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Rico Rodriguez: Wise guy

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The charming 12-year-old, who plays Manny on ABC’s hit comedy Modern Family, gets some of the show’s biggest laughs with his wise-beyond-his-years line readings. Turns out the kid’s got a gift for sound bites in real life, too.

On his fan base
Mostly the adults recognize me. Some of the kids have to be told, ”He’s from Modern Family!” ”Oh…that dude. Mom, can I get ice cream now?”

On how he and Manny are alike
I am nothing like Manny. I don’t dress like him, I don’t talk like him, I’m not as mature as him… But once I get on set, I’m Manny until they say, ”Okay, Rico, you’re wrapped!” And then I’m Rico again.

On the type of girl he sees Manny with
One that’s just like him. She’s been trying. They’re depressed that they got rejected and then they meet each other at a poetry club. That’d be awesome!

On the Modern Family hierarchy
Ed [O’Neill] and Sofia [Vergara] — they’re big-time players, I’m the Little Leaguer on the all-star team. Hopefully I can become an all-star like them.

On sudden stardom I’m so comfortable with who I am! Nothing can stop me while I’m on this roll! I’m just riding the roller coaster of life!

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