Reid Ewing has been on the show Modern Family since the first episode, now getting ready to film its final season. Last year he was finally made a series regular and his character is now part of the Dunphy family, having married and fathered children to Haley Dunphy in last season’s final episodes.
Raised in Florida and performing in theater there, he studied at the Dreyfoos School of the Arts in West Palm Beach and the School for Film and Television in New York before moving to Los Angeles. He moved to LA at 17 and booked the lead in a pilot, where he was cast as redneck monster truck driver. He even got a tattoo of the logo of the show, which he now regrets (where is that tattoo, I wanna know!). He also appeared in the films Fright Night (with my boyfriends Colin Farrell and Dave Franco) and 10 Rules for Sleeping Around.
Ewing has been an advocate for mental health awareness and has been open about his struggle with body dysmorphia. He was named as one of the faces of the future by Nylon Magazine’s Young Hollywood issue. In addition to acting, Ewing plays the piano, guitar, and banjo. He wrote the song “In the Moonlight (Do Me)” which became a cult favorite, which his character performed on Modern Family. After he tweeted about his attraction to a guy, the media made a big deal about the fact that he had come out. It wasn’t his intention to make a major coming out statement because he never hid it, it was just part of who he is. Reid recently moved back to Los Angeles and we had the opportunity to have a cocktail and a chat:
Alex Rodriguez: You did theater in your youth, but weren’t really sure acting was for you. What was the defining moment you realized this is what you want to do?
Reid Ewing: I wanted to do it as a kid. I probably just started because I wanted the attention, but then I saw it came pretty naturally to me. At some point in my mid-twenties, I was going to drop out because the success ratio in Hollywood is so low. Even with the Modern Family gig, I had too many hours in the day and not enough work. So, I left Hollywood and gave some other jobs a try and nothing was a perfect fit.
That’s when Modern Family called and signed me up as a semi-regular character.
You have been a part of Modern Family since day one. How have you changed the most during your years on the show?
Acting has come a lot easier since I started. I used to be self-conscious in front of the camera and now I’m not as much. That’s the hardest part about acting for a lot of young people.
I may have changed as a person, but my rapport with the Modern Family people has always been the same. Sometimes people bring out a different side of you and I like the person I am when I’m on set.
The chemistry seems pretty tight with the cast of Modern Family. What’s it really like being on set and working with your cast mates?
I don’t have amazing bonding stories and none of them are like my best friend but I due honestly respect them all. They all have something charming about them and being a part of the mix is thrilling.
Did you have any clue your character of Dylan would be such a long-lasting part of the Dunphy family?
Def nope. I kinda gave up hope a while ago. It was my dream when I was younger. I remember thinking, “Why won’t they just make me a regular!?” And when I least expected it, they did!
The media went crazy went you “came out” of the closet. But you didn’t really come out, you just were never in. How did having your sexuality discussed in the media affect your personal life?
Nobody really cares about my personal life. At least I haven’t really noticed anyone caring. Being gay is just a fact, and I guess I just don’t feel insecure about it.
You have openly talked about your battle with body dysmorphia and your relationship with plastic surgery. How have you worked through your struggle? Is this still something you battle with today?
Well, I am going to get some fillers to try to cover up some questionable work so, yea, I guess I do deal with it. I don’t think I’ll ever do any crazy procedures anymore though.
As I always want to say, don’t do it unless it’s a last resort.
Do you think it’s limiting to be an openly out actor?
Being me is pretty limiting, too. Jk. But every actor is limited in some way. If people want to hire me, that’s what matters.
What is a typical day for you like when not filming?
I’m mostly trying to make art of some form, taking care of my dogs. I’m always trying to learn something new, so I read a lot.
What is your advice for someone starting out in the industry?
Well if they can live their dream, then do it. But they have to be living their dream whether or not they can get jobs because that can be a problem. I guess, make your own jobs. I sorta do. Try to find like-minded people – easier said than done.
You are big fan of anime. What was your first exposure to the genre? What about anime interests you so much?
My friend Zak Burnside aka Octophonix really showed me a lot about it. I like it because it is a fascinating tradition. The anime world seems more fun than the real world. I can just keep digging into the subject and always find something new and interesting. Also, there are character types that you see throughout many anime. I like these weird character types that are popular in anime, it never gets old. I could keep going on the subject forever.
You will be filming the final season of Modern Family pretty soon. What are you parting words for your Modern Family fans?
I love Modfam for what it is, people understand nothing lasts forever.
What kind of project do you want to work on next?
I’m open to meeting new people and doing cool new professional stuff so it really could be anything.
Worst regular job you’ve had to work:
Being a landscaper in Florida in the summer. Hell.
Biggest pet peeve:
Being called “man” as if they are affirming my fragile masculinity.
Most embarrassing song on your playlist
Let me look. Down in New Orleans from the Princess and the Frog.
You can follow Reid on Instagram: media_reid