DAGGIEST OF THE DUNPHYS

The Sunday Telegraph (Sydney) - TV Guide - - News - Holly Byrnes

WITH Mod­ern Fam­ily inch­ing to­wards its 10th – and pos­si­bly, fi­nal – sea­son next year, Ty Bur­rell has al­ready started to con­tem­plate what life will look like af­ter he’s fin­ished play­ing Phil Dun­phy.

As one of the most hazard-prone but beloved dads on TV, the role was a ca­reer break­through for Bur­rell – but will he hang up his act­ing boots af­ter it?

The 50-year- old – an adop­tive fa­ther of two daugh­ters, Frances and Greta – pon­ders as much.

“Hon­estly, I’ve been tak­ing my lumps as a pro­ducer and re­ally en­joy­ing learn­ing how to do that,” he says. “I think I’m not re­ally will­ing to travel very much any­more, or miss too many din­ners away from my kids. (So) there’s a pos­si­bil­ity that I may step away from per­form­ing al­to­gether when the show is over.”

The award-win­ning com­edy’s ex­ec­u­tive pro­ducer and co- cre­ator Steven Le­vi­tan has pre­dicted the show will round out af­ter 10 seasons – leav­ing be­hind a pos­i­tive legacy for same- sex fam­i­lies and a new view of the roles of hus­bands and fa­thers.

Bur­rell hopes the re­main­ing episodes are used to ex­plore what hap­pens to the next gen­er­a­tion, as well as life for the par­ents, af­ter rais­ing kids.

“It re­ally is a hard thing in real life, peo­ple find­ing their iden­ti­ties (when they’re) with­out their kids, and also the kids find­ing their iden­ti­ties as they be­come more in­de­pen­dent,” he says.

“I think that’s re­ally what we’re go­ing to be ex­plor­ing over the next two years. What do the kids be­come? What be­comes of their paths and also what of Phil and Claire ( played by Julie Bowen)? What are they gonna de­cide to do on their own?”

Given Phil’s kooky track record of en­trepeneurial pur­suits, the door is wide open for writ­ers, who have had fun clown­ing up his char­ac­ter.

For an episode this sea­son, pro­duc­ers had him spend his real 50th birth­day at­tempt­ing f ly a wa­ter jet-pack, when the Dunphys went on hol­i­day to Lake Ta­hoe.

“We didn’t need any chore­og­ra­phy. It was haunt­ing, just try­ing to say my lines while try­ing to con­trol this ma­chine,” he says, laugh­ing. “I can’t imag­ine that I’ll re­mem­ber that birth­day. It’ll be one I’ll for­get for sure!”

MOD­ERN FAM­ILY

8.30PM, WED­NES­DAY, SEVEN

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