Julie Bowen was convinced her pregnancy would stop her being cast on 'Modern Family'.

The 46-year-old actress auditioned for the part of Claire Dunphy while she was carrying her twins Gus and John, now six, and she didn't think show bosses were too impressed by her ''humongous'' baby bump.

She said: ''I was pregnant with twins, and I kept thinking they weren't going to hire me.

''They kept bringing me in over and over and sort of staring at my humongous belly, and I thought, 'I'm never getting this job.' ''

Julie - who also has son Oliver, eight, with husband Scott Phillips - regarded the show as ''the best script I'd read in pilot season in years'' and admitted she ''went home and cried and cried and cried'' after the audition, so was delighted to land the role of her dreams.

And though she still loves working on modern family, Julie is keen to step behind the camera in future in order to challenge herself.

She told People magazine: ''I love 'Modern Family', but the reality is, it is a very safe place. I think to get that feeling of pride back, I need to feel a little unsafe again.''

Away from work, the actress' hectic family life often has her living in ''survival mode'' and she isn't afraid of not looking glamorous when playing with her kids.

She said: ''If we're going to the park, I'm going to be mud-splattered so I'm not thinking about how I'm going to have to physically present myself.''