EXCLUSIVE: Modern Family's Rico Rodriguez on avoiding the pitfalls of child stardom: 'I still have to do chores!'

Sep 16th, 2014
EXCLUSIVE: <i>Modern Family</i>'s Rico Rodriguez on avoiding the pitfalls of child stardom: 'I still have to do chores!'
We are family: Rico Rodriguez with sister Rain and father Roy.
Sep 16th, 2014

You know him as the loveable Manny Delgado on Modern Family, son of Gloria (Sofia Vergara) and stepson of Jay (Ed O'Neill), but Rico Rodriguez hasn't let himself get caught up in the pressures of being a Hollywood child star.

TheFIX spoke to the 16-year-old about how his parents keep him and 21-year-old sister Raini, the star of the Disney Channel's Austin & Ally, in check.

"Growing up in the spotlight, we all know it's kind of a tricky situation," Rico tells us. "But honestly, you have to have great support system like I do with my parents and how I do with all my family [Rico has two brothers, Ray and Roy, Jr], they kinda keep me grounded.

"When I'm done with everything I go home and I'm my regular self, I still have to do chores... it's always good to take out the trash!"

So there you go, no special privileges for this Hollywood youngster! And it turns out Rico's greatest acting idol is also close to home — his sister Raini.

"She's one of the reasons I started acting in the first place," Rico says. "My sister and I are very, very supportive of each other. We try to help each other get better at our craft. There's just no tension at all. I love her."

Related video: Rico's awesome sister Raini

They're so close, in fact, that Raini spent four months planning a surprise party for her brother's 16th birthday recently. "I came home to 90 people in my backyard!" Rico laughs. "I had no idea that was going to happen."

Rico's sister kicked off her acting career aged 11 when she was signed by a Californian agent. Two years later, she made her TV debut on comedy-drama Huff.

That same year, eight-year-old brother Rico followed her lead and made his first appearance in short film Los Tamales. But he really hit the big time when he won the role of Manny in Modern Family in 2009.

With Modern Family season six returning soon, Rico says he's learnt the most over the years from his on-screen dad Ed O'Neill.

"I think he's made me the better actor that I am today," Rico reveals. "When I was younger and first started out on the show, I used to talk a lot and mumble, he couldn't understand me. And he kinda brought me back and really worked with me on my enunciation, my diction and how to hit the proper words."

Modern Family season five, featuring the Australia episode and Mitch and Cam's wedding, is available on DVD and Blu-ray on Wednesday, September 17.

Need a refresher for where MF left off last season? Watch below:

Modern Family season six premieres on Sunday, September 28 at 7.30pm on Ten.

In pics: Modern Family cast's Australia trip in pics

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