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Ty Burrell Q&A: ‘Modern Family’

At January's Screen Actors Guild Awards,"Modern Family" star Ty Burrell pulled off an upset in Best TV Comedy Actor, beating reigning seven-time champ Alec Baldwin ("30 Rock"). Indeed, Baldwin had never lost a bid for that role before.

In our recent webcam chat, Burrell admits his admiration for Baldwin over the years and his surprise at the victory. Even though it was "unexpected," he says, "I always prepare some sort of speech just to alleviate my own anxieties. Otherwise I would spend the awards sort of tense about the off-chance I would have to go up and make something up."

On the reigning four-time Comedy Series winner, Burrell plays Phil Dunphy, a somewhat goofy husband and father of three. He has been nominated at the Emmy Awards for all five seasons, winning Best Comedy Supporting Actor in 2011. His competition this year: Fred Armisen ("Portlandia"), Andre Braugher ("Brooklyn Nine-Nine"), Adam Driver ("Girls"), co-star Jesse Tyler Ferguson, and last year's winner Tony Hale ("Veep").

He has submitted the episode "Spring-a-Ding Fling" to the Emmy judges this time around. In that installment, Phil is hosting the annual real estate broker awards dinner. He sings a revised version of the Styx song "Come Sail Away" (now "Come Sell Away") in various costumes and even a dress before hurting his ankle. At the end of the show, he is sitting on the floor nursing his injury when his daughter (Sarah Hyland) goes on stage and makes him proud by finishing his joke routine.

Of that episode, he admits, "I've never gotten to do drag before and my life changed. I have nothing underneath here but a skirt. Bizarrely, they have established that Phil is capable of something like that. It's something that's so wild that if we didn't have five years to establish who Phil is, it meet seem outlandish. He would want to be legendary in hosting a convention like that."

Burrell will also be seen by judges on Ferguson's episode "Message Received." On that one, he receives a practical joke phone message seemingly from his wife Claire (Julie Bowen) making him think they will be having another baby.

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UPLOADED Jul 28, 2014 7:16 pm