Nolan Gould spoke with HollywoodLife EXCLUSIVELY about the shocking character death on ‘Modern Family.’ He revealed that he was ‘in the dark’ about who died until the table read and initially thought it was going to be Luke!
DeDe, Jay’s ex-wife and the mother of Claire and Mitchell, suddenly passed away on the Oct. 24 episode of Modern Family. The death had been teased for weeks, with barely any clues as to who would die. HollywoodLife talked EXCLUSIVELY with Nolan Gould, who plays Luke Dunphy, about the loss of the character and how he found out who was going to die. “I didn’t know who was going to die until a few days before we shot the episode!” Nolan admitted to HollywoodLife. “I learned someone was going to die at the beginning of the season when the producers announced it to the media. But I was in the dark about who until we read the first draft at the table read right before we started shooting.”
Up until he found out at the table read, Nolan believed he might get killed off! “First thing I thought when I read the headlines about a significant character dying this season was, ‘Uh oh, it’s definitely me.’ That just where my mind goes as an actor,” Nolan continued. “Believe it or not, we’re all super insecure. I actually called my agents after I read the news to see if they had heard any rumors about who was going to die. They didn’t. It was a long two months until I found out I was safe. I mean, to be honest, I’m not sure I’m out of the woods yet. There’s still 6 months of filming left. A lot can happen in that time…”
For weeks, fans came up with theories as to who was going to die. Rumors swirled on the internet about fan faves Jay Pritchett and Stella. “Like most everyone on the internet, I was relieved to learn it wasn’t Jay or Stella,” Nolan said. “I think I would have staged a rebellion. But at the same time DeDe is such an interesting character and I’m disappointed to see her go. As a younger actor, I always enjoy working with veteran actors and Shelley Long has been a sitcom staple for decades. I’ll miss working with her.”
DeDe’s death isn’t going to be a one and done episode. “So far we have one follow-up episode about Dede’s death where we check in on her adult children and ex-husband to see how they’re coping,” Nolan revealed. “We see each struggle to follow through with the things Dede taught them and just how much her presence and lack thereof makes to the family.” Modern Family season 10 airs Wednesdays at 9 p.m. on ABC.