“Modern Family” star Ty Burrell finally knows where his next paycheck is coming from
BY GREG HERNANDEZ
Since ABC has already renewed “Modern Family” for a second season, Ty Burrell has been pondering an unfamiliar question: How will he spend his hiatus?
“For the first time ever know what I’m going to be doing in the fall of next year,” said the 42-year-old actor whose previous two series – “Back to You” and “Out of Practice” had far shorter runs than anyone expected.
“Modern Family” is a very different story. The mockumentary-style show revolving around three families that are interrelated has been a breakout hit for ABC. It’s provided Burell with a gem of a role in Phil Dunphy, a father of three who can be awfully goofy but whose heart in the right place.
“I have been through it just enough to know that even if a show is good, it doesn’t mean it’s gonna go,” the actor tells HollywoodNews.com. “We loved the show from the beginning, we thought it was a great show. But I definitely was not holding my breath to be honest. You just never know what people are going to watch.
So to have all of it come together, I realize now at this point in my career, it’s an incredibly fortunate thing. Cast, chemistry, direction, writing, and the network being behind it and really supporting it – all of those things have come together and I’m just feeling very lucky.”
The success of “Modern Family” has been even more impressive because it’s become a hit on Wednesday nights without any kind of protected timeslot like how many new sitcoms are launched. It’s also earned strong critical acclaim along with Golden Globe and Screen Actors Guild awards nominations.
While Burrell has co-starred in such movies as “Dawn of the Dead,” “In Good Company,” “Friends With Money” and “Black Hawk Down” in addition to his television work, “Modern Family” has made him recognizable to perfect strangers on the street.
“It’s different,” he says of the recognition. “Luckily it’s for a character who is a good-natured guy so people have been very enthusiastic and very kind. My encounters on the street have been very friendly and positive. I think it would be a little more complicated if you’re playing a jerk or something but it’s been really, really lovely. Primarily people come up and say they’ve been watching it with their whole family. That’s been just like the greatest. I know we’re not curing cancer but it is nice to know that maybe parents and kids are watching together. That’s kind of cool.”
So is Burrell anything like Phil who constantly tries to bond with his three kids? The character acts like a parent but talks to the kids like a peer – a method the Phil calls “peerenting.”
“It’s somewhat based on me because I am a giant idiot, an oblivious idiot,” he admits. “Everyone is bringing in stories of their own cluelessness at home. It’s pretty funny for us to all share our failings. ”