Modern Family will be airing its series finale in May 2020 and that fact still hasn’t hit star Nolan Gould just yet. The 21-year-old actor, who plays Luke Dunphy, has grown up on the show over the past decade and the show’s final season is still hard for him to totally wrap his head around. “It is so fundamental to who I am,” Nolan told HollywoodLife EXCLUSIVELY at the Television Critics Association winter press tour. “Anybody who has been on the show for 11 years, it’ll be such a monumental part of your life. It will never feel like it’s truly over. People will always be watching the show no matter where I go. I’m always to a certain degree going to be Luke Dunphy. That’s something I’ve kind of realized I’m never going to be able to escape and I’m embracing it. That’s a really good thing to be known for, being that big of a part of people’s lives.”
Nolan still hasn’t read the script for the series finale, so he doesn’t know how it all ends quite yet. “I have ways that I would like it to end because I’m a fan of the show and I’ve been working on it for 11 years,” he continued. “You have these kinds of wishes and dreams for your character. I’ve always hated when shows are trying to do a huge thing for their finale, where they flash forward for 20 years to see what happens to everybody. That feels like an end and I don’t want to see that. I want to see another day in the life of what this family looks like. I want to know that, even though we’re not going to be watching them anymore, these things are going to keep happening — like Phil is going to keep getting hurt, Luke is going to keep coming up with bad ideas, Haley is going to keep being irresponsible. We want to see that so the audience can imagine it continuing on.”
The show will be airing its final vacation episode on Feb. 12. The cast will be headed to Paris! While Luke and Alex Dunphy technically aren’t making the trip overseas, you should pay attention to the extras. “Our family vacation episodes have always been kind of a staple of Modern Family,” Nolan said. “It almost felt like you were going on a family vacation with like 100 people. Unfortunately, I’m not in the episode. Me and Ariel [Winter] both aren’t in it. But there are two French extras in the background of one of the shots who look a shocking amount like me and Ariel, so keep an eye out. That kind of gives you an idea of what our set is like. I asked our producer Steve Levitan, ‘I know it would break the fourth wall and everything but can I be in the back since it’s our final one? I can’t not be in it. Let me sneak in.’ We’ve got just such an easygoing, fun, lovely set.”
Nolan doesn’t have anything acting-wise lined up after Modern Family ends at the moment but he’s excited to see what the future holds. The world is his oyster. “I’ll take anything that comes my way,” he told HollywoodLife. “I’ve only been able to contractually to work on the show and I look forward to seeing what else I can do. I’d love to do more comedy. I started off doing dramas so I’d love to do that again. I would love to write. I got accepted to film school a couple of years ago. I was unable to go because of the show but that’s always an option.” Modern Family airs Wednesdays at 9 p.m. on ABC.