TV & Movies

Sarah Hyland Reveals Why She Almost Wasn’t Cast On Modern Family

The actor played Haley Dunphy on the sitcom for 11 seasons.

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SANTA MONICA, CALIFORNIA - DECEMBER 06: Sarah Hyland attends the 2022 People's Choice Awards at Bark...
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Although she’s currently busy hosting the fifth season of Love Island USA, Sarah Hyland is perhaps best known for her portrayal of Haley Dunphy on Modern Family. Hyland played the character throughout the Emmy award-winning comedy’s 10-season run. However, the actor almost wasn’t cast in the series at all.

Speaking to Buzzfeed, the actor recalled auditioning for the hit sitcom, revealing that casting directors weren’t interested in seeing her because a then 18-year-old Hyland was “too old” to portray 15-year-old Haley.

“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!’” Hyland recollected. “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.”

Meanwhile, the Love Island USA host also opened up about the most challenging aspects of working on Modern Family, sharing that growing up on screen came with its difficulties. “I was 18 when I started, I was there through all of my 20s,” the actor explained. “A lot of traumatic things happen to women when they’re in their 20s. Most of the time you don't have to put on a smile and go to work and do it in front of millions of people.”

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Modern Family ran for 11 seasons between 2009 and 2020, and along with Hyland, also starred Ed O'Neill, Sofía Vergara, Julie Bowen, Ty Burrell, Jesse Tyler Ferguson, Eric Stonestreet, Ariel Winter, Nolan Gould, Rico Rodriguez, Aubrey Anderson-Emmons, Jeremy Maguire, and Reid Ewing.

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