Rico Rodriguez Talks Emmys, New Season of ‘Modern Family’ and Toys

/ September 21, 2011

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Fresh off of its five Emmy wins, Modern Family returns for its third season tonight on ABC.

So, what exactly is in store for the Pritchett and Dunphy crew this season? And what was it like to win all those trophies? We spoke to everyone’s favorite grown-up kid, Rico Rodriguez, this week to get the scoop on season 3, his experience at the Emmys and what it’s like to serve as K-Mart’s official ‘Fun Ambassador’ for the second year in a row.

Rodriguez, who plays Manny Pritchett on the series, told us he “loved every minute” of the Emmys, singling out the show’s second-straight win for Outstanding Comedy Series as one of his favorite moments.

“We were hoping [that we would win],” he told Celebuzz. “I was keeping a positive mind about everything. We don’t want to get too cocky, because then something would happen and we wouldn’t deserve it. But when we did, we got really excited. I was very happy when we won.”

Rico added that the show’s victory at the Emmys has him extra-excited to return to the Modern Family set next week. “[When we won] last year, we were in shock. We were just in awe, we were just so happy. Every day we give our best, but that day was just the best day. We came back [to the set] and everyone started clapping. It was just a great feeling. We’re actually off this week … so next week will be even better.”

Modern Family picked up two additional acting trophies on Sunday, for Ty Burrell and Julie Bowen. Does that mean Rico’s on-screen parents, Sofia Vergara and Ed O’Neill are next in line? According to Rico, maybe. “Last year, Eric [Stonestreet] won, and this year, Ty [and] Julie won, so probably Sofia will win next year also,” he said.

As for whether he thinks he’ll get nominated next year, he said, “It could happen! Who knows? … Good things come when you wait, so, I’ll be waiting!”

Rico, who told us he only stayed out until about 10:30 on Emmys night, also saved room to tease the upcoming season of Modern Family. “Well, for the season premiere, we’re going to a dude ranch in Jackson, Wyoming, so you can kind of figure out what Manny would do. But I can’t give too much away. You just have to watch.”

In the meantime, Rico has been busy working with K-Mart to come up with this year’s Fab 15 list of holiday toys for all ages. Among the toys on the list this year are Let’s Rock Elmo, I am T-Pain Microphone and the Barbie Designable Hair Extensions and Doll.

“I was with K-Mart toy experts,” he said, when asked how long it took to come up with the Fab 15 list. “We buckled down, we researched last year’s toys to see how we could compare and even make it better than last year’s toys. It took awhile, but we got it done at a quick pace.”

Rico, who says he exchanges gifts every year with his Modern Familly co-stars, is K-Mart’s ‘Fun Ambassador’ for the second year in a row. So what perks come with the title, beyond getting to play with toys? “You get your own office,” he said, laughing.

As for acting, Rico, 13, says he wants to continue acting as he grows up. “For now, I really enjoy acting. Whatever happens, happens. But right now, my mindset is acting. I really enjoy it a lot. And toys.”

Modern Family premieres tonight at 9PM.