High School to Hollywood: Sarah Hyland

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 BY Jordan Walker > Senior > Magazine Journalism and Spanish > Syracuse University

“I didn’t want to stay in New York, and I didn’t want to go to college,” says Modern Family’s Sarah Hyland of her decision to leave her hometown for Los Angeles after high school. Within a month and a half of moving to the West Coast, the petite brunette landed her role as Haley Dunphy on ABC’s smash hit comedy.

On the mockumentary-style sitcom that follows three unconventional American families, her teenage life revolves around boys, clothes and texting. In reality, Hyland is almost 20 years old and has transformed into a rising Hollywood star.
Hyland began acting at the age of five in the movie Private Parts alongside Howard Stern.
But none of her previous roles brought her as much fame as the Emmy®-winning Modern Family. Comprehending how quickly it has all happened is difficult for Hyland. “I don’t really think anything of it,” she says, “because if I do, my head will explode.”
When Modern Family scored a win for Outstanding Comedy Series at the Emmys in August, Hyland got to rub elbows with some of the biggest names in TV. But, she admits, even starlets can get star-struck. Hyland was especially thrilled to introduce herself to the cast of Lost, her favorite show. “That was a really big deal for me,” she gushes.
Last season Hyland attempted to film a TV movie at the same time as Modern Family, but since the show’s success she has decided to focus solely on fretting about boys, yelling at her siblings and texting non-stop—or simply playing Haley. “I am physically attached to my phone and I can’t cook at all,” Hyland says, but those are the only traits she shares with her character.
So what has filming Modern Family been like this season? Hyland says that the Halloween episode has been her all-time favorite to film. “Haley does the thing where you wear a skanky outfit and a pair of animal ears and that’s your costume. It’s so funny,” she says. “I’ve literally never been so excited to see a Modern Family episode before.” In the episode, Haley’s mom makes her change costumes multiple times; but the actress who plays her, Julie Bowen, is actually Hyland’s closest friend on the set. “She’s the perfect combination of a mom and a big sister,” she says.
In Hyland’s opinion, all of her co-stars are hilarious, and together their humor creates the perfect depiction of a modern family. “It’s all crazy and hectic,” she says of the fun she has on set, “and that’s exactly what families are.”
Photo courtesy of tvfanatic.com

College Magazine Staff

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