the brightest.
1. Ian's Diagnosis — Shameless
There have been many occasions that Monaghan stole the show on Shameless but he, no doubt, shone the brightest during the fifth season when his character Ian was diagnosed with bipolar disorder. Although Ian's family suspected it for several episodes, the seriousness of the situation came to light when Ian took Mickey's son Yevgeny off on a road trip. After the authorities located him they returned Ian home.
I love Shameless. It's definitely one of the most underrated shows on TV not only for the storylines, but for the acting. Monaghan's portrayal of Ian is nothing short of award worthy, and it's rather mind-blowing that he's often overlooked at award ceremonies. The entire cast of Shameless is wonderful, but Monaghan steals every scene that he is in. His work during the bipolar storyline is astounding and for me, Monaghan has never been better than he was during these scenes. There is a realism associated with his acting that just makes you feel and experience everything he says and does.
2. Jerome Reveals Himself — Gotham
Monaghan's performance on Gotham is a completely different kind of awesomeness than his performance on Shameless and his first appearance on Gotham is bone-chilling. Originally appearing as a kind, good-hearted boy, Jerome revealed his true nature at the end of the episode. The way Monaghan played Jerome's innocence was excellent; I had no idea what was about to be revealed. In the snap of a finger, the humility and warmth disappeared and the real Jerome came to light.
His words were chilling and in that moment the viewer knew that this character could become the infamous Joker. And that laugh — Monaghan's laugh is excellent, both chilling me yet delighting my inner comic nerd — in this moment, I knew that nobody else could be Gotham's Clown Prince of Crime.
3. Jerome's Last Laugh — Gotham
After a three episode reign of terror, Jerome was betrayed by his employer Theo Galavan. The grand finale was intense and Monaghan is mesmerizing in the moment. The intimidation and fear that he was able to bestow upon us is unlike anything else. Monaghan's laugh still chills me and, as a long time Batman fan, there couldn't have been a better actor to portray a potential/future Joker.
I must confess that I did not feel relief when Jerome's reign of terror came to an end. I felt upset. However, the culmination of Jerome's storyline opened up the legacy of the Joker and I'm delighted that Monaghan will be returning to the character at some point in the next two years because, given the opportunity, I genuinely think he could become the greatest Joker of all.
4. Ian And Mickey's Relationship — Shameless
While this one is less of a moment and more of an ongoing storyline, there is no doubt that Ian and Mickey's relationship has been a highlight of Shameless since the series began. The emotional scenes between the couple are always excellent and Monaghan and Noel Fisher excel in each other's company. Monaghan conveyed Ian's anger and love for Mickey effortlessly.
It's interesting to see how much the two characters and their actors touched fans around the world and even though it would appear that Ian and Mickey are not the main relationship of the show, they were definitely the most beloved and that's largely due to Monaghan and Fisher. The pairing were definitely one of the best couples on TV, and while they're not together at the moment, I hope to see them get back together at some point in the future.
5. Tom's Downfall — Mercy Street
Monaghan didn't have much screen time on PBS' Mercy Street but that didn't stop him from shining. Tom Fairfax was a troubled individual who had seen too much and couldn't find a way out. Monaghan portrayed the character wonderfully and although it took Fairfax a while to speak, Monaghan was able to convey exactly what Fairfax was taking with nothing more than a look or a glance.
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Tom's appearances were short and brief but that didn't stop us from feeling for the character and that was down to Monaghan's excellent performance in the role. It's a shame that we didn't get to see more of him, but what we did see was excellent.
With many more performances to look forward to, Monaghan continues to prove why he is one of the best actors in the business. I eagerly await the return of Shameless and Gotham so that we can see Monaghan do what he does best. Happy birthday Cameron Monaghan, I look forward to many more scene stealing performances in the future!
What was your favorite Cameron Monaghan role? Tell me in the comment section below.