Why the face? Oh, right: Summer is long gone. Well, here’s at least one reason not to be a girl/guy with a negative tattoo: Modern Family has begun its second season. To see what’s in store for the Dunphys/Pritchett-Delgados/Pritchett-Tuckers, pick up the latest copy of Entertainment Weekly, which features various combinations of cast members on the cover. (For those of you who like to collect things, there are three different covers.) And before you watch tonight’s episode, “The Kiss,” which explores Mitchell’s reluctance to engage in public displays of affection, check out these revealing quotes from the cast and producers of the hit ABC comedy that you won’t find in our issue.
On the upcoming kiss between Cameron (Eric Stonestreet) and Mitchell (Jesse Tyler Ferguson):
FERGUSON: That was something that [the writers] had in the works very early on; unfortunately it’s going to look like a response to the Facebook campaign. Some people are complaining that it shouldn’t be a big deal and it’s being made such a big deal. The thing is, it never was even meant to be a big deal. I think when people see the episode, they’re going to understand what our plan was the whole time…. We’re handling the characters very carefully. We’re in a lot of living rooms every week and it’s fantastic. And I don’t want to scare off the people who are just getting comfortable with Cameron and Mitchell…. It’s very simple and it’s not a big deal. That’s exactly what it should be.
STONESTREET: It’s about Jay and his lack of affection and where Mitch learned that. And it’s very real. We think it’s smart and perfect.… Hopefully everybody will see that we just want to tell truthful, honest, sweet, believable stories that aren’t driven by anything political or motivated by a movement.
On entering season 2 with lots of attention and awards:
JULIE BOWEN (Claire): We’re very scared of hype, but luckily we still have these awesome writers, directors, and producers. None of the moving parts have actually changed.… All last year when everybody would be like, “The ratings were good, we’re getting nominated for this, there’s all this talk on the Interwebs about this and that,” I was like “Stop! Stop!” I hate that because then there’s nowhere to go but down. Nothing to do but fail. And I get so anxiety‑ridden over that stuff. I actually have put myself on a very strict Interwebs and gossip‑reading diet. I’m on a fast.
On winning the Emmy for Outstanding Comedy Series:
CHRISTOPHER LLOYD (Executive Producer): We’re still the show that we always were, and if anything, it does bring a little bit of pressure of being the one on the pedestal that people maybe want to knock off now. But it still beats losing. I got to hear Sofia Vergara yell my name out in the night, which is every man’s dream.
STEVE LEVITAN (Executive Producer): When you look at the company of the shows that have won in their first season, it’s an incredible honor. And we’re very proud of it. But we’re not resting on it by any means. It’s made us all want to work a little bit harder so it doesn’t look like we peaked in our first season. So I think we came back with a renewed sense of purpose, which was to keep up the quality and not slip. “Remember how good that show was back then?” Yeah, we don’t want that.
TY BURRELL (Phil): I barely remember it. It was that fun. I remember feeling like a total amateur because we were jumping up and down like little kids. I really envisioned that we’d get up in that dignified way where you button your jacket, and you give someone a meaningful hug. Instead, I think my foot was above my head at one point. I had done a big kick. We were very excited.
On some surprising celebrity fans:
ED O’NEILL (Jay): Married… with Children was so good to me. I enjoyed doing it. But this show is a different experience. We’re getting a lot of attention from our peers. We didn’t have that so much on Married. This show, you run into Helen Mirren to Steve Spielberg to Larry David to you name it… That sort of thing is foreign to me. And that’s where I always wanted to be — doing something that my peers would appreciate.
RICO RODRIGUEZ (Manny): Edward James Olmos told me he’s been waiting to meet me his whole life and I was like, “Well, um, I was born in 1998 so I don’t think your whole life.”
On their would-be diva demands:
SARAH HYLAND (Haley): A lifetime supply of Arnold Palmers on the set.
ARIEL WINTER (Alex): Golf cart.
RODRIGUEZ: Milk and a golf cart. And later call times. It’d be like heaven on Earth.
On a favorite episode:
NOLAN GOULD (Luke): I don’t know my favorite one, but I know my least favorite. [In one upcoming] episode, I had to wear this space helmet-y looking thing. I shot every scene in it and it was really nauseating in there. I sneezed in there and then I couldn’t wipe my nose. I was wiping the glass with my hand, but I couldn’t reach it.
On a dream episode:
BURRELL: I’d like it if Phil went to fantasy baseball camp because I would like to go to fantasy baseball camp. I think Phil would be a hapless catcher. He’d take a lot of balls off the face mask, thinking he’s better than he is.
FERGUSON: I have a dream of Mitchell doing one of those really bad lawyer commercials.
GOULD: I think it’d be cool if Luke and Manny had a sleepover, and they invited all their weird, goofy, crazy friends, and we’d get to see what they’re like. Or an episode like Forrest Gump, where Luke stumbles into all these amazing things by accident. For example, he might win the spelling bee and have to go to Regionals, but he did it by accident because everybody misspelled all the words and he got one right by accident.
SOFIA VERGARA (Gloria): I’ve screamed, I’ve had fights, I’ve killed rats, I crashed cars — I mean, I’ve done everything… (pause) Maybe Gloria needs to shoot a gun.