STARDOM A FAMILY TRADITION
Amy Anderson, whose seven year old Aubrey Anderson-Emmons plays the scene-stealing Lily on Modern Family, has a simple way to ensure her child doesn’t become too spoiled.
“Every night, I sit next to her bed and whisper, ‘You’re not that special’ — just to balance things out,” Anderson jokes, as her daughter plays with her right ear, hair, chin and sweater straps during a joint interview.
Aubrey had very little experience before auditioning for the role of Mitchell and Cameron’s adopted daughter on the multi-Emmy winning sitcom.
“You’re not going to get it, I told her over and over,” says Anderson. “They’re going to see lots of little girls and they are only going to pick one.”
Spending an afternoon with Anderson-Emmons, who took over the part three years ago, you can see why she stood out.
In addition to her skills on stage, she’s animated, personable and refreshingly honest in person. When asked if she ever watches Modern Family at home, she nods vigorously.
“I always fast-forward to my part,” she says from the couch as her feet dance in the air. Her role as a mini-diva has created some of the show’s biggest laughs, as she deflates the egos of her uptight parents. And her crowning moment: a special film created for the 2012 Emmys in which she plays an off-screen monster, removing stairs from co-stars’ trailers.
Her mother says she’s was initially wary of putting her child in the public eye, but cites the example of former Doogie Howser MD child star Neil Patrick Harris who has directed five episodes of Modern Family.
“I think the kids on TV who turn out with problems are more the exception than the rule,” she says. “I think there are as many messed-up kids who are going to high school and playing football, but nobody wants to read about them because they don’t know who they are.”