We may earn a commission when you buy through links in our articles. Learn more.

Modern Family star almost wasn’t cast for one ridiculous reason

Audiences watched the Modern Family kids grow up over the course of a decade, but one of the teens almost wasn't cast for a silly reason.

Modern Family

Modern Family is one of the best comedy series of the last decade, running for 250 episodes between 2009-2020. It took on the popular mockumentary format from The Office and Parks & Rec, and which continues to be successfully used in Abbott Elementary. Modern Family stood out by not being a mockumentary set in a workplace, but in the three homes of a father and his two adult children.

Modern Family followed patriarch Jay (Ed O’Neill), his wife Gloria (Sofia Vergara) and her son Manny (Rico Rodriguez). It also followed Jay’s son Mitch (Jesse Tyler Ferguson), his husband Cam (Eric Stonestreet) and their daughter Lily (Aubrey Anderson-Emmons). And finally, it followed Jay’s daughter Claire (Julie Bowen), her husband Phil (Ty Burrell), and their three children Haley (Sarah Hyland), Alex (Ariel Winter) and Luke (Nolan Gould).

Because Modern Family aired for over a decade, audiences watched the children grow up – and some even had children of their own. But Sarah Hyland, who played Claire’s oldest daughter, was almost considered too old for the role from the jump.

Hyland told Buzzfeed; “Originally, they didn’t want to see me for Modern Family because I was 18 and Haley was 15. They were like, ‘She’s too old.’ And at the time, my agent’s assistant fought for me to get in the room. She was like, ‘She doesn’t look 18 years old, I promise you! She looks very, very young!'”

YouTube Thumbnail

Hyland continued; “So I went in and they pre-read me for the cast – like, they didn’t put my audition on the tape – and then he brought in the casting director. The casting director, Jeff [Greenberg], had me read and then he was like, ‘Okay, now do it again, and now I’ll put it on tape.’ They just were very much like, ‘She’s too old. She’s 18.’ And then after that, I went to see the director and creators.”

It’s a good job the casting director managed to look past Hyland’s age, as she was a great addition to the Modern Family cast. Check out our guides to the best comedy movies and the best teen movies.