Looking very un-Haley, Sarah Hyland attends the premiere of "Vampire Academy." (Credit: Jason LaVeris/FilmMagic)
“Modern Family” star Sarah Hyland leaves her ditzy TV persona behind and heads to “Vampire Academy.” According to Hyland, the bloodsucking role is just a small part of a bigger plan to make sure Hollywood can see her as more than just Haley Dunphy.
METRO: You have a fight scene in some rather daunting high heels. That doesn’t seem like the best footwear for fighting. SARAH HYLAND: No, not strappy Aldos. I was also very persistent in wearing them. I think I made it to, like, the third day before I was like, “I can’t do this.” But I’ve always kind of been a martyr when it comes to heels. My senior prom, by the end of the night everyone had their heels off and were just barefoot, and I was like [through gritted teeth], “I’m not taking them off. I’m doing it.”
Where does that dedication come from? Probably “Sex and the City.” I thought I was Carrie Bradshaw. I was like, “I’m from New York and I love high heels — I’m Carrie.” [laughs] But she even takes them off at some points, so I don’t know. I’ve gotten better at treating my body better, but for the character, she’d be in these heels, she’d do it.
Are you trying different types of characters to dis-tinguish yourself beyond “Modern Family”? That’s what I’m trying to do. That’s why I really love Natalie [in “Vampire Academy”], because she’s so different from anything I’ve ever done. It gives a chance for me to challenge myself more instead of playing the same characters over and over again, and it gives people a chance to see me as something different and not think of me as that pretty, popular girl — and I don’t even understand that whole pretty, popular girl aspect of myself.
Do you have a sense of how long the show will go on or how long you’ll be on it? You know, you get in this routine where you’re like, “OK, so I have the summer off to do whatever and then I’m right back into it,” but I never want to start to feel comfortable in that, because as an actor, things can go away in a second. I mean, they’re not acting as though it’s going to be like that, but I don’t want to get so comfortable in my job to think that I’m going to have this job forever. You have to be smart with your money, you have to be smart with your career choices, you have to keep yourself and your name in the game so you’re not just Hayley Dunphy on “Modern Family,” so that you can have a career that lasts longer than just the show.
So do you have an idea for the next summer break about what you’d like to do? I’m trying, I’m trying. Waiting to hear back. People think that once you reach a certain level you’re just offered anything, and it’s not the case. You still have to audition for stuff, you still have to meet with directors, you still have to put yourself on tape, even. I’m just waiting for some feedback for some stuff that’s on right now.