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CNN Larry King Live
Encore: Interview with Cast of 'Modern Family'
Aired November 26, 2010 - 21:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
LARRY KING, CNN ANCHOR (voice-over): Tonight, the cast of the Emmy-award winning "Modern Family." They celebrate the awkward.
UNIDENTIFIED KID: So, you're not worried about getting in trouble, you know, with God?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Oh, I think he's got bigger things in his plate.
KING: Embrace the uncomfortable.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I'm a joke. That's all.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No, you're not a joke. You're Pepper Saltsman.
KING: Maybe the funniest, most dysfunctional bunch ever.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There's endless possibilities.
KING: Has it raised the bar, set a new standard and even saved the American sitcom?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I never thought -- when I was in Colombia and I was going to grow up to be married to Al Bundy.
KING: The cast of "Modern Family" for the hour next on LARRY KING LIVE.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KING: Good evening. "Modern Family" is in its second season on ABC. The show just won only six Emmys including outstanding comedy, outstanding supporting actor in a comedy. Let's meet the cast. Sofia Vergara, she plays Gloria, Ed O'Neill, her husband Jay. Emmy-winning Eric Stonestreet is Cameron. Jesse Tyler Ferguson is Mitchell. Julie Bowen plays Claire. Ty Burrell as Claire's husband, Phil Dunphy.
Let's take a look at what this "Modern Family" is all about. Watch.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: OK, everybody. Let's gather around. Jake, come here. Tonight, we dine under traditional Colombian recipes of my abuela, my grandmother. Even though she's no longer with me, I am very happy because I have all of you. (SPEAKING FOREIGN LANGUAGE)
EVERYBODY SPEAKING: To Aunt Maria --
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Beautiful, Gloria. Just like my Mitchell.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Oh!
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KING: The two funniest shows on television, one is animated. That's "Family Guy," and the other is "Modern Family," which is deserving of all applauds it gets (ph). I guess, we'll start with Ed O'Neill who's the veteran of the crew. Why does this show work?
ED O'NEILL, JAY ON 'MODERN FAMILY": Well, I think it's a combination of a lot of things, Larry. I think the writing, you know. We start with the writing. The two guys, our two producers, show creators, Steve Levitan and Chris Lloyd. And then they cast it well. And I think it's a timely show. You know, it's got a little sentiment. They balance it pretty good.
KING: And there is no, Julie, if I'm right, there's really no lead. This is an ensemble.
JULIE BOWEN, CLAIRE ON 'MODERN FAMILY": Shockingly so. I mean, we all had to go through that really strange process of cementing ourselves for the Emmys which is very odd. We all independently came up with submitting ourselves as best supporting because it really doesn't feel like we have a lead. Although, we are very proud that Eric did win best supporting.
KING: You are, then no jealousy.
O'NEILL: I'm going to submit myself for best actor, because best supporting actor's too tough.
KING: Eric, did you know, like, when you got the part, that the show would work? I know, you told me before we started that you were on pilots that never got on the air.
ERIC STONESTREET, CAMERON ON 'MODERN FAMILY": Yes. I never had had a show that it gone to air. I think everybody else had had shows that had at least been on air, and I'd never had that experience. I knew it was a possibility of being a hit show if you will when I took it home, the pilot, after we got picked up to Kansas and my parents had 40 of their closest friends over, and Middle America is just cracking up at places that I sort of expected them to.
But then cracking up in places that I had no idea they would and I called -- sent an e-mail to Steve and Chris and said I can report from the bread basket that we are funny. I was surprised by that, but I knew that was a good sign.
KING: Some critics say that you have saved the family sitcom.
JESSE TYLER FERGUSON, MITCHELL ON 'MODERN FAMILY": We feel that we have.
FERGUSON: Those are seeds we planted.
KING: Where did they find you, Sofia?
SOFIA VERGARA, GLORIA ON 'MODERN FAMILY": I kind of found them. I went to ABC some years ago with an idea of a pilot, and that didn't work out, but they really liked me a lot. So, Steve McPherson kept trying to find a good role for me until he found "Modern Family," and I think, you know, it was like -- I mean, I think I'm not going to have a better role in my whole life.
KING: I doubt it. Ty, is it hard to play someone who's stupid?
TY BURRELL, PHIL ON 'MODERN FAMILY": Not for me. No.
BURRELL: Some people might find that challenging.
KING: No, I mean, that guy's an amazing character, right? How do you approach him?
BURRELL: Well, I feel like it's the -- it's the easiest character I've ever played in some ways because he's so -- so sort of vacant in his head, but also, but also because he's so positive. You know, it's really -- I love getting out of bed to come to work every day. I think we all do, you know? I think that's also just in the writing. It's not just in Phil. I think that these are characters that because of Chris and Steve that are written with a lot of heart, and they're all trying, you know, they're all trying their best.
