Talking MODERN FAMILY with Sarah Hyland

You guys know how much I love MODERN FAMILY, right?  Tonight’s season finale is another fantastic episode that really sums up everything about the family that I love.  Every person gets their chance to shine as the first season comes to a close.

A few weeks back, I had the chance to speak with Sarah Hyland, who plays the dim-witted Haley Dunphy, oldest child of Phil and Claire.  In real life, she’s got a great head on her shoulders, and has a great sense of why we need shows like MODERN FAMILY.  Also, don’t worry about the rumors out there, she doesn’t care what gossip mags spread about her; they can’t bring her down!

MODERN FAMILY is absolutely on the top of my favorite shows this year.

Well thank you very much.

What has the reaction been from fans and family members and people that you encounter?  Are they are having the same kind of reaction of “Oh My God, MODERN FAMILY is just the BEST show?”

Yeah, well I get a lot of Tweets from fans and they all love the show.  So it is real nice to hear that they like it.

What I love about the show – my family is, maybe not to the crazy extremes of this family but I watch this and think oh my God my dad could have totally done that or man,  that’s so something that my cousin would do and I think it is very relateable.
Yes it’s just a very relateable show.  It is awesome.  That’s what is so genius about the writing.

Congrats on the Peabody Award.  I think that is fantastic and really just speaks to the level of quality. The quality of this show, there is not a weak link in your armor.
I know.  I am just so lucky to be a part of this show.  It is really great.

How did you get involved?  Was it something that you read the script and you did a bunch of auditions to get involved? Or how did the process go for you?
Well, I read the script and I was like this is hilarious.  It reminded me of a feel of a mix between THE OFFICE and ARRESTED DEVELOPMENT and I was like this is so funny.  There’s a funny story about me and the casting part of my whole thing, at first they didn’t want to speak to me, they knew I was 18 and they were like she’s 18.  Like, she is too old and they didn’t really know that I looked very young for my age and so my agent was like, “no no no  trust me”, and sent over my head shot.  “Trust me, she does not look too old for this.  She is 18, she does not look 18,” and when it came down to the screen test, the other girl was 14 and they, Steve Levitan told me that when we both left the room they asked the network, they were like so which is the 18 year old and which is the 14 year old.  They were like Skylar is 18 and Sarah is definitely 14.  So, that was my whole experienced with the age thing.  It was pretty funny.

I think that the chemistry of the family members, you really do feel like a family, is that something that you work on outside of filming or is something that comes naturally that is just happened?
I think it just happened.  I mean Julie [Bowen] and Ty [Burrell] are just such amazing people.  They are so funny and they are so great to get along with.  They are very, very sweet people and Nolan is just like I want to adopt him.  I would love to do that, it would be awesome.

Do you have like a favorite scene partner that either you can’t keep a straight face when your in a scene with them or one of those situations? Or is there one that stands out as someone that you enjoy the most?
I love working with Ty and Julie.  Julie and I are more like we are having fun and Ty is the person who its very hard for me to keep a straight face but you know I do my job and I do that and on certain occasions when he is extra super-duper funny do I break.

I just couldn’t imagine.  I have seen him in person before and he is just so funny.   He is always on and I think you don’t get that a lot with a lot of actors and your cast seems to just be funny all of the time.
They really are.  It is a group of stand-up comics and I’m just there fore the ride.  It is awesome.

What has been your favorite episode or story line to shoot as Haley so far?
You know I’m one of those people who like once I film it I like forget about it and once the episode airs I’m like oh yeah that was funny.  One of my favorite moments I’m so bad at this.  I wish I could ask my boyfriend because he always remembers this stuff, but he is also doing a phone interview right now.  I think, actually one of my favorite moments is when Alex tells Haley that she is going to charge your battery on your phone by rubbing it on your hair .  I guess the fact that Haley like rubs her phone against her head for like an hour, it was like “Really Haley, come on girl”.  It was a lot of fun to play stupid that day.  It was a lot of fun.

