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Dec 18

The young star of “Modern Family” volunteers at the Animal Haven in Lower Manhattan. And tries not to adopt another dog.

Ariel Winter knew her lines: “Sit. Sit. Sit. Sit. Sit.” But her co-star, a brindled hound mix named Tigger, didn’t budge.

It was the Tuesday after Thanksgiving, and Ms. Winter, a dog lover, had come to Animal Haven, a shelter on Centre Street in Lower Manhattan that finds home for abandoned dogs and cats.

In town to promote “Modern Family,” the popular sitcom she has starred in for 10 seasons, Ms. Winter had taken the afternoon off to volunteer at the shelter and record a public service announcement.

In Los Angeles, where she lives, Ms. Winter works with the Westside German shepherd Rescue and American Humane. Four dogs (Casper, Chloe, Cash and Cleo) populate the Culver City home she shares with her boyfriend, the actor Levi Meaden.

“Our house would be filled with dogs if it was up to me,” she said. “But four is our max right now. We try to give them all enough attention.”

At Animal Haven, she wanted to do whatever was needed, with one request: no cats. “I’m allergic,” she told Tiffany Lacey, the executive director of the shelter. “I’m not going to get hives or anything, just a seriously stuffed up nose.”

Ms. Lacey said that cats were kept in a separate area and handed Ms. Winter a purple volunteer shirt that clashed cheerfully with her plaid pants and red boots.

For her first job as volunteer, Ms. Winter, who has a sweet, bright voice and the outsize eyes of an anime character, was assigned to romp with Delilah, a 4-year-old silver terrier mix rescued from Puerto Rico. “Oh, girl!” Ms. Winter said as she scratched her ears. “So sweet.”

Delilah had other admirers to greet, so Ms. Lacey took Ms. Winter on a tour of the kennels downstairs, comfortable rooms brightened by a skylight. She waved to the dogs in each berth as she heard stories of their rescues.

One had been shot in Alabama, one had been dragged behind a car in Florida, one had recently arrived from Iran. She put her hands out for the dogs to sniff, and a few of them pushed their muzzles though cutouts in the windows to offer licks. “Hi, babes!” she said.


Ms. Winter is indulgent with dogs. At home, they have free rein (“Our couch will never look nice, it won’t, and I’m O.K. with that,” she said), and the three older ones usually find their way into bed. Cash, an Australian shepherd mix, “sleeps on our heads,” she said.

Ms. Lacey led her to a room where two older Labradors, Dante and Diego, sat gloomily. Their owner in the East Village had died. “I’m coming in, boys,” Ms. Winter said. The dogs twined around her, and she stroked them until they seemed a little more cheerful. “Happy boys get happy treats,” she said soothingly. “You boys get a lot of treats today.” (They have since been adopted, together.)

Her task complete, Ms. Winter eased out of the room, headed back upstairs and grabbed her jacket. Her next assignment: walking Rumple, a chunky Staffie mix with cropped ears and a white belly. He sauntered outside, snuffling the occasional curb, as Ms. Winter held his purple “Adopt Me” leash.

He declined to relieve himself but seemed to enjoy the fresh air. “There’s a lot of smells,” Ms. Winter said.

It took 15 long minutes to walk Rumple up the block and back. When Ms. Winter returned, it was time to find the right dog for the public service announcement, which would appear on the shelter’s Instagram. This is the kind of social media Ms. Winter likes. As for the rest of it, she said, “Everyone’s watching at every moment, so that’s really difficult to just live life,” she said.

A star of “Modern Family” since she was 11, Ms. Winter is now 20. (Her plans for her 21st birthday: “I’m definitely going to go to Vegas,” she said. “I’ve played poker since I was 6 years old.”) Fans have seen her grow up, on screen and off, and have scrutinized her body, her clothes, her relationships.

One of the nice things about dogs? They don’t judge.

But most dogs don’t have Ms. Winter’s comfort in front of the camera. Shannon Kirkman, the shelter’s director of marketing, first tried to film the spot with Marty, a fawn-colored dog rescued during a recent snowstorm in New York City. But Marty was not ready for his close-up, skittering away when treats were not on offer.

“He’s still pretty confused about what’s going on,” Ms. Kirkman said.

“He’s like, ‘I don’t like this woman’s pants,’” Ms. Winter said. The plaid was a bold choice. Maybe dogs do judge?

Tigger, a bouncy brindled dog that Ms. Winter had bonded with downstairs, was next. They frisked together, but despite Ms. Winter’s encouragement, the camera wasn’t his thing. “You’re like my dogs,” Ms. Winter said, as she threw him a squeaky toy. “You don’t pay attention.”

One more dog was tried before Ms. Winter finally succeeded with Abbi, a golden Chihuahua who lives in the shelter with her sister Ilana. Abbi is described on the shelter’s website as a nervous girl, but she was content to nestle in Ms. Winter’s arms. She was perfect co-star material.