KING: Do you crack up, Eric, taping it?
STONESTREET: Yes. We laugh a lot when we're rehearsing. I say we sort of get our laughs out when we're rehearsing, and then once the cameras are rolling, we do our best to keep it straight.
BURRELL: There's something coming up. There's something coming up in, I think, in a week in a Halloween episode.
KING: Give us a clue.
BURRELL: It's a party that Claire is throwing. It had a like a ghost --
BOWEN: It's like a haunted house for the neighborhood kids, and Claire gets very enthusiastic about it and has very firm ideas about the way it should be. And every member of the family has a specific role and each one of them fails her in -- enormously. And perhaps most spectacularly, Sofia -- Gloria is amazing in this episode.
BURRELL: There's a section that our incredible editor, Ryan Case (ph), said there's not a single shot where we're not laughing.
BOWEN: We could not stop laughing.
BURRELL: Unfortunately, we have -- it's unusable.
KING: Jesse, why do you think this works?
FERGUSON: I mean, hopefully, you can see it.
KING: Do you talk to the audience?
FERGUSON: Do I talk to the audience?
KING: No. All the characters --
FERGUSON: Oh, yes, yes. I mean, I think we all have something like really fantastic chemistry together. You know, and like I'm -- we meet people every day out on the streets of L.A. who I think stop each of us and like are very excited about the show and have -- we're just saying each one of them has a different episode that they think is their favorite or like different character that they really are drawn to.
So, I think it's definitely something -- since the pilot, yes. So, that's a great sign that it's touching a lot of different people, and it's blanketing the right areas.
KING: Ed, you are the, like, the patron of this, are you not? I mean, you have the --
O'NEILL: The oldest, Larry.
KING: But also, you didn't have to audition. They wanted you.
O'NEILL: No. What is that, audition? No. I didn't audition, but I don't think I was the first choice. I think ABC wanted another actor, and they didn't make that deal, and I was sort of in the wings. And I hadn't -- I had turned down many, many, many half hours since "Married with Children" went down.
FERGUSON: I read somewhere you turned down 50-some pilots. Is that true?
O'NEILL: It might be true.
O'NEILL: No, like just, you know, I had done it 11 years. I did Marry 11 years. And I thought, oh geez, you know? To get back in the parking lot, to go back in for half an hour, it's got to be something. So, when I read this, I thought, oh boy.
VERGARA: Tell the truth, when they told you you were going to be my husband, that's when you said yes.
O'NEILL: And I said that made perfect sense.
KING: Turning down her would have committed you.
O'NEILL: Yes. It would have committed --
VERGARA: It's like I never thought I wake when I was in Colombia and I was going to grow up to marry Al Bundy.
KING: As we mentioned, "Modern Family" won six Emmys. Had a little fun during the Emmy Award show with a new character for the show. Watch.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BOWEN: Am I sad that a tree fell on Phil and killed him? Yes, I am. But when his brother showed up at the funeral, something magical just happened. Clicked. And we --
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Gel.
I like it.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I don't like it.
VERGARA: Yes. I have a big problem with that.
Am I sad a truck ran over Claire and Jay accidentally swallowed poison? Sure, why not?
O'NEILL: This is stupid. We like the show the way it is.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: YES.
O'NEILL: Right, Jess?
FERGUSON: Did we plan on falling in love with Phil's brother?
STONESTREET: We don't plan these things.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You got to get film.
KING: The "Modern Family" kids are going to join us, too. Stick around. We'll meet them ahead on LARRY KING LIVE. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KING: We're back to central part of "Modern Family" involves the kids. They're here tonight. Having fun in the green room. And they will join us shortly. Ed and Sofia play Jay and Gloria on "Modern Family." Let's watch that couple in action.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
VERGARA: In Colombia, when you cook in honor of the departed, you have to scare death away from the food to protect the people that are going to eat it. Slap it and --
O'NEILL: That's the nuttiest --
O'NEILL: Calm down. Give me the chicken. Here we go.
VERGARA: That's not scaring anything away. When my grandfather used to cook, the whole house would shake.
O'NEILL: Huh! Huh!
O'NEILL: Hah! Hah!
VERGARA: Louder! Higher!
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
KING: That's hysterical. The show is so hysterical. Sofia, why do you think Gloria is attracted to him?
VERGARA: I think they're perfect for each other.
KING: In what way
VERGARA: In this different moments of their lives because I think she just comes from this, you know, young, handsome, irresponsible playboy that was her husband, that didn't help her with the kid. He wasn't helping with money. And then she finds this great guy that is helping her in a country that's not her country with her, you know, with the kid, with money, with love and with everything.
