It takes a lot of smarts to play dumb. Just ask Nolan Gould, who stars in sitcom Modern Family (2009-current) as Luke Dunphy, who’s accident prone, oblivious to the obvious and more often than not comes up short on the brain scale. But did you know that 17-year-old Nolan graduated high school when he was 13 and has an IQ of 150?
His dad Edwin spent years in the military but he and wife Angela moved to California with their sons (Nolan has a 19-year-old actor brother named Aidan) when Nolan was five. Nolan took up acting because of his brother, who had a cameo as the drummer in Modern Family season 4 episode 17 (2013). Says Nolan, “My brother was really advanced for his age. My mom wanted to find something that would entertain him because everything else was so easy for him. She heard about this theatre programme and enrolled my brother. And I went along because I kind of had to, but I enjoyed it. We both did.” Nolan’s more successful though – Aidan’s last role was in 2013, while Nolan gets $70 000 (R1.15 million) per Modern Family episode. At 24 episodes a season, that’s over R25 million a year! Acting isn’t his only talent. Nolan plays the banjo, aboriginal wind instrument the didgeridoo and the sitar (a guitar from India), which he was given for his birthday when he went on The Ellen DeGeneres Show in 2012. While he loves his Modern Family job, which is filmed in the heart of Hollywood, Nolan loves nature more. He’s been to surfing mecca Hawaii, skiing on Wyoming’s famous Jackson Hole mountain and he went shark cage diving in Australia when Modern Family filmed there for season 5 (2014).