Sarah Hyland opened up about being disappointed by Haley’s final arc on Modern Family
Warning: This story contains spoilers for Modern Family Seasons 10 and 11.
Well, this is kind of a bummer. After 11 seasons, Modern Family is coming to a close on April 8th (Bummer #1). And in her cover story for Cosmopolitan, Sarah Hyland, who plays Haley Dunphy, expressed her disappointment in her character’s final storyline (Bummer #2).
The writer of the article, Helin Jung, said that, according to Hyland herself, “Sarah’s character didn’t get the ending she deserved.”
“It all came as a surprise and disappointment, tbh,” Cosmopolitan wrote. “Sarah wishes audiences could’ve seen Haley ‘own her badassery in the fashion world—becoming a badass stylist or brand mogul or anything like that.’” (Reminder: In Modern Family Season 9, Haley kills it at her job at a ridiculously named, definitely GOOP-inspired lifestyle brand. So this was definitely in her potential career arc.)
However, by Season 11, Haley got pregnant, got married, and gave birth to twins Poppy and George. And from there on out, her storyline focused mainly on motherhood. While this was delightful, there wasn’t too much else going on in Haley’s world. Hyland clarified that she took no issue with her character becoming a mother.
Rather, Hyland wished that the show had explored the many other dimensions—especially the professional aspects—of women who are also mothers.
“There are so many amazing mothers who are also hard workers and excel at their jobs and kill it every day in both aspects,” the actress said in the story. “That would have been a really cool thing to see, especially from someone like Haley.”
As Cosmopolitan also noted, Haley has “less screentime” overall in the show’s final season. Hyland seemed to reference her own lack of screentime in an Instagram Story, according to Entertainment Tonight.
“So I don’t read scripts of the episodes of Modern Family that I’m not in, so I just found out that my grandpa’s dead along with all of you,” she said in the now-expired Story. “As his granddaughter, you’d think I’d be invited to the funeral.”
If you didn’t follow her 11-season storyline, Haley is the oldest daughter of Claire and Phil Dunphy. She starts the series by fulfilling every cliché of a sort of ditzy, curfew-breaking, boy-obsessed teenage girl. But part of the joy and the genius of Modern Family was watching Haley mature as the show went on (as any good character is wont to do over the course of 11 years). So it’s definitely upsetting that Hyland feels so disappointed by her character’s ending.
However, also in the Cosmopolitan interview, Hyland acknowledged that her regret about her character’s arc is par for the course of being an actor who is, in certain respects, at the whims of the people in charge. (“She wasn’t a writer or producer on the show, she tells me about three times with a matter-of-fact tone, a shrug, and a bite of salad,” Jung wrote.)
But what Hyland is in charge of are the projects she signs up for next.
She didn’t reveal any hard-and-fast plans, but she told Cosmopolitan that she “has her eye on” a few things that seemingly have nothing to do with her slapstick-comedic role on Modern Family. “She’s got her eye on producing. She wants to act in dramatic roles, movie musicals, period pieces.”
“I want to wear a corset,’” Hyland said. “I want to not be able to breathe.” Whatever Hyland decides to do, we’ll be watching.