KING: Ed, do you think it's a very sexual relationship?
O'NEILL: For me it is.
KING: How did you look into this? Do you think?
O'NEILL: You mean the show?
KING: In the show.
O'NEILL: We haven't determined that. There was some talk about a --
O'NEILL: A swim-up pool bar in Cabo and I was celebrating my divorce and I ran into her. But we haven't -- I don't think we've established where we met yet. I'm just happy that we have.
KING: You think they will establish in the future shows --
FERGUSON: I think they will.
STONESTREET: That's really one of the great things about the show is there's ten cast members and there's so many avenues in to our show for viewers and then there's so many possibilities of story lines. And I think that's one of the things that people respond to. And I think, yes, we're going to get to find out so many great things about all of us because sort of there's endless possibilities.
KING: You used to watch, Ed, on "Married with Children"?
VERGARA: Yes. In Colombia.
VERGARA: Yes. When I met him, I told him that I was very disappointed because I think I used to think he had this, you know, voice like Antonio Banderas because it was translated into Spanish and he doesn't even speak one word in Spanish.
KING: Are you the father figure backstage, too?
O'NEILL: No. I am not really, no. Julie knows that I'm not.
BOWEN: Diablo. El Diablo.
O'NEILL: We have a lot of fun.
STONESTREET: It's nice, though, to look across and see Ed O'Neill across from you in a scene. One of the first things Ed told me when this show started, he gave me two pieces of advice. One of which was to avoid drunk people. He said you're in trouble when you're around drunk people and they know you from the show because you're in a lose-lose and the other thing is always pee in a stall now (ph), don't pee at a urinal.
KING: Sofia is actually, by the way, a natural blond. She dyed her hair. Of course, Colombians aren't blond, right?
VERGARA: Well, you know what, you'll be surprised. My whole family is blond. There's a very big population of blond people in Uruguay, Argentina, because we have, you know, mix of European --
KING: What color are your eyes?
VERGARA: Like hazel.
VERGARA: Do you think it's one word I've said correctly in three years.
O'NEILL: It's hazel.
KING: There was a famous "Modern Family" kiss this season. We'll show you why it made waves, coming up.
KING: Welcome back to this "Modern Family" edition of LARRY KING LIVE. You're looking at our green room where the kids from the show are getting ready by destroying the place. They will join us shortly. Eric and Jesse play Cameron and Mitchell. Two partners who have adopted a baby girl from Vietnam. Let's take a look at them in a scene from hysterically funny, "Modern Family."
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
STONESTREET: I'm breaking a window!
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Emergency assistance. This is --
FERGUSON: We lost our baby in the car and people are judging us.
STONESTREET: I swear to God I'm going to break it.
FERGUSON: Do not break the window. You'll get glass on her.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Sir, please tell your wife to relax. Everything is going to be OK.
FERGUSON: That's a man.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Really?
STONESTREET: Don't worry, Lily. Daddy's coming for you,
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Sir, you just have to signal. The door should be unlocked now. FERGUSON: Check the door. Check the door. Check the door.
STONESTREET: It is not unlocked. Oh! Oh! That is amazing. How did they do that?
FERGUSON: I don't know. We got it. Thank you.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KING: That's your favorite scene?
FERGUSON: I love that scene, yes. But they actually took out Eric's favorite line. He improv to vary (ph) and he goes did that come from space? Unlocking the door which was an improv, yes.
STONESTREET: That was one of the first scenes we shot of the series after the pilot. That was the first episode we shot last season. And that was one of our first scenes to shoot. It's fun because it's a physical, you know, high energy scene.
KING: Tell us about the couple, Eric. How do you see you two? How do you think they met?
STONESTREET: Well, it's established that they met at one of our friend pepper's very extravagant game nights.
FERGUSON: Who was played by Nathan Lane in a recent episode.
KING: Oh, yes.
STONESTREET: Which really connected us in charade evening where I simply did --
STONESTREET: And he says Casablanca. So, we had a moment of connection. But I love -- I think that maybe Mitchell was not quite as game for this relationship as Cameron was.
FERGUSON: I think I wooed a little bit.
STONESTREET: Yes, yes.
KING: You play it much broader, right? You're the female of the couple, aren't you, in a sense?
STONESTREET: In a sense, yes. I'm more emotional and passionate of the two. I'm tied a little bit more to the emotions of the situation where Mitchell definitely sees things in a somewhat more buttoned up way and more practical way, I would say.
KING: You do it well so. Do people greet you on the street and believe you're the character?
FERGUSON: You know, it's interesting because when me and Eric are actually out together, people really -- they just cannot separate the fact that we're actors and then they start getting concerned about us. Where's lily?
STONESTREET: That is the number one question we get when we're together. Hey, where's lily? And I always she's tethered in the closet.
