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By Chris Gardner
Last fall, Julie Bowen took home a much-deserved Emmy for her Best Supporting Actress in a Comedy skills on "Modern Family." Just a few days ago, she deserved another trophy -- for best comedic interview with an actress on Wonderwall. Why, you ask? Well, Bowen, 42, had us cracking up the whole time during a rollicking phone interview that covered such hilarious topics as her now-broken Emmy, why she never wants to meet Lady Gaga and her newfound -- and rather inappropriate -- crush on a One Direction hottie (he's a teenager!). But the chat wasn't all giggles and snorts. Bowen did get serious when asked about her charitable efforts on behalf of Baby2Baby and Huggies. Read on to catch the jokes, and learn about get informed on her good cause.
Wonderwall: You've had such hysterical performances this season on "Modern Family," during a year in which you also won an Emmy. Did the Emmy win change anything for you? Was there more -- or less -- pressure to go be funny?
Julie Bowen: The first day that I had to go back to work after winning the Emmy, I was like "I can't do this today, I can't do it," because I can be very self-doubting, and the crew immediately was rude and horrible to me in the most fantastic way, in the most loving way. They were like "I'm sorry the Emmy Award winner has forgotten her line. Would the Emmy Award winner like us to tell her her line?" I was like "All right, all right." So they took the air out of that balloon really, really quickly, and I'm so grateful, because when you are doing comedy, especially the stupid physical comedy that I do, if I'm not comfortable I freeze up, and -- it does happen sometimes -- I get so nervous I just freeze, and it's going to be a bad performance. I was very grateful for them making relentless fun of me, and for my son smashing my Emmy.
WW: Did he really smash it?
JB: He teed it. He golfed the ball out of the Emmy woman's arms, so it's all there, it's just the ball is no longer attached. It turns out it still works perfectly well; it still does exactly what it did before.
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WW: Let's hope you don't freeze up on May 20 when you'll be onstage in Las Vegas, hosting the Billboard Music Awards with Ty Burrell. Are you nervous?
JB: Oh my gosh! I am so nervous! I'm absolutely beyond myself with heart palpitations. I said to Ty [Burrell] the other day, "Why are we doing this? Why are we doing this? I'm too old, I'm too not cool, I don't know anything about music," and he said, "Because we get to go to Vegas for two days together and be goofy people." So I think as long as we can make ourselves and our lack of hipness the butt of the joke, I think we'll be fine. If they try and make us cool, we are dead.
WW: Will there be any singing or dancing on your part, perhaps?
JB: I think the first item in the contract reads, "Performer Julie 'no singing, no dancing' Bowen. But we are working on something entertaining, and that's all I'm going to say because we haven't worked it out yet, but yes, I think maybe parodying our lack of skills in that arena could come up. We're banding about ideas right now, and by us I mean the writers [Laughs].
WW: There are some big names up for awards that night, from Adele to Rihanna to Lady Gaga. And Justin Bieber will be performing. Who are you most excited about meeting in the music business?
JB: I actually don't want to meet Lady Gaga because I love her so much. She and Madonna are like, I don't want to meet them, I want them to stay on a pedestal. I don't want to know if Lady Gaga has a blackhead or has bad breath. She needs to stay on a pedestal of raw meat and fantastic footwear, like I don't need to know really what's happening there. As far as who can I get excited about. Oh God, Rihanna, but again I just kind of want to sit on the stage and sway back and forth. Nicki Minaj, I think is the most "crazable" performer, and I'm excited to see what she is going to do. I don't know if they are coming, but this is what a geek I am; So you know who Harry Styles is?
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WW: Harry Styles from One Direction, yes!
JB: There you go! That's right! That's my illegal crush. That is a crush that is going to land me in the slammer.
WW: From what I've read about him, he may hit on you back. He likes older woman, according to recent reports.
JB: [Gasp] Really? I am older, I'm older. I was watching Sofia [Vergara] crush it on "SNL" -- she's amazing -- and she introduced them. I'd heard of them, but then I was like, "Oh, who's that thing with the hair everywhere?" And so I went online and I was like, "I'm in looorve, I'm in old lady looorve!"
WW: Speaking of love, I was sitting at home last night preparing for this interview and I happened to flip through People magazine's Most Beautiful People issue, and I came across your photo! You looked stunning without your makeup on.
JB: I haven't seen it yet! I am firmly committed to not seeing anything unless I have to see it and so far no one has forced me to see it. I have this image in my mind that I look like Miss Piggy -- like sort of a wrinkly Miss Piggy -- so I'm just going to let that stay there unless I am proved otherwise. Other people have been kind about it but I cannot imagine anything else. I like to be painted up like a tranny -- I like me some paint. I don't know why they asked me to do that [laughs].
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WW: You are so funny. You looked lovely and beautiful and radiant. I have to commend you for that, because in your business, which is obviously centered around talent but also so much looks and beauty, there you were, facing the world, essentially, with no makeup.
JB: Oh, it's so much looks! Honestly, I would have rather showed my naked butt than my naked face. My butt has not had nearly as much hard living as my face, so there was a moment when I thought "This is insane, this is suicide." But, you know, what are you going to do? Thank God for the fact that most of the time I do get to have a full face of war paint -- I love it.
WW: You just hosted the Huggies Hawaiian and Baby2Baby Luau event in Beverly Hills. Let's talk about diapers!
JB: I have lived and breathed nothing but clean, dirty and every stage in between diapers for the last five years of my adult life with my three delightful boys. I can honestly say, working with Baby2Baby, this organization -- they take used clothing and furniture and everything for kids, and they find homes for where it's needed. And with this event, Huggies partners with them to give diapers to moms who need them. The thought of a child walking around with no diaper or one diaper for two days, it's not cool. That's a bad, bad situation comedically, and tragically -- it is not good. I love Baby2Baby .... They help out these, a lot of them, young mothers, single mothers, a lot of homeless mothers -- it's fantastic. So if you are wandering down the aisle in the supermarket wondering what diaper to utilize on your child's booty, think Huggies Hawaiian diapers.
WW: Are you happy to be past the stage of motherhood when you are no longer dealing with diapers -- dirty ones at that?
JB: It's never done! Those fraternity years can get dicey [laughs]. The twins still wear a diaper at night, 12 hours is still too long for a 3-year-old to go flawlessly. There are some nights they do fine, but other nights they don't do so well. But it's still something a little sad. We gave our cribs away last week -- we had a Baby2Baby drive at our school -- and we gave away all of our little baby blankets, the baby cribs and, like, all the little tiny things, and it's sad. It makes you feel like, "Huh. Am I really done reproducing? Do I have one foot in the grave? Do I need surgery?"
WW: Since you brought it up, are you done?
JB: Oh yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah! My husband for sure is done, so if I show up with a kid you can be sure it's not his [laughs]. We're done with making babies. We have our three boys, that was completely by accident, and we're not making any more.
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WW: You grew up with only girls and now you're with only boys. Do you miss having all that girl time in your life?
JB: I do. I'm really lucky that I have sisters and I'm incredibly close to them, so I don't miss girls, and I have a lot of good girl friends. I have a little pang of jealousy when I'm around Ty [Burrell] and his daughter, or other friends and their daughters. I think maybe I want a daughter, but then I go to work and I have Ariel [Winter], and she's the closest thing I have to a daughter. I love her to pieces. I'm thrilled at the end of the day when she has to get disciplined by her mom and not me. I'm happy with that, it all works out fine for me. Girls are a handful, a handful! I Twitter her into obedience some days, like, "Put a shirt on, young lady!" [laughs]
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