The Cast of Modern Family
Family patriarch Jay (TV veteran Ed O'Neill) is a lovable curmudgeon who is married to a young, sexy Colombian woman named Gloria (Sofia Vergara). Together they are raising Gloria's 11-year-old son from a previous marriage. Then there's Jay's adult son, Mitchell (Jesse Tyler Ferguson), a gay lawyer who recently adopted a daughter from Vietnam with his partner, Cameron (Eric Stonestreet). The most traditional of the bunch is Jay's adult daughter, Claire (Julie Bowen), who is married to Phil (Ty Burrell) and has three children.
With its fresh take on modern-day family dynamics, some are saying there hasn't been a sitcom like this since The Cosby Show. And now with six Emmys under its belt, including one for Best Comedy, it's clear that critics and viewers alike are embracing this big, happy, gay, straight and multicultural family.
Audiences everywhere are embracing Eric's lovable character, and the critics have also taken note: Eric walked away with the award for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a comedy series at this year's Emmys. Even though he was up against co-stars Ty Burrell and onscreen partner Jesse Tyler Ferguson, no one was happier for him than his castmates were. The cameras even caught an emotional Jesse tearing up as Eric gave his acceptance speech.
"It was the first award out of the gate, and I think our emotions were high and I just couldn't help it. I broke down," Jesse says. "I was so happy for Eric."
"For me, it's amazing," Sofia says. "I used to watch Ed O'Neill in Married with Children when I was in Colombia, and I never thought I was going to grow up to marry him!"
"I always knew that was going to happen for me," Ed jokes.
"I spent a huge part of the beginning of my acting career doing incredibly pretentious theater and stuff where you think maybe you're changing the world...and people are falling asleep in their seats," he says. "I don't think any of us expected this kind of reaction to something that we thought was just a fun, silly comedy. But people have been coming up to us and saying that we're helping to bring their families together."
Julie Bowen, who plays Claire, agrees that this kind of feedback—along with a brilliant cast and team of writers—makes working on Modern Family a dream job.
"I could play Claire the rest of my life!" she says.
"We all have families, and a lot of stories are taken directly from our lives," he says. "I think that's why the show resonates—we steal liberally from our wives and kids."
Even though the show has millions of fans, received critical acclaim and won six Emmys, Steve says its success is still taking him by surprise. "You go into every project you do hoping and praying for something like this, but there's so much luck involved in putting together a cast," he says. "But somehow fate stepped in and we wound up with these guys, and that's a pretty remarkable thing."
Exclusive: Go backstage with the cast!
Sofia Vergara takes us inside her wardrobe trailer
Go inside the Dunphy's home with Ty and Julie
The cast reveals their favorite onscreen moments