KING: The secret is, they're played as part of the family, right?
STONESTREET: Yes. We're played as two guys, you know, who love each other and are raising a child just like a man and a woman who love each other and raising a child and the fact we're gay is definitely part of the story but not the central focus of the story.
FERGUSON: It's not a punch line. You know, they're an equal part of the family. They're -- they're new parents and I think that's the most interesting facet of them right now.
KING: Did you base your character on your mother?
FERGUSON: He did. That's me. I sort of --
KING: Your mother was like that?
STONESTREET: Well, my mother, just in the beginning when I had to audition for it, it was sort of somewhat of a pitfall of a character to audition for because there were some broad moments that I sort of felt like I had to be careful with going over the top. So, I just grounded it a little bit with how my mother would react to situations.
FERGUSON: And having met his mom is kind of --
STONESTREET: She is just real excitable.
KING: Give me an example.
STONESTREET: Like when I'm coming home, she's like, well, I made your favorite cookies. You're going to love them, you know. Or we're going to go out for a lunch and I thought we'd go to a movie a little later.
STONESTREET: Yes. Itineraries and excitement and passion, you know. And the character's changing and evolving.
KING: Jesse, how do you approach Mitchell?
FERGUSON: You know, he's actually very close to myself. I'm a little less serious in my normal life but like I find that he's very close to who I am.
STONESTREET: We're oddly more like each other off screen. I'm little probably more up tight than Cameron for sure. FERGUSON: Yes. Aside from the loud shirts, I'm probably closer to Cameron.
KING: Was this a natural mesh, this show? I mean, does it all seem to work?
FERGUSON: Yes. I mean, it was surprising. I mean, there's always that tricky thing when we start shooting a pilot of a new show. It's like is this going to work out or not?
KING: The chemistry?
FERGUSON: Yeah. And it was immediate, I feel.
FERGUSON: Took very little --
KING: Had to be in the casting.
BOWEN: Who won the Emmy this year for the casting.
O"NEILL: I mean, I think as actors, you know, you respond to really good material and a very positive way. It's so exciting to get material like this.
KING: More with the stars of "Modern Family." We'll investigate the next two, next.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BOWEN: Listen to me. Just because a boy sends you flirty texts --
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: What? You read my texts?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You read her text. That's why you made me talk to her?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You made her talk to me.
BOWEN: I kind of feel like we're spinning out here a little bit. Alex, the important thing here is that you have to be very careful how you behave around boys because it is so easy to get a reputation.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Well, I'm sorry. I'm not a perfect little good girl like you were. Ugh!
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: were you?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Were you? I highly doubt it!
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KING: Ty and Julie are -- we're back. And they play Phil and Claire Dunphy. Their characters of the married for 16 years. They have three kids. Watch.
UNIDENTIFIED KID: My stomach hurts.
BOWEN: Luke, honey, I told you not to eat so fast. Just sit back, relax, you're going to be fine.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You, spider!
BOWEN: Haley, honey, you're standing on the back of daddy's seatbelt.
BURRELL: Jesus, I can breathe again.
UNIDENTIFIED KID: Wait. Where did the spider go? I really need some air.
BOWEN: OK. Alex, lower your window.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I can't. It's stuck.
BOWEN: I forgot about that.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Don't you throw up on me.
BURRELL: Haley! Oh, oh.
BOWEN: Oh! oh, honey. I think that's the heat.
BURRELL: It's in my mouth.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It's happening.
BOWEN: OK. Grab a bag!
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Oh gosh, it smells like onions.
UNIDENTIFIED KID: My seat belt's stuck.
BOWEN: I'll help you. Oh, God!
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Spider!
KING: OK. Julie, why does your character put up with him?
BOWEN: Oh my goodness. I think that Claire's life without Phil would be joyless. I think that you need -- she needs him as ballast in her life. She's so concerned with making everything sort of right and controlled, and he's - he keeps her lighter and filled with a little bit more joy.
KING: You play an odd guy.
BURRELL: Yes, yes. That's safe. I think, yes.
KING: Would you say he's a successful realtor?
BURRELL: I think, you know, that's one of the things we're getting the chance to see for all of the characters in the second season is, you know, kind of more, you know, different facets about them, and I think it would have been a little limiting if Phil wasn't good at anything. So, we're kind of like -- which is plausible.
I mean, I think it's plausible that Phil's not good at anything, but we're kind of establishing that Phil's, you know, a good realtor. We're also kind of -- I'm liking that in more recent episodes Julie and I are kind of doing sort of sharing goofy stuff.
BOWEN: Yes. We're finding out where these people connect because a lot of times people don't see that. We had a two opportunities last year in like the Valentine's Day episode and you see which was more sort of romantic and fun, and now, we're seeing that they have a love of cheesy movies.
