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Ty Burrell just scored his second Emmy for playing oblivious but lovable Phil Dunphy on “Modern Family,” but he can be seen on the bigscreen in a very different role — as a closeted gay man in the Sundance hit “The Skeleton Twins” opposite Kristen Wiig and Bill Hader.
How did the “The Skeleton Twins” come your way?
I’m a fan of the Duplass Brothers, who were producing, so I accepted; I guess they saw my inner repression. Actually, I loved the script, and I loved that Bill and Kristen were doing something
so different. It’s not something I’ve played before, either.
After Phil Dunphy, do you worry about typecasting?
It’s hard to worry too much about that when you’ve spent the bulk of your career unemployed. I’ve had a stable job that I’ve loved for six years. I will take that in exchange for being typecast any day of the week.
You also appeared in a Muppets movie this year. Who’s a better co-star: Bill Hader or Kermit the Frog?
I didn’t really get to work a lot with Kermit, so I’m going to go with Bill Hader on this one. But it’s really hard to beat any of the Muppets. My primary co-star in “Muppets Most Wanted” was Sam the Eagle, who is a great scene partner, very dry and very funny.
“Modern Family” makes great use of guest stars; is there anyone you’d love to have on the show?
I’m a fan of so many people. Some of my heroes would be Steve Martin, Albert Brooks, Bill Murray.
What would Bill Murray play?
Anything he wants, of course.
Ty Burrell may have his own bar in Salt Lake City (true story), but when he’s in L.A., the former bouncer prefers the old-timey feel of Oldfields Liquor Room in Culver City. It’s the perfect place to tuck into some ice-cold gin over a round of ridiculously good-natured jokes. The only person better than Phil Dunphy? The guy who plays him on TV.
Of all the gin joints in Culver City, Ty Burrell walks into Oldfields Liquor Room with the disarming air of the everyman. The date is August 3, 2014; the time is a crisp 5:00 p.m.—the world’s most ideal cocktailing time; and, in precisely 22 days, the 47-year-old will take home his second primetime Emmy award for his portrayal of Phil Dunphy on the embarrassingly popular ABC sitcom Modern Family. And, yes, for the record, he is everything you want him to be—and then some. Ty Burrell is kind, but not phony; funny, but not insecure; and manly, but not patriarchal. It’s a far cry from the role he plays in The Skeleton Twins, out tomorrow, an incisively dark comedy about an estranged brother (Bill Hader) and sister (Kristen Wiig) who reunite after both attempt suicide on the same day. It sounds gritty, but the characters—including Burrell’s lecherous and closeted teacher Rich—are imbued with such humanity and humor that you can’t help but care about them. Here, over a round of chartreuse cocktails, Burrell opens up about his teenaged taste in music, three months spent as the “softest” bartender in Boston, and the culinary perks of being a child star on ABC’s most popular series.
Ty has been nominated at the Emmys this year. We hope for the good win, although he’s competing to great and pal and co-star Jesse Tyler Ferguson.
Outstanding Supporting Actor In A Comedy Series – 2014
– Andre Braugher
as Captain Ray Holt Brooklyn Nine-Nine
– Adam Driver
as Adam Sackler Girls
- Ty Burrell
as Phil Dunphy Modern Family
– Jesse Tyler Ferguson
as Mitchell Pritchett Modern Family
– Fred Armisen
as Various characters Portlandia
– Tony Hale
as Gary Walsh Veep
Modern Family also got nominated as Comedy Series and Casting for a Comedy Series.
Ty Burrell was presented with an award for his gay rights advocacy by his Modern Family co-star Jesse Tyler Ferguson on Saturday at the 10th annual Human Rights Campaign (HRC) Utah Gala Dinner at the Grand America Hotel in Salt Lake City.
“Ty is an amazing guy and he’s an incredibly passionate advocate of equality,” Ferguson said in presenting the award. “And the thing that makes Ty such an amazing ally is his complete cluelessness. And I mean that in the best way. His default mode is inclusiveness and fairness.”
In accepting his award, Burrell said such an honor would not have been possible were it not for the efforts of activists who came before him.
“I say this award comes to me because of the hard work of others for two main reasons. Number one: It’s easier to be an ally for equality right now on Earth than it ever has been. And that’s due to the hard work and sacrifice, sometimes the ultimate sacrifice, of so many thousands of people gay and straight who helped us get to this moment.”
“Number two, because I’m part of a show that’s made a real difference in the way people view same-sex relationships.”
“I’m honored to stand with you all tonight, and, yes, I’m even humbled,” he added.
Ty has entered into the bow-tie fashion, designing a personal piece for the Tie The Knot association, founded by Modern Family co-star Jesse Tyler Ferguson and his husband Justin Mikita.
Get all the additional info on the product and purchase at www.thetiebar.com