Interview by Heather McDonald // Photography by Nitin Vadukul // Styling by Darius Baptist // Hair by Ursula Stephen // Make-up by Nil Muir
Modern Family’s Sarah Hyland may have only recently become old enough to have a legal drink, but with her success at an all-time high, she’s ready to take on Hollywood
Sarah Hyland hails from a family of thespians, so it was only natural for her to begin her own Hollywood career at a young age. The recently-turned 21-year-old has kept herself from going the wayward route of many child actors, and after several TV guest appearances and smaller roles in films, has garnered herself a major character on one of the most celebrated comedies to hit the small screen in years. Playing 16-year-old Haley Dunphy on Modern Family, Hyland is used to finding herself portraying characters slightly younger than her actual age due to her youthful features and petite frame. But spend any time with her at all, and you’ll find an adult ready to take on whatever’s thrown her way. After landing the lead role in this year’s Geek Charming, Hyland will take to the big screen again in 2012, joining the cast of two comedies, Glee’s Chris Colfer-written film, Struck By Lightening, and Gay Dude.
From one funny female to another, Chelsea Lately writer and panelist, star of After Lately, author of You’ll Never Blue Ball in This Town Again and stand-up comedienne, Heather McDonald chats with Hyland about her start in the industry, tabloid rumors, Justin Bieber’s fatherhood scare and how she gets the perfect red carpet look.
Heather: I love the show I watch it all the time. My family loves Modern Family. I have a 12-year-old and she was watching your movie this weekend.
Sarah: Oh cool.
Heather: I see that you’ve been acting since you were five years old. Your parents are both actors, did acting come naturally? How did your first job come about?
Sarah: I was with my dad, he was going to an audition, and I kind of poached it. I had really long, curly hair and they were like, ‘Oh, you should audition to play Howard Stern’s daughter in this.’ So I did, and that was it.
Heather: I just noticed in one of the magazines this week – you know all the magazines that Chelsea Lately has – that they were doing something with “where they were before,” and you played a child murderer on Law and Order? I was just kind of wondering about that. How old were you and did you know what the subject matter was? Did you understand it?
Sarah: Yeah, I was 18 and my character was 14 and she was a genius in school and she cracked under pressure and was on a lot of narcolepsy medications, so she kind of went crazy and was up for 10 days. Her roommate was smarter than her, so she killed her because she got frustrated.
Heather: You looked so young in the picture. When I saw the thing I thought you did it when you were 10 or something.
Sarah: When I was 10, I did a Law and Order where they thought that my dad raped me but he didn’t.
Heather: Juicy part.
Sarah: Yeah, it was awesome. It was a lot of fun.
Heather: So now do you prefer drama to comedy, or it doesn’t really matter?
Sarah: It doesn’t really matter to me, but this is my first sitcom. I did a lot of drama when I was younger, so this is a lot more fun because it’s new and I don’t have to go to work and at the end of the day be drained because I’ve been crying all day or something like that, you know? So I just get to go to work and have fun and kind of goof off.
Sarah Hyland really is both an amazing actress and a down-to-earth person. I think it takes real strength to remain true to oneself and act.