Youth Impact Report 2011: Channeling Talent
Impact: The SAG-winning “Modern Family” stars are branching out into bigscreen work.
Next: All three thesps have multiple pics in the pipeline.
Causes: Hyland assists No Kid Hungry and the George Lopez Foundation for Kidney Patients; Winter aids No Kid Hungry, GLSEN and the anti-bullying “Be a Star” org; Gould supports Starlight Children’s Foundation, Alex’s Lemonade Stand and Special Olympics.
After three seasons of working together on “Modern Family,” the three young actors who play the Dunphy kids are pretty close. Sarah Hyland, the 21-year-old who portrays 16-year-old Hayley, says Ariel Winter — the middle at 13, both on-screen and off — has begun coming to her for dating advice. Meanwhile, Nolan Gould (only a few month younger than Winter, despite playing her much-younger brother Luke) asked Winter to teach him how to talk to girls.
The kids are growing up so fast. And though their uncanny onscreen chemistry remains the same, all three Dunphy children are watching as their careers mature.
“They have found a way to fall into a natural rhythm that doesn’t look too polished,” says Christopher Lloyd, who shares showrunning duties with Steven Levitan. And after three seasons, “They take new stuff on the fly and just score with it.”
Hyland has a big year ahead: She’ll star in “Geek Charming” alongside her boyfriend, Matt Prokop, in November, then follow it up with two features in 2012, “Gay Dude” and “Struck by Lightning.”
That’s a lot of Hayley-like teenage roles. But playing younger, particularly on “Modern Family,” doesn’t faze her. “I get to be a stupid teenager during the day, then go home to my boyfriend and thank God my life isn’t like that anymore,” she says.
On the flip side, since Winter plays so close to her actual age, “I go through the same things Alex does,” she says.
Her other projects let her freak flag fly. She’ll next appear in “Fred 2: Night of the Living Fred,” playing the stalker of YouTube darling Lucas Cruik-shank.
For Gould, “Modern Family” offers an opportunity to play against type. Whereas Luke is impulsive and sometimes dim-witted, Gould is a member of Mensa. Though he only recently turned 13, he is already in 10th grade. His activity of choice? Watching “Mythbusters.”
Also, playing violent videogames like “Call of Duty: Black Ops.” “I’m a boy; I like shooting things and I like blowing things up,” he says, betraying a little bit of his Luke side. Plus, he adds, “I love doing physical comedy — getting fake punched.”
In addition to his small role in last summer’s “Friends With Benefits,” Gould has more bigscreen work planned in “Ghoul,” a horror film, and 2013’s star-studded “The To-Do List.”