“I do not want to fight Ed O’Neill, I’m telling you that right now,” said Ty Burrell regarding another possible showdown with his “Modern Family” co-stars at the Emmy Awards this year. “That is a black belt in Jujitsu.” Last year, Burrell competed in the comedy supporting actor category against castmates Jesse Tyler Ferguson and Eric Stonestreet as well as Chris Colfer (“Glee”), Jon Cryer (“Two and a Half Men”), and Neil Patrick Harris (“How I Met Your Mother”). Stonestreet won the award, while O’Neill was the only adult cast member from the ABC comedy series to be snubbed by Emmy voters.
Burrell describes his character Phil Dunphy as “oblivious” and having “impulses essentially like a puppy dog.” He revealed to Gold Derby that he and the writers are aware of Phil’s shortcomings and ensure he is “not coming across as being negligent to his family or lecherous in the case of Gloria (Sofia Vergara). It’s been on our minds how to walk that tight rope, and it’s been a really cool, challenging dialogue.”
Our experts and editors agree that Burrell is a strong contender for another Emmy nomination. If that happens, the actor is considering several episode from which to choose his submission to the judging panel. He describes the “virtuoso writing” of “Good Cop, Bad Dog” and says it “provides a little depth and a foundation for why Phil and Claire (Julie Bowen) occupy the roles that they do.” In that episode, the normally nice Phil is forced to be the “bad cop” while Claire gets to be the “good cop” to disastrous results. And he thinks “See You Next Fall” was “one of the most fun episodes to make from beginning to end” with the bicycle falls and all of the cast performing together.
Earlier this year, “Modern Family” won the Screen Actors Guild comedy ensemble award over the casts of “Glee,” “Hot in Cleveland,” “The Office,” and “30 Rock.” Burrell, who lost his individual bid in the combined comedy acting race to Alec Baldwin (“30 Rock”), says, “It’s always been my favorite award … even before I was in the running. I’m a big sports fan, and I’ve always been fascinated by teams … the way personalities fit together. I’ve always really loved voting for that since I’ve been a member of SAG and thinking about what makes the best ensemble. We all took a lot of pride in that award.”