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Nolan Gould Doesn't Want Modern Family Fans Looking Up To Him As A Role Model

There's book-smart, and then there's street-smart ... and then there's Luke Dunphy (Nolan Gould), the youngest child of Claire (Julie Bowen) and fan-favorite Phil Dunphy (Ty Burrell) on "Modern Family." Out of the couple's three children, Luke is far from the most intellectual and regularly finds himself in self-inflicted predicaments, whether he's getting his head stuck between the banisters, injuring his tongue with a handheld fan, or running into walls. Throughout the 11 seasons of "Modern Family," audiences watched Luke grow up ... well, sort of. Due to his well-meaning but absent-minded persona, he struggles in most aspects of life, including love and academics.

With any show that's on for such a lengthy stretch of time, fans begin to feel personally connected to the characters, and it can sometimes be a hard blow to realize just how different the actor behind a favorite character can be from their on-screen persona. It's for this reason that Gould isn't fond of the whole "role model" concept — those putting him on a pedestal don't actually know the real him.

Fans shouldn't idolize Nolan Gould because they don't actually know him

In an interview with USA Today, Alex Dunphy actor Ariel Winter and Nolan Gould were asked whether or not they feel like role models. "Odd as this is to say, I would rather people look up to our characters than us as people. On social media and in interviews, it's not really easy to tell exactly who somebody is," he said before backtracking a little. "That being said, I don't know if I want people to look up to Luke because he's a bit of a mess-up. He says some really bad things."

Gould may not want to be put on a pedestal, but he has done some role model-worthy things in life aside from starring on one of television's biggest sitcoms. At only 14 years old, he graduated from high school and enrolled in his first college course: photography. He's also a member of Mensa, the world's largest high-IQ society. Despite landing the part of Luke on "Modern Family," Gould wanted to set himself up for a successful future outside of Hollywood. "Fame is really fickle," he told the Wall Street Journal. "It can change really quickly, so I need something to fall back on if fame doesn't work and I have to become an economist or something."