BURRELL: Bad movies.
BOWEN: That Claire's isn't always the smartest person. She might be the most controlling but she isn't always the brightest.
KING: Were you 8 1/2 months pregnant?
BOWEN: That's correct. With twins. For the pilot.
BURRELL: In the pilot.
KING: How did you get the part?
BOWEN: I thought you were going to say how did I get them out? Well, Larry, that's a different show. Medical talk with Larry King. How did I get the part? It was -- I wanted it desperately, but I was quite sure I wouldn't get it. My first two auditions and meetings with Chris Lloyd and Steve Levitan consistent of me walking in a room and a nice chat with me and then going, would you mind terribly standing up? As they all sort of stared at my stomach trying to figure out is this even vaguely doable, and I was just getting larger.
KING: You still got it with that?
BOWEN: Well, I had to go on audition, just, you know, like everybody else except for Ed O'Neill. I don't know. He did not audition.
BURRELL: Did you audition with the laundry in front of your stomach and the sweater? BOWEN: No. I did audition with -- for some reason, I decided to wear a lot of stripes as if to fool the eye. And perhaps -- and perhaps a dramatic scarf.
STONESTREET: Our director, Jason Weiner, he directed the pilot. He was also nominated for an Emmy. He did a great job with that. I think something you said there, though, about the materials -- like, I know I wanted this part so badly. I know all of us shared that in common. As actors, you audition for things all the time, and you think, well, if it happens, it happens. If it doesn't, it doesn't.
But this was one I knew that if I didn't get, I was going to be really, really upset for a really long time.
KING: Did you want it badly?
BURRELL: Yeah, badly. I was lucky enough to work with Chris Lloyd on two other shows and then Steve Levitan for one other show. So I already knew --
KING: They knew you.
BURRELL: Yeah. I also knew what a pleasure it was to come to work with those guys and how creative it was. So that was kind of folded into the fact that the pilot was so good. So I was desperately desperate, yeah.
KING: This show could run forever. Are you under long contracts?
BOWEN: Oh my goodness. I can't imagine any of us ever wanting to leave it.
KING: Are you on a long contract?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I'm on the same kind of contract I think everybody is on.
KING: How many years?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Seven years I think.
BOWEN: Six or seven years.
KING: The kids from "Modern Family" are here, and are apparently running the show from our control room.
KING: We'll meet them next. W.C. Fields said never work with a kid. They work with four of them. We'll be right back.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I bet it seems kind of silly now what you were fighting about, huh?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I made fun of his accent.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: What accent?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I made fun of him for having the same thing for lunch every day.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I made fun of him because his mom used to dig coal.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: What?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He said you were a coal digger.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: OK, I think we can move on.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Who said I was a coal digger?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: That's what my mom told me.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: What's a coal digger.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Sweetheart, he heard it wrong. It's gold digger.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I am going to have to call you back.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I really do not think that I remember ever saying that.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Well, you said it in the car. You said it at Christmas.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Mexican restaurant.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Hey, mister. Leaves his sweatshirts at school every day, suddenly remembers everything. Thank you.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KING: We are back with the cast of "Modern Family." What a Friday night treat this sis. A family would not be complete without the kids. We are joined by Rico Rodriguez, who plays Manny Delgado. Ariel Winter plays Alex Dunfy. And Nolan Gould, who plays Luke Dunfy. Sarah Hyland plays Hailey Dunfy. She is under the weather tonight, couldn't be with us. We hope you get well soon, Sarah.
These kids hold their own against the adults. Want to see? Watch.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Listen. I want you to forget everything that I said. OK?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Some things can't be forgotten, Jay. Do you know what menstruation is? Because I do.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You have never kissed a boy?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: How old were you?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Like 11, and it was beautiful. I was in Jackson Cater's carpeted garage.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Eleven?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yeah. So you better get on it or else he's going to think you are a lesbian.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: He's not going to think I'm a lesbian.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I thought you were. You totally have the sandals for it.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That thing almost fell on me. I was sitting there and it came this close to my head.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's all right. You're OK. You didn't get hurt.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Well, not going to wait around here until I do.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: OK. Wow. That is a doozy.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KING: OK. Where did they find these kids? Rico, how did you get this part?
RICO RODRIGUEZ, "MODERN FAMILY": Well, I went to like so many auditions for months and months. And then one month passed and I didn't do nothing. So I thought, OK, I didn't get it. That's fine. And then the next month came around and I started going out for a lot more auditions. And then finally they thought I was good enough to play Manny.
KING: You are a child actor?
KING: How old are you?
RODRIGUEZ: I'm 12.
KING: Wow. Have you had other parts before?
