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Jesse Tyler Ferguson On His Emmy Nomination

It’s a good day for Modern Family. In addition to being nominated for the Emmy for Best Comedy Series, basically every actor in the show (with the glaring exception of Ed O’Neill) got an individual nod. This morning, we spoke with Jesse Tyler Ferguson about his nomination for Best Supporting Actor in a Comedy, along with his co-stars Eric Stonestreet and Ty Burrell. Obviously, he’s very excited.

Emma? It’s Lea Michele!

Sing me a song!
[Singing.] It’s time to try, defying gravity!

Okay, Jesse, I’m on to you. How are you feeling?
Excited is an understatement. I got a voice message from Ty Burrell. Eric Stonestreet called me, bawling, which was sweet, and of course started making me cry. The Twitter has blown up; I’ve gotten text messages — a lot is happening.

Were you expecting it?
No. I was absolutely, 100 percent cocky about the show getting nominated; I knew it would be. And I was certain that Eric and Ty would get them, but I really wasn’t expecting it for myself. I actually thought everyone would get one but me. I even sent out an e-mail saying, “If I’m the only cast member not nominated, I solemnly swear to not be moody, and to be happy for the show, and only cry quietly in privacy.”

It wasn’t you, but Ed O’Neill who didn’t get nominated.
I know, I can’t believe our fearless leader was not. But I really believe the show will be on for a long time, and he’ll be showered with praise and awards. I just wish he was on that ballot.

So do you have a performance of The Merchant of Venice today?
I’m literally onstage right now with a cell phone. One sec, I have a scene, I’ll be back in a second … Ha, no, we have a show tonight. We’re doing Shakespeare in the hottest weather New York has ever seen, and we’re loving it and having an awesome time. I’m really glad that I have that to look forward to tonight, because otherwise I’d completely implode; I’m so excited.

How do you deal with the heat?
If you could see my costume — at one point I wear this quilted robe, and it’s very heavy; there’s fur on it. Just seeing it hanging in my dressing room made me start to weep last night. But honestly, it’s such a rush doing it. People wait in the heat all day to get tickets, and if they can wait all day, I can certainly put on my sweat-logged costume and perform for them for a few hours.

Have any Modern Family castmates come to see you yet?
Not as of yet. Julie Bowen is supposed to come tonight, and hopefully she’ll make it in and I can give her a congratulatory hug. And Eric Stonestreet is supposed to come soon. He already has tickets.

Any ideas about what’s going to happen next season?
Gosh, I wish I did. I’m excited to get our first script, and I actually have to Skype into our first table read in a few weeks. That will be the first time that I see anything for next season. I’m totally in the dark, and I kind of like that.

After all this success and the Emmy nominations, is next year going to be the diva year on Modern Family?
Oh, absolutely. We actually started that last year. We pretend that we’re a loving, cohesive cast, but really it’s a nightmare on set. No … I don’t think anyone in the cast will be a diva. Actually, that’s not true: Baby Lily is a huge diva.

Jesse Tyler Ferguson On His Emmy Nomination