You guys got to go to Hawaii to shoot.  Was that amazing?
It was just too beautiful.  It’s really cheesy and it’s just that thing and I’m kind of embarrassed about it but when we got into our hotel (I brought my boyfriend with me) and when we got to our hotel room I went outside on the balcony that was facing directly towards the ocean and it was just the most beautiful thing and I started tearing up and crying and I was like, I can’t believe I’m doing this right now.  This is a movie and I feel disgusted and this is like the first time I have ever really acted like a girl and started crying because of something so beautiful, so there you go.

I think that is a great story.   What other shows do you get a chance to watch if you have some down time?
COMMUNITY.  I love COMMUNITY.  It is hilarious.  My friend, last summer, did a movie with Ken Jeong and so I started watching it because Ken is on it and Ken is just the sweetest guy, I have met him a couple of times, and I love the show.  It is hilarious and everyone on that show is so funny.

It is so funny how for a long time sitcoms weren’t getting anywhere and they would do a season and be gone or they wouldn’t even last that long but now it seems like we are overwhelmed with incredible comedies.  Your night on ABC is genius and the night on NBC is genius.  There is so much and it’s a comedy lovers dream I think.
It’s awesome.  It is so great because you know I grew up in the 90’s where sitcoms were kinda the golden age of sitcoms.  I grew up with MARRIED WITH CHILDREN and all that stuff, FRIENDS and WILL AND GRACE, all of those shows were like my favorite shows growing up and when they were cancelled I cried and cried and it is awesome that people have accepted sitcoms back.  Like dramas are all nice but I think this is a good time for the economy to have something to make them laugh.  We need a break from all of the drama.

How funny is it that Al Bundy is your grandfather?
It is crazy.  SO Crazy.  I love Ed so much.  He is like a grandpa to me.  He reminds me so much of my dad.  My dads name is Ed too.  It’s really funny.  There were rumors; there was this gossip website that said that me and Ed were having an affair!  Did you hear about that?

I didn’t hear about that.  That’s funny.
The MARRIED WITH CHILDREN star is having an affair with a barely legal 19 year old Sarah Hyland and every chance they get they go to rendezvous in their trailer.  I was like, this is so disgusting.  I was like Ed you’re like my grandfather.  It was hilarious.  But I love Ed, but not in that way!

Let’s clear that up right here.  It’s not in that way!  That’s one of my other questions.  Has the reaction by tabloids and things like that been weird for you?  The show blows up and instantly there is always some kind of weird rumor going around.  Is that odd or weird to handle?
Its whatever.  I think it is hilarious actually.  It doesn’t bother me at all ever, I just think the comments are so funny.  I mean me and my boyfriend were “papped” in Hawaii and it was so annoying.  I was like I literally just wanted to take in the island and I can’t walk down the beach holding hands with my boyfriend without being attacked by like 8 paparazzi guys but when the pictures were up some of the comments were that Matt was fat and I had cankles.  I just started laughing.  I was like that is hilarious that is so funny.  There is no way that my boyfriend could ever be called fat.  He is so skinny and he is muscular and stuff.  There I no way that he is fat.  I think it is hilarious.  Personally, bring it on, I love it because I get a really big laugh about it.

It’s a very healthy attitude to have.  Other people just shut themselves down when they start seeing stuff like that.
No people take it too seriously.  You can’t take it seriously.  What is that one person’s opinion?  You don’t even know them.

The last question is – if people haven’t gotten into MODERN FAMILY yet (and I can’t understand why they wouldn’t) why should they get caught up for Season 2?
Well I guess in this economy and everything it is like how back in the great depression musicals brought up everyone’s spirits.  Now is the time to have a good laugh and everything.  For a half hour it will take your mind off of things.  You can focus yourself on the characters and the story lines and everyone in the writing is so funny that is really seriously makes you happy.

Don’t forget to tune into tonight’s all new MODERN FAMILY as Claire tries to get the family together for a new family portrait!