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THE most fas­ci­nat­ing re­la­tion­ship on Modern Fam­ily is that be­tween Jay Pritch­ett (Ed O’Neill) and step­son Manny (Rico Ro­driguez).

They were forced to live to­gether when Jay mar­ried much-younger sin­gle mum Glo­ria (Sofia Ver­gara).

It is fair to say things haven’t al­ways run smoothly.

In the first sea­son of the hit US sit­com, the pair didn’t click.

Who can for­get the show’s sec­ond episode when Jay and Manny started hurl­ing abuse at each other?

The shout­ing match came af­ter their at­tempt to set up a fan went hor­ri­bly wrong.

Things have set­tled in the sec­ond se­ries. Now there is more love in the room.

‘‘ When Jay and Glo­ria first got mar­ried, I think Manny was on edge,’’ Ro­driguez says.

‘‘ Manny felt Jay wasn’t right for his mum. He thought his real dad was right for his mum. (Now) Manny and Jay have light­ened up the re­la­tion­ship a lot more. There are some parts where it’s se­ri­ous, some parts where it’s re­ally funny, and teach­ing mo­ments.

‘‘ Jay called him (Manny) his son in one episode. So it’s start­ing to get re­ally good, re­ally tight, with Manny and Jay.’’

Ro­driguez, 13, ap­peared in Nip/Tuck, ER, My Name Is Earl and NCIS be­fore he landed the role of Manny.

Manny is wise be­yond his years. He is pas­sion­ate, a ro­man­tic, a cof­fee drinker and afraid of but­ter­flies.

Ro­driguez was born in Texas and his fam­ily moved to Cal­i­for­nia when he was six to sup­port sis­ter Raini’s dream of be­com­ing an ac­tor. Ro­driguez en­rolled in act­ing classes, too, and the rest is his­tory.

‘‘ Be­fore, no­body would see me or they would just look at me and say, ‘ Oh, a lit­tle kid’,’’ Ro­driguez says. ‘‘ Now they look at me on their iPhones, ask me (whether I’m on Modern Fam­ily) and I’m like, yeah. It’s re­ally fun.

‘‘ I love watch­ing it with my fam­ily. We know what hap­pens, but it’s still so funny when we get to see the fi­nal touches.

‘‘ I’m pretty much noth­ing like Manny at all.’’ Modern Fam­ily, Chan­nel 10, Tues­day, 7.30pm

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