“Modern Family” is taking it to the bedroom in 2011.
“This week we’re taping an episode where the kids walk in on us while we’re having sex,” he tells Zap2it. “It’s a full 22-minute sex scene. Actually, it’s sitcom sex, definitely appropriate.”
We didn’t really expect ABC to go too racy with their Emmy-winning show with “family” in the title, but we do expect the subject to turn to the birds and the bees.
“There’s a difficult chat with the kids,” Burrell confirms. “Phil comes through with shining colors as usual.”
Burrell won’t be getting quite that much action on Wednesday’s (Dec. 8) episode. In “Dance Dance Revelation,” Manny and Luke (Rico Rodriguez, Nolan Gould) have their first school dance, and Phil and Jay (Ed O’Neill) accompany them to the mall to prepare. Fans of the show know that Jay isn’t Phil’s biggest fan, and we guess the mall is not where Jay is happiest.
“They take the boys out shopping and it comes to a head,” Burrell reveals. “It’s part of the ongoing struggle between Jay and Phil about respect and whether or not Phil deserves it or not. His manhood is threatened as usual.”
In this sneak peek clip, it appears that Phil is the threatening one:
Burrell also shares how he’s like Phil, thoughts on his co-stars and a telenovela he’s working on with Rodriguez.
Are you an early adopter of technology like Phil?
Ty Burrell: No I’m really not. I’m not a Luddite, but I’m not like up on what’s the newest, coolest thing. Of course Steve Levitan from our show is. That’s where our storylines generate. He basically tells me if I’m anywhere close if I’m trying to operate a computer with a rock and a flame.
What’s the fanciest piece of technology you own?
Burrell: I have an iPad. I mainly work on scripts with it honestly. There are a couple of apps on there that allow you to make notes on the PDF so you can score a script. It’s made it really easy actually to not need paper except for certain situations. I think the show in general has gotten pretty far at being paperless. It’s pretty cool.
As a new parent, what’s one trait you’d take from Phil’s parenting skills?
Burrell: I think one of positivity. He’s kind of a militantly positive guy. He’s sort of relentless. If I am that positive parent, I will be extremely grateful. I’ll be very glad if that happens.
Although Phil and Jay don’t get along, how is it working with O’Neill?
Burrell: It’s amazing. I can’t say enough good things about him. He’s always been sort of a paterfamilias for us both onscreen and off. I love working with him because he’s a total pro. He’s not one of those guys who has a lot of ups and downs. You can kind of count on Ed being there all that time whether you’re working late into the night or early in the morning or whatever is going on in any of our private lives. He’s really one for coming to work to work. Throw in the fact that he’s a genius. He’s so effortless as a performer. It’s just a lot of fun.
Do you feel the partnership with Julie Bowen that Phil and Claire have?
Burrell: I’ve been describing her most recently as the ultimate teammate. She has an incredible amount of skill as a comedian but she’s got your back as far as trying to negotiate teams. She’s just not one of those people that increases the challenge so to speak. The scenes are enough of a challenge to figure out for everyone, to try to basically get the genius writing to come across. She’s not ever one to add to that challenge. She’s just really an awesome.
Who’s the biggest jokester on set?
Burrell: Probably Rico. Rico is, contrary to his character, a true joyful kid. He loves to run around doing jokes and bits and stuff. It adds a ton of life to the set. He and I were working on a sort of telenovela, Latin American soap opera. We’ve got an episode essentially worked out. Eventually we’ll have three or four episodes hopefully. We’ll have a side job. We don’t write it down. We just sort of memorize these scenes between these two incredibly dramatic long-lost relatives.
Do the actors who play your screen kids (Sarah Hyland, Ariel Winter, Nolan Gould) respect you?
Burrell: I think it’s fairly typical. I think they look on us with pity like any kid would with an adult. They can see that we’re slowly decomposing.