Modern Family might be coming to an end with its final season taking off this September, but series star, Nolan Gould is ready to make the leap from the small screen to the big with his latest project, YES – one that the 20-year-old touts is of the more “super dark” and “edgy” roles he’s ever played to date.
While in conversation about the film to PopCulture.com, Gould admits he’s really excited about his role in YES, even though it might seem contentious in subject matter.
“My role in it is super dark,” Gould told PopCulture.com. “It’s dark, it’s edgy and a little bit controversial, and it’s super different from Modern Family, which is why I took an interest and really loved the script. And actually having worked with the director [Rob Margolies] before, I just wanted to give people a chance who watch the show to see that I can do different things.”
Based on the acclaimed off-Broadway play by and starring Tim Realbuto, YES tells the story of an alcoholic, pill-popping, former child star named Patrick (Realbuto) who discovers 17-year-old Jeremiah (Gould) after watching a theatrical high school production with his sister. Though Patrick was involved in an incident with a minor, years prior that ended his career and life, he decides to mentor Jeremiah, which results in a twisted game of cat and mouse, ultimately turning from innocent acting lessons to something much more dangerous.
The film is currently riding high into the film festival circuit this year and just earned Realbuto a Best Leading Actor win at the IndieFEST Film Awards.
“I’m really excited for the world to see it,” Gould said, adding it was screened independently at numerous venues this year prior to festival runs, and the response was incredible. “I don’t think we quite have a release date, but definitely stay tuned because I would love for them to see it.”
With a premise that hits on the aspect of early stardom similar to Gould’s own life starting out with the ABC mockumentary sitcom at the tender age of 10, he reveals he too has had his fair share of mentors over the years since starting his career with the series in 2009.
“I’ve been mentored by a lot of people throughout the years and sometimes it’s not been concrete like ‘Hey, you’re my mentor, train me!’” he admits. “I’ve just looked up to a lot of really great actors throughout the years who have helped me grow my ability to act, but also just as a person.”
Gould adds that his TV parents have played a big role in helping and “looking out” for him both mentally and emotionally, like on-screen mom, Julie Bowen.
“[The older cast] just knew I’m a kid on the set, they were always watching out for me and making sure I wasn’t getting into trouble and that I was happy and that I was actually enjoying acting and making it fun for me,” he said. “My TV grandpa [Ed O’Neill] is just constantly giving me life advice and then one of my best friends, whom I met doing movies has really become a mentor to me, too.”
While YES will be active in the film festival circuits this year, Gould is also getting ready for his next project alongside producer, James Franco and actress Joey King in Camp, a coming of age story set against the backdrop of summer camp.
“It’s like a Jewish retreat and it’s pretty funny with James Franco, Joey King; and with James Franco, it’s all that humor,” he said. “There’s some edgy things, it’s a little bit raunchy. It’s a really good, feel good, coming of age story.”
The final season of Modern Family kicks off Sept. 25 on ABC.