Dalton Ross talks to Ty Burrell about his animated film ‘Mr. Peabody & Sherman’ and what it’s like to do voiceover work. He’ll also talk about his upcoming film ‘The Muppets Most Wanted’ and his mustache!
Ty Burrell is best known for his Emmy award-winning role as Phil Dunphy on ABC’s Modern Family. He’s the inept husband and permanently uncool dad who’s usually the butt of everyone’s jokes. But the actor got to switch gears for the animated film Mr. Peabody & Sherman.
Burrell voices Mr. Peabody, who’s a brilliant businessman, titan, inventor, scientist and talking dog. When SheKnows spoke to the actor, we asked if his intellect was anywhere near that of his canine counterpart. His short answer was no, but then he went on to elaborate.
“It’s fun to play somebody for once who actually has all the answers, ’cause I have none of them in my life,” he explained. “It’s a miracle of casting that I play the genius.” Mr. Peabody is an intimidating figure so we’re not surprised Burrell felt that way. He also revealed that he’s not as suave as he’d like to be.
“I love to dance more than I should, skill-level-wise,” said Burrell. “I’m the guy who’s out dancing really hard and making a real a** out of himself.” That sounds like classic Phil Dunphy.
In the film, Mr. Peabody has access to a time-travel device. We asked Burrell: If he could go back and meet any person from the past, who would it be? His answer may surprise you. Check out the above video to learn that and more about Mr. Peabody & Sherman.
Mr. Peabody & Sherman opens in theaters March 7.
The Emmy winner sheds some insight into his love life in Playboy‘s February issue. “I was 15 when I lost my virginity. It was terrible. She was a really nice person, but I was so clumsy, really ineffectual. Luckily or unluckily, I don’t have a ton of exes. Before my wife I was in only two relationships, one for five years and another for three and a half years,” the 46-year-old actor says. “I’m a serial monogamist.”
Though Phil has a bit of a crush on his stepmother-in-law Gloria Dunphy (Sofía Vergara), Burrell says his character is “kind of asexual.” According to the TV star, “Sex for him is just sort of daydreamy.”
Burrell can sort of relate. “It’s either my personal lack of sexual charisma or the fact that Phil Dunphy is just sort of a sweet, asexual character, but I don’t get that kind of attention. Women approach me just looking for a hug,” he says. “Besides, it really matters whom you’re with. My wife and I have been married 13 years, and we have two great kids now. I know I’ve stumbled into the right relationship.”
Before he met his wife, a young Burrell saved money by living in his van. “I may have had one date during that whole period, which was about a year on and off,” he recalls. “Basically, when my date figured out I was living in my van, I didn’t hear from her again. The funniest thing was I was confused about why. I was like, ‘What’s the problem?’ I didn’t realize I was the creepy guy in a van. What could possibly be holding up this relationship? The van pretty much eliminated my dating life completely.”
Still, the actor has fond memories of his days as a grad student at Penn State University in the late ’90s.
“It was so uncomplicated…I had real purpose. If you have that, there isn’t much need for anything else. I had focus and a routine. I would get up, go shower in the gym, read scripts and memorize them in the van,” Burrell tells Playboy. “You know the way people talk about prison as a meditative, transforming place? The van was like a little prison cell—only without all the other terrible prison stuff going on.”
The fifth season of Modern Family is finally reaching our shores this evening, and to celebrate we’ve got a few words from Phil Dunphy himself.
When we sat down with Ty Burrell recently to discuss his role in Dreamworks animation Mr Peabody & Sherman, we took the opportunity to find out his favourite moment from the show so far.
The world can make an actor feel overly important. What I do isn’t hard work. It’s not ditch digging – which I have done, for one summer. Of course there are times when your fuel tank’s low, but even on the hardest days you are on a film set. You are doing something creative.
People always want to know if I’m like Phil [Dunphy, his character inModern Family]. The truth is I’m too neurotic. I have too many bees buzzing in my brain. Being in Phil’s head is like taking a trip to the spa. But I do share his obliviousness. The other morning, when it was very dark, my wife whispered from the bed: “Have a good day.” I leaned over and kissed the lamp.
The process of adoption is equal to being pregnant [Burrell has two adopted daughters, now two and four]. In terms of the amount of ups and downs involved, we found them similar to those which our friends experienced biologically. There are extensive background searches and interviews, but really it’s about the birth mother. You hope you suit what she wants, as people.
I fell in love with Utah. I went hiking first, then I met my wife – who’s from there – and we bought a house. Then my brother and I bought a bar in Salt Lake City. I like the fact that there’s no “scene”; there’s an earnest quality to the people. They mean what they say, which is the complete opposite of LA.