Ariel Winter Says ‘Modern Family’ Character Parallels Her Real Teenage Life

A Photo Reminder of Just How Much Ariel Winter and Nolan Gould Grew Up
Let's stop to take a moment to recognize and appreciate our journey with Ariel Winter and Nolan Gould through time

Ariel Winter, 18, has grown up on Modern Family, and now she says a lot of what’s happened to her character, Alex Dunphy, has happened to her in real life.

In an exclusive Entertainment Tonight excerpt from the comedy series’ Season 7 DVD, Winter commented, “We first started with [Alex] and she was like super, super, super young, super focused on doing all of her school and getting that done, and not really concerned about like the social aspect. Then you saw Alex transition into being kind of like a more normal teenager – really caring what others think.”

Winter added that some of Alex’s stress dealing with social situations mirrored her own being a TV star.

The actress explained, “You see her having struggles with friends and real life things that are actually interesting for me to go through, as well as having Alex go through. That’s been pretty cool with my life paralleling hers as well. I learned a lot about sending in college essays and how [Alex] dealt with rejection from Harvard!”

While Alex is heading to Caltech, Winter is headed to UCLA next year, deferred until 2017 due to Modern Family’s production schedule.

Season 8 of Modern Family premieres Wednesday at on ABC.