After sharing an image to his Instagram last week of the Modern Family cast preparing to kick off its final season this September after almost 11 years, series star Nolan Gould admits he's still coming to terms with the award-winning ABC mockumentary's swan song.
In an exclusive with PopCulture.com, the 20-year-old actor reveals he doesn't know how to react with the show coming to an end just yet, but is weighing in on what he thinks his character, Luke Dunphy might be up to as the series wraps up.
"You know what's crazy? I still don't really know how to feel, and I thought I would have time to figure it out and prepare for the feelings," Gould told PopCulture.com exclusively. "[But] I don't think that it'll really ever come until the show actually ends."
Gould admits he's had a "lovely minute" to think about how the show will eventually end and how he could potentially feel, but admits "it's just really hard to do it justice because the show's been such a huge part" of his life.
"It has been for a lot of people and so I'm really excited and glad to be back for another year, and obviously I wish it could stay on forever," Gould said.
While the show has been on since 2009, raking up numerous awards over the years including a Golden Globe win for Best Television Series in 2012, Gould shares it's been a lot of fun playing the youngest Dunphy since he was 10 years old.
"It's been interesting because the show has stayed on so long, the character of Luke has changed and my opinion about acting in general has changed throughout the years," Gould said, adding how there were some seasons where it was harder to be on due to the "awkward stage" and "going through puberty."
However, while the show has evolved over the years and his character has "changed a lot" and "progressed" over the years, Gould admits it was a natural transition.
"My character Luke has changed a lot," he laughed. "There was this time where he was just like, an uncomfortable, awkward teenage boy who does creepy things and how these last couple seasons he kind of transitions into becoming an adult and then going off to college. [But] excited to see what happens. It's always been crazy because every year it's like playing a new character because he changes so much."
Gould shares with PopCulture.com that minutes before our interview, he received the first table read without getting a chance to read in its entirety, however shares a few tidbits of what fans can expect.
"I know that... at least in the first episode, with the Dunphys, is going to be involving Haley's twins, and seeing the family life, how they react and how's she is a mother," he revealed.
With the show being one of the longest running sitcoms on television and Gould absolutely in awe of the creators and writers for writing more than 225 episodes to date, he believes the final season will be a "bit of a toss up compared to the other ones."
"Season 10 was supposed to be our last, so our season finale last year where we do the 'Circle of Life' ending, that was kind of always meant to be the end of the show," he said, adding how it was also exactly how the show opened up with his co-stars, Jesse Tyler Ferguson and Eric Stonestreet's characters, Mitchell and Cam welcoming their daughter, Lilly played by Aubrey Anderson-Emmons.
"Like, that's how in their vision they saw the show ending and getting wrapped up. Then we weren't suppose to get picked up for another season, but we did," he softly chuckled. "So it'll definitely be interesting to see, because they have a brand new season in line and all kinds of new story lines and where it goes, I don't know."
Sharing his utmost respect for the creators and writers, Gould admits he'd like to see his own character "come into his own a little bit more."
"Kind of like the way Haley [Sarah Hyland] did," he said, adding how he would like to see the other kids in the Dunphy and Pritchett families make something of themselves, including his character, Luke. "[I'd like] to see if he ever makes it out, gets a real job besides working at his grandpa's country club. I guess as the actor and a fan of the show I would like to see kind of like, a glimpse into his future. Or is he always going to be a little bit of a burnout or if he's gonna get his act together."
While Gould and fans will have to wait and see how it all turns out after its September premiere teases possible directions, he did share with PopCulture.com how he would definitely be on board for a spinoff if the network ever decides to go that way.
"I'm one hundred percent on board for a spinoff or a reboot or anything," Gould told PopCulture.com most happily. "I love this show, and honestly I could see myself doing this for the rest of my life."
As Gould and the cast prepare to shoot the first episodes of Season 11, the young star is gearing up for a "super dark" and "edgy" role in the independent film, Yes as it hits the film festival circuits.
"It's a little bit controversial," he admits of his role in the film based on Tim Realbuto's critically acclaimed off-Broadway play that tells the story of a washed up child star, who decides to mentor a 17-year-old. "It's super different from what people know me from with Modern Family, which is why I took an interest and really loved the script. And actually having worked with the director before, I just wanted to give people a chance who watch the show to see that I can do different things."
With a premise that hits on early stardom similar to Gould's own life starting out with the ABC series at the tender age of 10 years old, he reveals he has had his fair share of mentors over the years since starting on the show in 2009, including his TV parents who he reveals have played a big role in helping and "looking out" for him both mentally and emotionally, like on-screen mom, Julie Bowen.
But while the movie is heading through the festival circuits this year and Gould is "really excited for the world to see it," the young star is also preparing for his next role — a coming of age story set against the backdrop of Jewish summer camp, produced by James Franco that he touts has "some edgy things," and is a "little bit raunchy."
With plenty of opportunities ahead for the New York native, Gould is looking forward to the remainder of Modern Family when it kicks off this fall, sharing he is happy to be bringing "one more season of laughs" to fans.0comments
Modern Family will return for Season 11 on ABC, Sept. 25 at 9 p.m. ET. Check your local listings.