Ty Burrell: I need play time

Ty Burrell

Ty Burrell loves being a “human jungle gym” for his children.

The 46-year-old actor and his wife Holly adopted their daughter Frances in 2010 followed by a second little girl in 2012. In his hit TV show Modern Family Ty also plays a dad, humorous realtor Phil Dunphy.

Once he finishes filming each day Ty enjoys nothing more than coming home and spending time with his family.

“I’m incredibly spoilt in that our show shoots banker’s hours. I’m usually home by four in the afternoon, and that’s unheard of in television. When I run into other actors at events, I have to play it up and say, ‘Oh God this schedule is just brutal,’ because you don’t want people to hate you,” he mused to British newspaper The Telegraph.

“But it means I have plenty of time to be a human jungle gym for my kids. If you were to ask me what’s my perfect evening, it would be a game on television, because I am an obsessive sports fanatic, playing with the kids and barbecuing.”

Ty has starred in the show since it began in 2009 and has won several awards for his role, including an Emmy for best actor. As well as feeling privileged to have landed such as a successful role the actor is proud to be a part of the groundbreaking storylines.

“I think there is no way to play Phil Dunphy for all this time and not have the character have some impact on your nature, or your outlook. Phil’s such a well-meaning, optimistic, good person. I consider myself incredibly lucky to play him. I don’t know what it’s like to go to work and play a serial killer for five years. I can’t imagine it’s as much fun,” he smiled.

“I think the television world has become a more permissive place. I don’t even think we’re a particularly edgy show, but I’m amazed sometimes, in a good way, at what we’re allowed to express.”

When the program first began Ty had no idea it would become so successful. He still remembers the first time he was recognized when out and about in public.

“I was driving home from work, sitting at a stoplight, and there was this woman waving at me from the next car. I thought there was something wrong with my car. But it turns out she was saying, ‘I love you,’ and she wouldn’t stop waving,” he recalled.

“Unfortunately, we were at a T-junction – my lane had to go right, hers to the left. But as the lights turned green, she’s still continuing to yell, ‘I love you,’ at me and driving forward, but there was no lane for her to go into. I had to stop my car and point this out to her. Luckily there was no accident, but it came close.”

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