Marie Claire: Kudos on the SAG Award for comedy series ensemble! And your dress for it – the Pamella Roland – was one of our top picks of the night. Did you have to try on a million different dresses?
Sarah Hyland: My stylist [Anita Patrickson] showed it to me and I loved it. But I was second-guessing it for a while because it felt so much like an after-party dress because of its length.
MC: So what did you do?
SH: I kept looking at the dress and finally I was at my final fitting and I thought: "It needs to be longer! And that would change everything." That was on a Thursday and the SAG Awards were on a Saturday. And the amazing people at Pamella Roland, and herself, remade the dress in 24-hours and it arrived at my stylist's place at 8 a.m. the day of the SAG Awards.
MC: That's amazing. So for these awards shows do you talk with everyone beforehand about what each of you is wearing?
SH: Yes we do that, the women on the show. I'm always that annoying person drilling everyone on what they're wearing and especially what color. Because I don't want to be in the same color as Sofia Vergara! I'm sorry, I don't even want to compete with that!
MC: [Laughing]. I don't think any woman on earth does! So let's talk Vampire Academy. Completely different than Modern Family. How was the experience?
SH: I loved it. I went into it thinking, "Okay this is going to be so challenging and different and new." And it ended up being SO much fun. And even though it's a badass-kickass-motorcycle explosions-Zoey in her underwear-kind of film, there are different types of comedy in it as well.
MC: And your character, Natalie, kind of the loser nerd of the bunch…
SH: On a regular shoot, something like Modern Family or even when I did Bonnie & Clyde, you think, "Do I have dark circles? Is my lipstick ok? How's my hair?" With this it was more like, "Eh, I don't care. Do I look nerdy? Is my hair frizzy?" All I cared about it was the continuity of where my fake pimples were.
MC: Ah that's great! And how about working with Mark Waters?
SH: It was amazing. It's so hard to put into words because Mean Girls came out in 2004, I was 13 about to turn 14, and it was such a life defining moment. I'd only ever done dramatic stuff. Modern Family is my first comedy. And I didn't even realize while watching Friends and Will & Grace that I was gaining comedic timing from those shows. It was kind of a defining moment when I watched Mean Girls because I started to really understand it.
MC: That's so cool. Do you still watch a lot of TV?
SH: I am a TV junkie: Walking Dead, Game of Thrones, True Blood, American Horror Story, Community, Stupid Realty Singing Competition Shows, The Bachelor, Breaking Bad, House of Cards. There's a lot of good TV out there.
MC: So much. And there's also a lot of bad TV that's really good.
SH: Yes! I just saw two episodes of Rich Kids of Beverly Hills. It was like a train wreck, you can't pull your eyes away from it because it's so fascinating but so awful at the same time.