Modern Family star Ty Burrell in Dubai

Modern Family star Ty Burrell in Dubai

Modern Family’s Ty Burrell speaks to City Times about the show during his Dubai visit

By David Light (senior Reporter)

Published: Tue 28 Apr 2015, 10:04 PM

Last updated: Thu 25 Jun 2015, 7:26 PM

PRE 2009, TY Burrell’s steady but modest acting career included credits in Black Hawk Down, National Treasure: Book of Secrets and short-lived TV series Back to You with Kelsey Grammer. However, since Modern Family premiered six years ago on ABC, five Emmy Award nominations and a Screen Actors Guild win have come his way for the portrayal of charming yet simple patriarch Phil Dunphy.

 Recently attending the second anniversary celebrations of Peruvian dinner-show restaurant/club The Act Dubai at the Shangri-la Hotel, we caught up with Ty to find out about his time in the UAE.

What has your impression of the UAE been during your visit?

My wife and I absolutely loved our visit to the UAE. The people couldn’t have been nicer and we’ll need a vacation after our vacation because we did so much!

What have you most enjoyed doing?

Eating... Emirati food, Turkish food, Iranian food, Pakistani food, (pauses for breath) Afghani food, Lebanese food, Japanese food, Peruvian food at The Act Dubai... (fades into a food coma.)

What brought you here?

Our old pal, Murtaza Akbar, and his wife Sana were gracious enough to host us in Abu Dhabi and Dubai. They have several businesses’ there and really knew the lay of the land.

Can you even begin to put into words how Modern Family has changed your life?

Not really. Mostly, it has given me a constant source of creativity, and that has freed me up in ways that I’d never imagined. Our public life has changed but it has been worth the trade off.

If he existed, would you be friends with Phil Dunphy in real life?

Absolutely, he’s a good guy. I don’t think I’d trust him with anything valuable but I’d absolutely be pals with him.

Who has the most annoying habits on the show?


Was that chemistry with onscreen wife Julie Bowen and the child actors there from day one?

Yeah, it really was. That’s true of the entire cast. We got lucky that way. Much like sports, you really can’t tell how people will gel just by looking at them on paper. You have to get into working together to find that out. We all hit it off right away. It helps that there are some great folks who put our show together too.

Now the actors playing your kids are growing up, do you ever give them any advice?

I do, a little, but they have very capable parents so I usually wait to see if they actually want my advice first! (They usually end up giving me advice.)

If you had to spend a year on a desert island with another actor from the show, who would it be and why?

Nolan, he’s smart enough to get us off of it.

What sort of movie roles come to you now? Have they changed since the show?

I do get small independent roles offered to me, and I love doing them. The larger roles I’m offered now are mainly family films, which has been really fun. I have two kids now so that’s not the worst thing in the world.

What have you got coming up in the next year? Are you happy for Modern Family to continue indefinitely?

I’m working on Finding Dory, the sequel to Finding Nemo, and I’m working on writing several projects for FOX with my writing partners at Wedding Punch. I’d do the show forever if they’d let me!

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