As viewers said goodbye to the Dunphy and Pritchett families on Modern Family after an 11-year run on ABC, star Jesse Tyler Ferguson reveals his favorite part of being on the award-winning sitcom. In an exclusive interview with PopCulture.com for our series, PopCulture @ Home, Ferguson admits he was simply happy to have played the role of Mitchell Pritchett and what his character represents.
"Oh my gosh, I mean, I think just the honor of playing Mitchell," the new dad-of-one explained. "I was really proud to be playing a gay character who was also a new dad on prime time television with Eric Stonestreet. I'm really proud of that couple and the representation that they had on television, and yeah, they were sort of like a pop culture touchstone, I hope." The popular ABC comedy series first aired in 2009 and quickly won the hearts of audiences and critics. However, this past spring, on April 8, fans bid farewell to the cast in an emotional series finale.
The days and weeks following the final episode, Ferguson admits it felt different — obviously, it would take getting used to, but then quarantine happened and his focus quickly shifted. "Well, I mean, yes, for the first few weeks," he admitted after being asked if he felt weird not going to set every day. "And then, you know, quarantine happens. So, everything sort of shut down. I was just so relieved that we got to finish this series before that happened and that we were able to give the show its proper send-off. But I miss the cast and the crew so much."
"I was just on a phone call with Ed O'Neil yesterday. I think he butt dialed me," he joked. "I don't think he intended to call me, but I picked up, and we ended up talking for like 20 minutes. He has a place in Hawaii, and he went there before the lockdown happened, and then he sorta got stuck there. So I think he's just really bored."
While the 45-year-old misses his former co-workers, he's had a lot of exciting things happen since closing that chapter in his life, with more to come. He and his husband Justin Mikita welcomed their first child together, Beckett Mercer Ferguson-Mikita, in July and said things have been going great for them family-wise since. He is also coming out with a cookbook in March that he can't wait for fans to check out — noting there will be a lot of Mexican inspired dishes in there since he holds a passion for that type of food being from Albuquerque, New Mexico.
More recently, he's partnered with OZO, a new plant-based brand that just launched this year that originated in Colorado. "You know, when I'm looking for food to feed my family, whether it be vegan or plant-based or whatever, I'm looking for cleaner ingredients that are really nutritious, but also they have to taste great. And OZO hits all those important things for me."
He continued: "They're donating $1 million worth of their product to food banks, which is so important. I feel like especially these past few months, there have been people that have never been worried about putting a meal [...] on their tables, and now with the turn of everything."
Ferguson says he even shared the new plant-based product with his mother-in-law recently and she absolutely loved it! For more on Jesse Tyler Ferguson and your other favorite Modern Family cast members, keep it right here at PopCulture.com.