Ed O’Neill on Being the ‘Modern Family’ Patriarch

March 18, 2010 by
Filed under: Actors 

TV Squad has an interview with Ed O’Neill. Here are some of the highlights:
ed oneil lmodern family

Was that what attracted you to the role of Jay, because it was so different from Al Bundy, and so different from the dramatic roles you’ve played?
Not so much different from Al, because everything is. But I liked the ensemble nature of the show. That attracted me right away. That the show, there’s a lot of go-to people on the show. So it takes a lot of pressure off, you know? And also it becomes, for me, less boring. You know, you see that person all the time. Especially when you’re doing it every week. It just gets old fast. But this show seemed to have more comedic potential because of the three separate but interconnected families.

So how has Jay kind of changed and shifted since the start?
Well, they’re making him more of a prick. And the thing I look at…

Levitan: Why are we inspired to do that? Where is that coming from? I’m not sure…

(laughing) You know what he’s saying. I think that there’s always a change when the actual actors begin to work with each other on a regular basis and you become friendly… hopefully…you start to like one another. In between takes, you start to share stories and such.

And then there’s this sort of a melding, which I love that process, because that’s like the honeymoon, really. And then things begin to become a little warmer, a little more comfortable. You can do things with a little look instead of, you know what I mean? It becomes more real. That’s how it changes.

First of all, how interesting is it that a lot of the cast of ‘Married… With Children’ are all sprinkled through the primetime schedule? Christina (Applegate) had her own show for a couple years, and now Katey (Sagal) is on ‘Sons of Anarchy.
Yes, yes. I like it because it kind of shows that there was some talent in that cast, you know, and some staying power.

Alright, just how is it working with Sofia Vergara in most of your scenes?
I love playing with her. I really love working with her. I think she’s extraordinarily funny. Of course, she’s not hard to look at. I love the idea that the different culture, and it’s hard enough to understand a woman, you know, in a marriage, in the same culture. And you take a Colombian woman, beautiful, young, and so there’s always the surprises for Jay, things he didn’t quite bargain on, I would imagine, when he married her. Obviously, she was beautiful, and that was thrilling. And now that he’s married, there are puzzling aspects.

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