In Fully Committed, I play 40 characters—the main character, who is a reservationist, plus the people who call trying to get into this hot restaurant in New York City. I also play the chef, the line cook, the maître d’, the business manager, Gwyneth Paltrow's assistant...I modeled the hostess after Adele.
The play’s director, Jason Moore, and I went to Daniel and Jean-Georges in Manhattan. I called the host desk at Jean-Georges to say I was running late and really paid attention to how the person answering the phone treated me. I dropped my napkin a few extra times to see how quickly they would pick it up. They were right on it.
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There have been times since Modern Family started that I’ve tried to name-drop myself to get a restaurant reservation. They never care. It’s humiliating.
Chef for a Day
Justin, my husband, gave me a coupon book. It has everything from a pasta-making class with Nancy Silverton to throwing a dinner party with F&W’s Justin Chapple to working a shift on the line at Terrine, the L.A. restaurant we’re investors in.
Drinking on the Modern Family Set
Ty Burrell and I share a passion for cocktails. We’re always trading recipes. He’s actually made me home-distilled gin a few times. And Ed O’Neill is a huge wine-o. He loves a great red.
I’m really interested in creating things the way that chefs do. I’m always Googling simple techniques like how to dice an onion or debone chicken. I bought a chef jacket, and when I put it on I get superambitious for some reason. It’s like a Superman cape. I just feel like I can do anything. I can’t, but I feel like I can.