Sarah On 'Modern Family's Champagne Problems

by Anna Klassen

Modern Family boasts a cast of unconventional, albeit relatable, characters. One of our favorite love-to-hate individuals from the show is eldest daughter Haley Dunphy, the gorgeous and perhaps a tad narcissistic serial dater played by Sarah Hyland. She's concerned with her appearance, how uncool her family can sometimes make her seem, and of course — boys, boys, boys. But the actress, known for portraying the pretty young thing on ABC's hit series, is taking on a very different kind of familial narrative in See You in Valhalla.

Hyland not only stars in the film, but produced it as well. Written by BFF Brent Tarnol and directed by his brother Jarret, the story surrounds a young woman named Jo Burwood (Hyland), who is dealing with the death of her brother and must return home after four years to face her family. She must reunite with her estranged father, her two competitive brothers and various significant others. Jo is forced to reveal secrets from her past, deal with a clingy ex-boyfriend who won't let the past go, and deal with her brother's death head on. It's a 180 degree turn from Haley, but the change suits Hyland well.

"They are very, very different," Hyland says of Modern Family's Haley and Valhalla's Jo. "Jo is very sarcastic where Haley is more catty. My humor is a mix between the two. Haley hasn't gone through half as much as Jo has," she says.

But that's not to say Modern Family's family doesn't have their problems. According to Hyland, their problems are in abundance. "Every family is dysfunctional in their own right, whether you love eachother too much or you don't love eachother at all. There's the champagne problems with Modern Family," she says.

A "champagne problem," as defined by Urban Dictionary, means: "A problem or dilemma that, when compared to issues of poverty, national disasters and war, are not all that big of a deal, but nonetheless provide individuals with issues that must be dealt with." Or, "A trivial, middle-class grievance."

"They are very comfortable, they love eachother very much," Hyland says of Modern Family's characters. "It's the champagne problems vs. [Valhalla's] Burwood family. The Burwood family had to deal with the loss of mother at a young age, and eventually the loss of a son and brother."

And while both roles are undeniably opposites, Hyland admits her ABC character is more deeply engrained in her person. "Haley comes more naturally to me because I've been playing her for six years, and I had a finite time with Jo," she says. "But right now we're just trying to figure out if Modern Family will be picked up for another season."

Fingers crossed!

See You in Valhalla is in theaters, VOD and iTunes on April 24th. Watch the trailer below:

Images: Tumblr