7 interesting facts you may not have known about Modern Family

Television shows always have interesting behind-the-scenes tidbits we may not have heard of. Did you know any of these facts?
(ABC/Ron Tom)
(ABC/Ron Tom) /

Modern Family was such a hit! Even though it had a large ensemble cast, that didn't take away from the perfection that it was. Each of the characters were cast perfectly, bringing in a different comedic element in their own way. With the various personalities and theme of family, it's definitely a show that's easy to realte to. That's why I'm not surprised the series has resonated with so many people.

Like any other production, there's interesting behind-the-scenes tidbits about the comedy. We gathered up seven facts you may not have known about Modern Family. Read on below to find out what they are!

Matt LeBlanc could have played Phil Dunphy

It's honestly really hard to imagine any of the characters played by a different actor, but it actually almost happened where Friends star Matt LeBlanc could have taken over the role of Phil Dunphy. Can you believe it!? (And actually, his co-star Lisa Kudrow was also offered the role of Claire Dunphy. My mind is blown right now!) According to USA Today, LeBlanc was offered the role and producers wanted him. This came at the time after his Friends spin-off series Joey was cancelled. However he told the outlet when he read the script, he didn't feel like he'd be a good fit:

“I remember reading it thinking, this is a really good script, [but] I’m not the guy for this. I’d be doing the project an injustice to take this.”

LeBlanc is of course hilarious in his own way. Just look at how he portrayed Joey! Though I agree with the actor. I'm not saying this in a way to typecast him, but Phil had a more dorky and cheesy side to him that a certain actor like the talented Ty Burnell had to bring. Even coming off the not so successful Joey, I appreciate that LeBlanc was confident in himself enough to turn down a role he didn't think he was right for even though it would have secured him a job.

Another person who could have potentially played Phil is comedian Rob Hubell. But he didn't even go into the audition because he read the script and "hated it," per Vulture. Though the actor regretted this decision after he saw the success of the series and thought, "what an idiot I am." But that's ok! If you go back to the season 2 finale, "The One That Got Away," he appears as Phil's nemesis Glen Whipple who believes Phil is married to Gloria. So there's no hard feelings here.

(ABC/Richard Cartwright) /

Craig T. Nelson was offered the role of Jay Pritchett

Craig T. Nelson is a household name thanks to his roles on Coach, Parenthood, and right now Young Sheldon. And he could have added the character of Jay Pritchett to his resume if he'd chosen to accept the offer. Producers were stuck deciding between Nelson and Ed O'Neill, but initially offered the role to Nelson, per the Huffington Post.

However even though he liked the script, he apparently wasn't happy with the amount of money the sitcom was offering him since he was a known name in the industry. I don't mind his character on Young Sheldon, but to be honest I can't say that I'm disappointed he wasn't cast as Jay. O'Neill is literally perfect for the role. As if it was written for him, and I wouldn't have it any other way. I'm glad things worked out the way they did, and everything does happen for a reason.

Aubrey Anderson-Emmons didn't play Lily from the start

I don't know if this was just me, but I honestly had no idea that Aubrey Anderson-Emmons wasn't baby Lily from the start of Modern Family. I thought it was a casting situation like Mary Kate and Ashley Olsen on Full House. But, nope. I guess it makes sense since when babies are involved, twins are used in case one isn't cooperating and the other is in the right mood. And Anderson-Emmons is not a twin. But for whatever reason I didn't put that together in my mind before reading up on this fact.

In seasons 1 and 2, Lily was played by twin sisters Ella and Jaden Hiller. However after that, the girls' parents realized that they really didn't enjoy being on set and they wanted to of course put their daughters' best interests first. We definitely can't fault them for that. The show offered them big salary increases to stay, but the parents decided to walk away. And so, that's when the talented Anderson-Emmons was brought in to play sassy Lily, and once again it was a great casting choice!

(ABC/Tony Rivetti) /

Julie Bowen was pregnant in the pilot episode

No one else could have played Type A Claire Dunphy. Period. Julie Bowen was absolutely made for the role, and we're so happy she was chosen because there could have been a chance where she wasn't. Another thing I missed - in the pilot episode if you go back and watch, the camera very strategically focuses on the upper half of Bowen's body, and her lower half is hidden behind cereal boxes, a laundry basket, and other objects. This is because the actress was heavily pregnant with her twin boys at the time - John and Gustav Phillips.

Bowen actually withdrew herself from the audition process because she didn't think she'd get cast due to her pregnancy. And to save herself the rejection, she stepped away. Thankfully though, the actress eventually changed her mind and went back in to audition. Phew! Can you imagine Claire Dunphy played by someone else? I certainly can't. Claire is one of the characters I relate to the most as I'm a clean freak with an organized attitude, and I think Bowen brought something really special to the role. I'm so happy she went back into that audition!

Luke Dunphy actor Nolan Gould is actually very smart

Sheldon Cooper might be a fictitious young genius, but actor Nolan Gould is a real-life one! The youngest of the Dunphy bunch, Luke wasn't the brightest in the family. He often hurt himself, tried out wacky physical things, and he wasn't someone considered to be smart in the traditional way. Though he did excel in other aspects! One of my favorite Luke traits is his empathy towards the Dunphy's old neighbor Walt Kleezak. But did you know that Gould is the complete opposite of his character?

The actor has an IQ of 150 and a member of Mensa International which is an organization for those with high IQ's. To help provide a comparison, Albert Einstein's IQ was 160. So yeah, that's totally impressive! He actually graduated high school at the age of 13, per The Huffington Post. According to his bio on the ABC page, he also plays piano, standup bass, banjo, sitar and theremin.

Eric Stonestreet's Fizbo is real

Fizbo the Clown, Cam's alter ego of sorts, is an iconic and integral part of the character. This part of him and his personality is very important to Cam, despite Mitchell not being a fan of Fizbo. Well, the clown character actually came about because of actor Eric Stonestreet's own love for clowns! When he was a child, he was fascinated by clowns and created the Fizbo character. His dad gave him the name. By the time the actor was 11 years old, he was actually performing at children's birthday parties! Check out Stonestreet explaining the origins of Fizbo the Clown in the video above!

Why was Modern Family really set up as a documentary?

The whole time during its 11-season run, us fans were waiting for some kind of reveal about the documentary-style format of the series. Who were the characters talking to? Was it perhaps for a school project of Manny's? Or was there supposed to be a fake crew as many mockumentaries now tend to do. Actually, it was neither of those things.

Initially, Modern Family was supposed to be titled My American Family when the writers pitched the comedy. A Dutch filmmaking exchange student Geert Floorjte was supposed to have lived with Jay and formed a connection with the whole family, sticking around. But as the development of the series went on, this idea was scrapped and I honestly think that's for the better. I'm not a big fan of the writers' intial pitch. But even though they weren't going in that direction anymore, the show still chose to keep it in a documentary style, and it really worked!

All 11 seasons of Modern Family are currently streaming on Hulu and Peacock.

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