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Modern Talent

Modern Family’s Sarah Hyland gets dramatic in two new projects.

Sarah Hyland

 

“I don’t like the F-word,” says Sarah Hyland, who stars as Haley Dunphy on ABC’s hit comedy Modern Family. “And I don’t like the C-word: fame and celebrity. I’m a working actress on a television show who’s just trying to put a roof over my head and food on the table.” Still, the 23-year-old can’t deny she’s on a hot streak. This month, she stars in the Sony Pictures miniseries Bonnie & Clyde, co-starring Emile Hirsch and Holliday Grainger, followed by a role alongside Gabriel Byrne in February’s fantasy adventure film Vampire Academy. “I’m venturing out,” she says. “A lot of people know me as Haley, and I’m pigeonholed into this popular, dumb girl.” Though she insists, “It’s not a curse. It’s a blessing. Modern Family has opened the door for people in the industry to get to know me better.” The New York native booked the show at 18, just one month after moving to Los Angeles, where she now resides. “I think my family thought I was just going for pilot season,” she laughs. “I’d been working for so long in New York and [whenever I didn’t book a series] the excuse was that I wasn’t living in L.A. I figured, there’s got to be something else wrong. I’ve got to step back and look at the big picture of my life and readjust things if I don’t book something within the first two months of being there.” With talent (and timing!) on her side, Hyland—who has been acting professionally since she was 4—says, “This is what I want to do for the rest of my life, until I hopefully reach the age of 92—like Betty White.”