Ed O’Neill’s daughters are doing all right for themselves.
Emmy contenders Christina Applegate (NBC’s Up All Night) and Julie Bowen(ABC’s Modern Family) both have called two of O’Neill’s characters dad. And like dutiful daughters, the women compared notes during The Hollywood Reporter‘s comedy actress roundtable.
“I grew up with Ed O’Neill andKatey Sagal as parents, so anything that I’ve done well or poorly you can blame pretty much on them,” said Applegate, who played daughter to O’Neill’s lovably crass Al Bundy on Married … With Children.
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Modern Family: Brad Pitt? George Clooney? Britney Spears? Julia Roberts? Find Out Who Wants to Guest Star!
Modern Family boss Steve Levitan confirms to us that Britney Spears has indeed asked to come on the hit ABC comedy, but that’s not all: The likes of George Clooney and Brad Pitt could also be on board!
“Quite a few really impressive people have come to us,” Levitan hinted to me at last night’s Paley Festival honoring the series. When asked if one of them might be George Clooney, Julia Roberts or Brad Pitt, Levitan’s eyes lit up all crazy and he couldn’t stop himself from uttering: “You’ve gotten…you’ve hit on a couple!”
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ABC is giving us not one, but two new episodes of Modern Family to kick off its third season later this month and today, the network released two photos to tease the episodes. One of them is so scenic, it barely looks like a photo from the show.
Jesse Tyler Ferguson almost missed out on Modern Family, ABC’s breakout mockumentary that is already being heralded by the Hollywood Reporter as one of the best series of the decade. Recovering from his experience on the critically savaged and quickly canceled Do Not Disturb, Ferguson told his managers that he was finished with television and moved to New York last year to headline the Broadway musical based on Elf. Fortunately for Ferguson, his managers soft-sold him Modern Family, which the actor read five times over and fell in love with. Now, Ferguson can be seen on Wednesday nights as Mitchell Pritchett, the hilariously straight-laced former figure skater who has since settled down with his flamboyant partner — the hilarious Eric Stonestreet — and their adopted Vietnamese daughter.
Movieline has an interview with Jesse, and here are some of the Q&A:
I heard that you also initially auditioned for the role of Cameron. How far were you in the audition process before realizing you were a better fit for Mitchell?
It was literally the first audition, and I had been desperate to play Mitchell. I feel like I had probably played Cameron before and it didn’t seem terribly challenging for me. I just felt it was more of a challenge to find the humor in his seriousness and his uptightness. And then the first audition with Chris and Steve, they said, “Oh you’d make a great Mitchell too. Why don’t you come back in and audition for that part?” And I said, “Well that’s what I’ve been telling people for weeks and no one has been listening!”
There is a lot of tension between certain characters on the show, especially between Julie Bowen’s and Sofia Vergara’s characters, that has extended into certain press interviews with the actresses. Is that tension real, are people afraid of them on set?
It’s completely not. We all have this amazing, kind of unruly sense of humor. Sofia and Julie have this hilarious dynamic between the two of them. They go out to dinner and they are very good friends but they make fun of each other all the time. When that whole thing happened with theChelsea Lately show, it was funny, because that is just how the two would be interacting to each other’s face. But people with too much time on their hands in front of their computers suddenly created this controversy between the two of them [Ed. note: Those people are so pathetic!], but they were laughing about it together. So there’s no tension between the two of them.
Can you tell us anything about the rest of the season — any big surprises or dance numbers?
[Laughs] Yeah, we adopt another baby. Just kidding. Can you imagine? There’s this great episode that actually really hit close to the heart for me. We deal with my dad’s uncomfortability with my character’s sexuality. Ed eill’s character ends up introducing Cameron to his friends as “a friend of my son, Mitchell’s.” And I get really upset about it, naturally and say, “You would never introduce Phil as a friend of Claire’s.” It kind of opens up this can of worms between him and me and how much support he really offers me. It ends up being very moving and very touching. Obviously, through the eyes of Chris Lloyd and Steve Levitan and the writer of that episode, it is handled with such care and humor. It actually made me tear up when I read it. Especially in this era of marriage equality, it gave a simple, clear voice to a father and his son. And by the end of the episode,
Repeat nominees are the rule of thumb at the Screen Actors Guild Awards, where the eligibility period is the calendar year—rather than the TV season, as is the case with the Emmys. So, new shows are traditionally given short shrift, as they’ve had only a few months of airtime, compared with the whole 12 of the returning series. But this year may be different, considering breakout shows such as “Modern Family,” “The Good Wife,” and “Nurse Jackie” have emerged as contenders.
“This has been an awfully good fall,” says USA Today’s TV critic Robert Bianco. “And I hope the trend would be that some of the new
work from the summer and fall will be recognized this year.” In addition to Bianco, Back Stage spoke with TV scribes Michael Ausiello of Entertainment Weekly; Chris Beachum, contributor to TheEnvelope.com; and Barry Garron of The Hollywood Reporter to get their picks.
Here is were “Modern Family” has potential for nominations:
Male Actor in a Comedy Series
Ed O’Neill of “Modern Family” (“So different from what he was doing on ‘Married With Children’ “) and Garron cites Jesse Tyler Ferguson, the gay son on “Modern Family”: “He’s the best of equals on that show. They’re all very strong, but if I have to single out one actor who owns his part, it would be him.”
Female Actor in a Comedy Series
Garron goes for Julie Bowen of “Modern Family.” “She ends up reacting to a lot of characters, so she may not be the obvious choice, but she provides the glue that holds a lot of episodes together,” he says.
Ausiello Sofia Vergara of “Modern Family.”
Ensemble in a Comedy Series
Ausiello, Bianco, and Garron hope freshman series “Modern Family” will make the cut. “It’s an incredibly strong ensemble. You look at all the characters and the actors and hope some for recognition coming to them for it,” Bianco says. Ausiello agrees: “The one shakeup will be the addition of ‘Modern Family.’ It’s too funny, too critically acclaimed to get ignored.”
The SAG Awards will air Jan. 23, 2010, on TNT and TBS.