RODRIGUEZ: Yes, like little -- like little spots, like I would guest star on a show and be like, hello, my name is -- and then they cut off. Pretty much.
KING: What do you make of this one? RODRIGUEZ: I know.
KING: Not bad, huh?
RODRIGUEZ: I love the show.
ARIEL WINTER, "MODERN FAMILY": Well, basically we all just went through the audition process. And when we went to the network test, I totally completely thought they hated me. I was just like, I'm totally not getting that one. They didn't like me. Nothing. They just said, OK, Thanks, bye.
So I left and I told my mom, it's OK. I'll just try out for the next one. And then they called and said I got it. It was just completely awesome. I'm really happy to be here.
KING: How old are you?
WINTER: I'm 12.
KING: Two 12s. Let's meet Nolan. How did you get the part, Nolan? You were the biggest trouble maker in that room.
NOLAN GOULD, "MODERN FAMILY": On -- I was -- I got the call to come and audition on a Friday night. And so on Saturday morning I was called in. That's pretty rare for an audition, but it was actually on Valentine's Day so it was --
KING: You got the part that day?
GOULD: It was actually on Valentine's Day. So it was the casting directors -- it was the best Valentine's Day present I have ever got. And when I came back --
KING: You have had so many.
GOULD: When I came back from the network, I was just like -- it was so crazy like going through all the auditions. And I was actually driving home when I got the call. And my heart was like bah boom, bah boom, bah boom. And then -- and when I heard it, I was just like -- just like calmed down a lot.
KING: How old are you, Nolan?
GOULD: Turning 12 October 28th.
KING: Pre-Halloween kid. What is it like -- all right. Start with you, Ed. What's it like to work with a child?
O'NEIL: Well, I've had some experience working with kids. And I actually enjoy it. You know?
KING: You do?
O'NEIL: Yeah. Contrary to W.C. Fields.
KING: W.C. Fields hated it.
O'NEIL: I always liked working with the kids. I used to like to watch Spencer Tracy.
O'NEIL: Yeah. And Mickey Rooney and those guys. But no, it is a pleasure.
KING: Your kid, of course, is a baby. But the kids -- but the kids are on the show.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yeah.
KING: How do you like having them -- they're talented, but what's it like?
FERGUSON: These ones? Yeah. They're amazing. Smart, awesome actors. I mean, I think with kids, there's -- you run the risk of, you know, them not being very seasoned. These ones feel like they've been -- we grew them in a lab. They're really good.
STONESTREET: I was telling you, you know, look at the last time you have seen, you know, three kids in a scene or two girls in a scene by themselves without an adult actor.
KING: What is it like for you, Ty and Julie?
BURRELL: This is the first time I met these guys, but I just think they're wonderful. Great to meet you both.
BOWEN: Theses kids are really -- I remember doing the pilot and sitting outside doing the -- before the big circle of life scene, when you present Lily to us. And Ty and I standing outside the door for it seemed like a year and a half with all the kids. And we sort of looked at each sort over the sea of little heads going, OK, these are our kids and we are going to --
This is like a real family, because they have so much energy. They go off on these tangents. You have no idea what they're talking about. And then equally amaze you with their incredible focus.
KING: But they're still 12.
BURRELL: I think what's interesting is that the writers don't -- the writing is the same for everybody. They don't -- they don't write down to the kids. And the kids can pull it all off.
KING: That kiss we mentioned is next.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
O'NEIL: Ah, hey, kid. Cam and I are going to crack a couple cold ones. You want to join us?
BURRELL: No, no. You know what? I'm just going to stay here and get some stuff done. But you two ladies enjoy your light beers.
O'NEIL: How do you know we're having light beers?
STONESTREET: We only have light beers. Listen, here's a hammer and this is a screwdriver. And you just --
BURRELL: I'm not going to use it.
STONESTREET: Come on in whenever you want to.
O'NEIL: Sure we shouldn't get him out of there?
STONESTREET: No. He would never forgive us. He's a very proud man, your son.
BURRELL: Hey! Hey! Oh my god. Oh my god.
O'NEIL: Yeah. I'm pretty proud myself right now.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KING: We're back. Are you falling?
Hang on. There was a Facebook campaign to get Cam and Mitchell to share a kiss on the screen. It finally happened this season. Watch what led up to the big moment.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
FREGUSON: I'm buying a shirt. It is not a kiss-worthy moment.
STONESTREET: I didn't know there was an official list. Please tell us what is on the list?
FERGUSON: I'll tell you what is not on the list, finding jalapeno stuffed olives, making the light on Maple, every time we see a VW.
STONESTREET: You don't like Kiss Buggy?
