Everyone loves her as Modern Family’s Haley Dunphy, but little Sarah Hyland is all grown up and prepping for life after the hit ABC sitcom. Her latest film, See You in Valhalla, marks her first foray into producing. In the family dramedy, she plays a young woman who reunites with her troubled siblings and ailing father after the untimely death of her brother. And obviously, she also shares what she might wear to Sofia Vergara’s wedding, because we had to ask.
Why are you interested in producing after Modern Family?
I’ve always wanted to do it. When I was a little girl, I was a huge Drew Barrymore fan and I saw that she had her own production company. She said women can accomplish things like that, so I’ve always wanted to be able to do it.
Your character experiences the death of someone they love. How did you channel that?
I have had family members close to me die. I have had friend’s family members who have died when we were young. It’s something that does resonate with me, especially losing a brother at a very young age. I had a friend go through that.
There’s a lot of pot use in the movie. Are you cool with legalization?
There’s so much in California. I live here and I think everyone has dealt with it one way or another. We were all teenagers at one point in our lives. With this movie, we don’t hit it in a hard way. We’re not trying to condone it in any sense, especially for teenagers. We have a lot of controversial themes in the film—gay marriage is brought up, teenage pregnancy, marijuana usage. We really wanted to stay true to what today’s youth and families go through on an everyday basis.
Tell me about your trip to Coachella. What were the best bands?
Coachella is so, so fun. It’s my favorite time of the year. Jack White was amazing, AC/DC, Florence and the Machine, blew my mind. I even missed some people this year that I really wanted to see. We got walkie-talkies because the cellphone reception is so bad and there were 8 of us.
You saw Madonna kiss Drake?
I did! I was like, ‘that just happened? Oh my God, that just happened!’ And I don’t think Drake knew that was going to happen. I’ve seen a lot of funny memes on the Internet from it. I don’t think it was planned at all. But it’s Madonna, she can do whatever she wants. Like she said, ‘I’m Madonna, bitch.’
Is it becoming a party for the rich?
It’s crazy because I went to Coachella for the first time in 2009 and it was only one weekend and I bought a general admission ticket that was like $300. I was 18, and I called my mom and I was like, ‘Do I have the funds for this’? I just want to make sure that’s okay. I can see it becoming like that. Drinks are so expensive, water’s so expensive. I don’t really like staying in the VIP section. I like to be in the shit. I love the music and I just love the vibe.
It’s definitely become a pop culture phenomenon.
There’s racks at Wasteland called Coachella racks, where it’s a bunch of hippie clothes.
I know you can’t talk about Sofia Vergara’s wedding, but have you at least picked out a dress?
I have not picked out a dress. It’s Sofia Vergara’s wedding, so no matter what you wear you’re going to look like shit compared to her. You should, because it’s her wedding. I’ll just wear like a schmata or something like that. I’ll wear a muumuu and just be like, ‘You’re the light, Sofia.’ I’ll definitely be wearing comfortable shoes because she loves to dance.
I know Modern Family has been a great blessing, but do you ever feel like moving on?
I’ve been in this industry for 20 years now and it took me 14 years to book a job like Modern Family. I will be forever grateful for that. I could never be tired of it though, because it’s the best cast it the world. Every actor who has been on a show as long as we have, or even longer, you love them with all of your heart. I really don’t know the show’s future but I can’t imagine my life without the show. It kind of makes me tear up because I don’t want to not see them on a day-to-day basis.