“Please consider donating and help the lives of these beautiful babies,” Ms. Winter said to the camera, as she petted Abbi.


The video was posted that afternoon and raised about $40,000, twice the shelter’s goal.

Source: New York Times

Oct 18

Be your own person and don’t listen to anyone who says differently. We are all unique!

Whether you recognize her as Alex Dunphy on Modern Family of the voice of Disney’s Princess Sofia, Ariel Winter’s push to the top is unstoppable! At just twenty years old, she holds an extensive filmography. The wide range of roles showcase her talent perfectly, and if this is just a small glimpse of what’s to come – she will dominate the silver screen. This combination of wit and ability comes from personal experience, and for Winter that began with an early start in the industry at four years old. Hollywood is a beast, and to grow up in a fenzied world where everyone’s a critic, she remains very self-aware.

Every experience, good or bad, adds strength to the young starlet’s character. She never shies away from controversy and this fearless approach to fame is admireable. Winter shares with us some sincere advice for Hollywood hopefuls and how she handles the volatile nature of social media. If there’s anything you can take away from her words, it is to be kind and be humble. Two things that can be quickly forgotten, but in all of Winter’s years of acting she stays very true to.


CM: You do voice roles with various shows, and it’s impressive how every character you’ve done has their unique tone and personality to their voice. Is it challenging or more fun? How does it compare to acting on a set?

AW: Voice acting was actually one of the first things I did when I started in the industry! I think it is more challenging than on-camera work because you have to bring an animated character to life using just your voice – typically alone in a soundprood box. On-camera acting can be more physically and emotionally tacing, seeing as you use all parts of yourself, and you also work off the other actors in the scene. I don’t think I have a favorite [character] though. Voice-over work can be done in your pajamas which is pretty fantastic, but on-camera is a little more communal.

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Sep 18

Modern Family will return for its 10th season later this month, and the creators of ABC’s veteran family comedy are hoping that the laughs aren’t the only thing that draw tears from viewers.

Yes, the grim reaper will visit the show in an episode airing in the first half of this season, co-creator Christopher Lloyd tells EW. “We’re handling some bigger life events in this season,” he says. “We do deal with a death, which is certainly a topic that families have to deal with, and on television, it’s not easy to do because that’s a heavy subject. But at the same time, it would seem unusual for a family not to go through it.”

Not surprisingly, Lloyd isn’t revealing who is headed six feet under — or if it’s one of the main family members — but he promises that he/she is a “significant character on the series” and the death “will be a moving event — and an event that has repercussions across several episodes.”

Modern Family — which features Ed O’Neill as the grand patriarch of the family and stars Ty Burrell, Julie Bowen, Jesse Tyler Ferguson, Sofia Vergara, Eric Stonestreet, Ariel Winter, Sarah Hyland, Rico Rodriguez, Nolan Gould, Aubrey Anderson-Emmons, and Jeremy Maguire — is entering the last season of its contract. Will this be the last-ever season for the veteran comedy that won a record-tying five consecutive Outstanding Comedy Series Emmys (and has been nominated every year but this one)? Lloyd remains optimistic that there will be Dunphy doofiness beyond this season. “There’s goodwill on both sides to make it happen, but there’s also complicated matters that have to get worked through, and there’s a time constraint on it, because we can’t have it take too long,” he shares. “I’m hoping that that doesn’t make the whole thing go away, but I think there’s a decent chance we’ll see it happen. I hope there is. From our standpoint creatively we’ve gotten excited writing this season and changing the lives of the characters — some in a significant way — and it’s made us think, ‘Wow, there’s a lot to explore in the lives of these characters.’ They’re in many ways such different characters than they were five or 10 years ago when we started and they’re just as interesting and just as funny. So our standpoint was, ‘Well, if we can do another season, we may as well. I’m hoping that we have some news on that [soon], and if it winds up that we tried and just couldn’t make it work, we will have a great final season for sure.”

Asked for an overall hint about season 10, Lloyd says, “There is a significant change in the dynamics of the family that people maybe thought was going to happen at some point down the line that is happening sooner than expected.” Is that clue related or unrelated to the aforementioned death? Well, that’ll be the joy of discovery that awaits you when Modern Family kicks off season 10 on Sept. 26 at 9 p.m. ET/PT.

Source: EW


Current Projects

Modern Family
Ariel as Alex Dunphy
News   Photos   IMDb

Three different, but related families face trials and tribulations in their own uniquely comedic ways.


The Last Movie Star
Ariel as Lil McDougal
News   Photos   IMDb

An aging former movie star is forced to face the reality that his glory days are behind him. On its surface, the film is a tale about faded fame. At its core, it’s a universal story about growing old.


Sofia the First
Ariel as Sofia (voice)
News   Photos   IMDb

Sofia, is a little girl with a commoner’s background until her mom marries the King and suddenly she is royalty. With the help of the three fairies in charge of the Royal Training Academy, Sofia learns that looking like a princess isn’t all that hard but behaving like one must come from the heart.


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