FERGUSON: It's not a real game. It is just another way for you to be needy. I don't appreciate you making me feel bad because I can't live up to your impossible standards. Nobody kisses at a bowling alley. STONESTREET: I almost got a turkey.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
FERGUSON: I feel like I'm wearing the same outfit from the show.
KING: What was that scene like to do?
STONESTREET: Well, that was a scene, you know, leading up to the -- in the episode --
KING: Have you ever kissed a man before?
STONESTREET: Yeah. I was in a movie once where I made out with a dude, yeah.
KING: What was it like for you, Jess?
FERGUSON: Well, Eric was a very gentle kisser. It was great. I love the way the writers sort of incorporated that moment. It was more than just a kiss. It was dealing with -- with the way Mitchell was raised and his issues with his father. And Claire was also involved, how much affection we got as kids.
STONESTREET: You know what? It was nice that the Facebook campaign happened, that people cared about our characters. But the truth of the matter is Chris and Steve had an arc for the characters, and have an arc for all of our characters, and had an idea of how they wanted to tell that particular story. So we knew that was happening. And there didn't need to be a campaign for it to happen.
KING: How does Ed or how does Jay handle having gay kids?
O'NEIL: I think better now, you know, than he did probably when they were younger. He probably made a lot of mistakes with his son. And now it's kind of fun because they're -- they're reconnecting.
KING: How does Claire feel?
BOWEN: Well, I mean, I think that Claire and Mitchell have had a sibling rivalry. And they have usual brother/sister relationships and conflicts. But it has absolutely nothing to do with his sexuality or hers. She's a control freak. And he has intimacy issues. And it doesn't really matter who he takes to bed at night. I think she has no problem with it.
KING: How does Phil feel?
BURRELL: I think in addition to being a good-hearted guy, I think he loves to be of the moment. And if it's hip to be -- to support gay people, I think Phil would be extra super supportive of gay people. Like be at the front of the march.
KING: We'll have more with "Modern Family" next.
(COMMERCIAL BREAK) (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
FERGUSON: Hey. Are you guys OK?
BURRELL: Yeah. We're fine. You?
FERGUSON: We're fine. That was really -- oh, wait. Hold on. Hello?
VERGARA: Mitch, are you OK?
FERGUSON: We're OK. We're OK.
VERGARA: And Phil and Claire?
FERGUSON: I'm on the other line with them right now. One second. Hello?
Shoot, we lost Phil.
VERGARA: We lost Phil?
STONESTREET: We lost Phil?
FERGUSON: Great. Now Gloria's gone.
STONESTREET: Gloria's gone, too? Oh!
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KING: We are back with the cast of "Modern Family," the winner of six Emmys and one of the funniest shows I think ever in the history of television.
KING: No, it is. Do you think they can keep up the writing?
O'NEIL: I hope so.
KING: It's all on the page, right?
O'NEIL: Yes, yes. We have a great, great staff, and we're hoping that they can. There's a lot of ways to go. I'm sorry.
STONESTREET: And I think they can because another thing that people respond to this is this is a show about a family. And all of our writers are family men and women of some kind. And they're telling stories that are relatable to them because they happen to them. Like Jesse said, people come up to us all the time and say, that exact thing happened in my family.
So I think they just keep telling stories about families and we're good. KING: Do you like the bit about -- Julie, about talking to the camera?
BOWEN: God, that's funny, no one's asked me that. And actually --
KING: Gary Shandling did it.
BOWEN: I find it very nervous making, because it feels like a little bit of a monologue. What I love about acting is when we get to be in scenes with other people, and you look at them and see what they're doing and you react off of them. The camera -- just staring directly into the camera does make me a little anxious. I'm not going to lie. And I have nowhere to hide. I usually have him in the majority of scenes to hind behind, or the kids or somebody. It makes me a little self-conscious. I'm not going to lie.
KING: Do you - do you remember them or is it on a prompter?
BOWEN: No, you -- we are -- those are memorized.
KING: So you're acting all the time.
BOWEN: They're acting all the time. I try to stick -- I don't try. I always almost stick with what the writers have given me, because I trust them more than I trust me. But I've watched Ty and some of the other cast members do some genius improvisations in those.
KING: Do you all like the people you play?
VERGARA: I love my character.
KING: Is that required?
O'NEIL: It helps. I think it helps, yes.
KING: You like him?
O'NEIL: I do.
KING: You like him?
STONESTREET: Absolutely love him, yes.
KING: You like her?
BOWEN: I don't know. Well, it's like, do you like you, Julie? Do you? Do you really?
KING: No --
BOWEN: I think Claire and I could both let go of the reins a little bit.
KING: You like her? VERGARA: I love it. I think -- I mean, I want to be her. I think she's a combination of my aunt, my mother, everything that is good about a Latin woman. So I want to be her.
KING: You like him?
BURRELL: I love him.
