We can’t imagine a more perfect cast that the one that Modern Family already has. Every single of one of them has made the roles their own, almost like they were written with them in mind. So you’ll be surprised to hear that hardly any of them were the first choice for the parts! But who did the producers have lined up before the perfect cast finally came together?
Craig T. Nelson was first choice to play Modern Family patriarch Jay Pritchett
Family patriarch Jay Pritchett was originally pegged to be played by Emmy Award winner Craig T. Nelson. Best known for his role as Hayden Fox in Coach and as the voice of Mr. Incredible in the 2004 animated film The Incredibles, producers originally approached Nelson although his pay expectations were too high. Ed O’Neill, who the role eventually went to (and who just IS Jay) explained, “When I read [the script] I thought, ‘Oh boy, this is pretty good.’ And I called my managed and he said, ‘Well, they’re out to Craig T. Nelson.’” We’re grateful that they couldn’t afford Nelson because no-one plays grumpy good guy Jay Pritchard quite like Ed O’Neill. We're also sure that Nelson is kicking himself since Sofia Vergara could have been his onscreen wife! We wonder if he'd known that to begin with it would have made a difference?
Continue reading: Meet The 'Modern Family' Cast That Could Have Been (But We're Glad Wasn't)