The 22-year-old actress, who stars as ditzy, boy-crazy Haley Dunphy on ABC's Modern Family, talks sensitive musicians and social media creeps in this round of "Would You Rather."
This feature appears in Complex's December 2012/January 2013 issue.
As told to Tara Aquino (@t_akino)
I’d rather be a role model than a sex symbol.
Sex has become so publicized. If you’re sexy to begin with, being a sex symbol comes with that, but by putting yourself out there as a sex symbol, you’re taking a step backward for women.
I’d rather date a brooding musician than a frat guy.
I never went to college, so I’ve never actually met a frat guy. All the frat guys I know are from television and movies, and they always seem like assholes who cheat on girls. I’m sure there are some amazing frat guys out there, but I know musicians and they’re always a good choice. They’re artistic.
I’d rather give up social media than personal texting.
Twitter is awesome to share news with fans, but I would never choose to only have social media and put everything in my life on display. I never look at my personal Facebook page. I made an Instagram account for myself, but I only have one picture on it. I made it because someone was pretending to be me and having conversations with my fans and agreed to go on a date with a guy. A lot of my fans are young. I don’t want them to think they’re talking to me when they’re talking to a pedophile.
I’d rather receive a thoughtful gift than a useful one.
It means that the person giving the gift listens and cares about you.
I’d rather have one real friend than 30 acquaintances.
Friends are hard to come by in L.A., especially in the entertainment industry. I’ve known a lot of people who hang out with someone because they’re working on a show and as soon as that show gets canceled they find someone new. It’s sad to see, but it’s great when you find new friends.
I’d rather have Ty Burrell for my dad than Howard Stern.
I only worked with Howard for a day on Private Parts when I was 5, so I can’t compare the two. I call Ty “my TV dad.” He’s an amazing, talented person. He’s just as funny in real life as he is on Modern Family.
I’d rather watch sports than go shopping.
Shopping stresses me out. I’m drawn to expensive things, but I don’t want to pay $200 for a shirt. I don’t like to spend money.
Visit the next page for Sarah Hyland's extended Q&A about childhood acting, comedic influences, and comparisons to Mila Kunis.
What was it like growing up as kid in the entertainment industry?
I never really thought about it like that growing up. I always went to school and when I was working, I had tutoring every day. I still had a childhood.
Given you were acting professionally during your childhood, did you find it hard to fit in with the other kids at school?
The only horror story I have is when Annie, on which I played Molly, aired on ABC, all the kids in my elementary school thought I was super rich and chased me around the playground asking me for money. Other than that, everyone thought it was cool. In middle school and high school, I went to a performing arts school, so it wasn't a big deal.
[Being compared to Mila Kunis] is the most flattering compliment I'll ever get. One, she's a wonderful person and very nice. And two, she’s smokin’.
When you first started filming Modern Family, did you expect it to be such a big hit?
An actor always hopes, but it was definitely a spectacular surprise.
What do you think has influenced your sense of humor?
Shows like Friends, Will and Grace, and The Amanda Show, I watched all of them growing up. I never thought I was funny, but I guess my comedic timing comes from that.
Do you ever get tired of the Mila Kunis comparisons?
Never. I think it's the most flattering compliment I'll ever get. One, she's a wonderful person and very nice. And two, she’s smokin’.
What's one misconception about you you'd like to clarify?
I'm 21 and will be 22 on November 24. I don't think people need an explanation for why I need to clarify my age.
Interview by Tara Aquino (@t_akino)
WATCH SARAH'S VIDEO Q&A ABOUT NEW YORKERS, HOMELESS PERVERTS, AND MUSICAL THEATER:
ADDITIONAL CREDITS: (STYLING) Lindsay Albanese. (HAIR) John Ruggiero. (MAKEUP) Allan Avendano. (CLOTHING) FIRST, SECOND, AND THIRD IMAGES: Sweater by LuLu’s / Ring by Lia Sophia / Bodysuit by American Apparel. FOURTH IMAGE: Top and shorts by American Apparel / Bracelet by Devora Libin. FIFTH AND SIXTH IMAGES: Dress by Twentycluny / Shoes by MANGO. SEVENTH, EIGHTH, NINTH, AND TENTH IMAGES: Bodysuit by We Are Handsome / Shorts by Urban outfitters / Bracelet by Devora Libin / Boots by Report.