Exclusive: After 'Modern Family,' Julie Bowen Wants to 'Expand' Her Horizons

Julie Bowen can't really imagine a life without Modern Family.The actress, who plays Claire Dunphy [...]

Julie Bowen can't really imagine a life without Modern Family.

The actress, who plays Claire Dunphy in the hit series, has been with the show now for nine years, and is filming the tenth and final season as of now.

"This has been such a special, special time. I had babies in the beginning and now they're going to be going into third grade and sixth grade," she said during an exclusive interview with PopCulture.com in April while filming a Mother's Day surprise with Hallmark and Improv Everywhere. "I got to stay in Los Angeles and work with the most lovely, wonderful, creative people. It truly is my other family, and I can't really conceive of them not getting together a bunch of times a week in a fake house. ... It's going to be very hard to not have that."

As for what the future holds for Bowen? Maybe a step away from her life in front of the camera.

"I think I would like to try my hand at being behind the camera more and expand my horizons," she told PopCulture. "I worship writers. I think that they are the highest form of the entertainment food chain. So I think I might be too scared to tackle that, but secretly..."

The possibilities are endless for the acclaimed actress, who before winning over America on Modern Family, appeared in beloved films such as Happy Gilmore as well as shows such as Lost and Weeds.

"I just think there are so many great opportunities, because there are so many different forms of media right now," she told PopCulture. "It used to seem like there was just network, but now it seems there are so many opportunities, especially in this moment for women, so let's do it!"

"I'll jump at the opportunity," she continued. "They need more female directors out there right now? OK!"

Part of what was so special for Bowen about Modern Family was getting to stay in Los Angeles with her family, which includes three sons, Oliver, John and Gus. She doesn't look forward to the kind of instability that will be injected into her life when the ABC show ends.

"It's funny. You go from a phase of 10 years ago auditioning, auditioning, auditioning, and now I don't relish that thought," she told PopCulture. "I'd like to be a little more in control of what I do."

And while Bowen is saying goodbye to her role as Claire, she still has plenty of mothering to do in her real life, which is where her partnership with Hallmark and Improv Everywhere comes in.

Placing a 12-foot Mother's Day card in the middle of a Los Angeles park ahead of the holiday, Bowen helped surprise unassuming moms ahead of the holiday with words of affirmation from their loved ones. She even shocked her own mom with a sweet personal note!

"She does not necessarily like to be the center of attention, so she was a little subdued," Bowen said of her own mom's reaction, "but I think the fact that it's not actually Mother's Day … genuinely surprised her."

She admitted, "I never made a big enough deal about Mother's Day. I never got why everybody made such a big deal until I became a mom, and then I was like, 'Oh yeah!' So, I wanted to thank her for teaching me to be a mom to my kids."

Modern Family airs Wednesdays at 9 p.m. ET on ABC.

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