KING: In a pathetic sort of way, right?
BURRELL: Yes. I mean, I certainly feel sorry for him sometimes, but I am having a blast.
KING: Rico, you like Manny?
RODRIGUEZ: Oh, he's so much fun to play because he's totally different from who I am.
KING: Really? You're nothing like that?
RODRIGUEZ: No, not at all.
KING: Like you said one of these kids was shy.
O'NEIL: Nolan was shy last year.
KING: You were shy?
GOULD: Me? Shy?
O'NEIL: You were with us at the beginning.
GOULD: In the pilot, yes, probably. I think everybody was sort of shy.
KING: Nolan, do you like Luke?
GOULD: I love Luke. I've always wanted to play a crazy character like Luke, because it's just the things -- he's like a kid --
KING: You mean all your life?
GOULD: He gets to do all kinds of fun stuff, child crazy stuff, that I never do, like go on trampoline with a pogo stick, which I've actually wanted to try, never done it.
KING: You like Alex?
WINTER: Alex is hilarious. She's funny. She can make fun of people, but yet still love them. She loves doing school work, and she thinks that education is really important. And I think -- and I think that, too. So I think it's really great to play her. And I'm really happy to be part of the show. BURRELL: We all get to play characters, which is really great.
KING: You're a beautiful little girl.
WINTER: Thank you.
KING: It's time for Heroes. Tonight, America's most decorated Winter Olympian salutes a woman who deserves a gold medal for transforming a town and its residents. Watch.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
APOLO OHNO, WINTER OLYMPIAN: Hi, I'm Apolo Ohno. As one of CNN's Heroes blue ribbon panelists, I had the honor of helping choose this year's top ten. As a champion of seer impact, I'm committed to making it easy for people to see how their donation dollars can change someone's life. Now I'm thrilled to introduce one f this year's top ten honorees.
LINDA FONDREN, CNN HERO: Mississippi has held the title of being the most obese state for six consecutive years.
I knew I wanted to do something to help people who wished they could live a better life. My name is Linda Fondren, and I challenged my community to the 17,000 pound weight loss goal. Go, girl, go. good job.
For 17 weeks, I asked the 50,000 people in Vicksburg to only lose a half a pound. They beat the challenge, but I decided to make the challenge permanent, because we did not reach enough people.
We have a walking club and a nutrition program. On Saturday, the gym is open for free. You have to give them the tools and opportunities to want to do better. And they will jump at that chance to do better.
So you made it. You're there.
Obesity affects us all. The only way to combat it is to stand together and help each other. We need to make a commitment to change.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KING: You can vote for Linda or any of our top ten as Hero of the Year. You go to CNN.com/Heroes and cast the ballot. More with the stars of "Modern Family" after this.
KING: We only have a couple moments left. How many have you done already in the second season?
O'NEIL: We're on our 12th I think now. We're going to do 13, come back and do 12 more.
KING: When do you get the script?
STONESTREET: We always have two scripts in our brains at once. We the script that we're shooting and we have the script that we're going to shoot next week. We get the script on Thursday that we're going to shoot next week.
KING: How long is the rehearsal?
FERGUSON: I like these fast questions. We barely rehearse. We sort of sit down and do it. We don't like it -- we want it to look documentary. We want it to look real.
KING: Can you change the lines?
BOWEN: We can. As I said before, I try not to. I really think our writing staff has nailed it, although I've seen those around me do it very well.
KING: Ever have to do anything you didn't want to do?
BURRELL: Not yet. No, it's all been a joy and an incredibly silly wonderfulness.
FERGUSON: You said you didn't want to go on "LARRY KING" right before this. Let's go to the phones.
KING: Rico, you have a favorite show?
RODRIGUEZ: Well, of course I like "Modern Family," but I pretty much like everything. Oh, episode.
KING: Good switch, Rico.
RODRIGUEZ: OK. Well, I really like "Starry Night," where we -- where Jay, Manny and Mitchell went star gazing, because at the end of our episode, Jesse came in in a dress and that was really funny.
KING: You have a favorite role? Favorite show?
WINTER: I think I love the kiss. That one was really fun, just going up to that kid's house and doing something that I would probably never do in my entire life. Going up and doing that.
GOULD: I was surprised those two didn't say, but Hawaii. We got to go to Hawaii for an episode. That was awesome.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You got cut on a rock.
GOULD: I got eight stitches in my knee.
KING: You guys are all -- you've given us a model this evening. You've given millions of Americans a great show every week. And we thank you for it. I think I speak for every viewer.
BOWEN: We're very honored to be here as part of your last season.
KING: It's my honor to have you. The cast of "Modern Family." And we hope that Sarah gets well real soon.
KING: Night, Sarah. Time now for Anderson Cooper and "AC 360."