Eric Stonestreet is setting the record straight.
The 50-year-old actor caught the attention of his fans when he announced his engagement to his fiancée Lindsay Schweitzer in August. When he shared photos of himself and his beloved, critics took to the comments to make note of their age difference.
However, the two are only about eight years apart, as Schweitzer recently turned 42.
Stonestreet recently spoke to Fox News and addressed the incident.
"Listen, she looks fantastic and I shouldn't be punished for her being so beautiful and young looking," he quipped. "… Eight years is not that big of a difference. I guess people think I look like a coal miner, like a grizzly bear hunter or something ridiculous, and she looks beautiful."
In response to critics at the time, he shared photos of Schweitzer with a filter that made her look much older – with white hair and wrinkles.
The actor told Fox News that occasionally someone in public will mistakenly assume that he and his fiancée are not a couple, joking that he understood it to be because she's "beautiful" and he is "this ogre or something like that."
"I think it's ridiculous," he said with a chuckle.
Meanwhile, Stonestreet said he got a funny response from his "Modern Family" co-star Jesse Tyler Ferguson when he shared the altered photos. Ferguson pointed out that the comedy they appeared in together featured a May-December couple between Gloria (Sofia Vergara) and Jay Pritchett (Ed O’Neill).
As for Ferguson and Stonestreet's relationship these days? The actor said the former co-stars are great.
"He gets to say whatever he wants about me, probably for the next 15 years, for all the crap that I put him through on the show," Stonestreet said of Ferguson. "So he gets to always have retaliation against me and make up for me, giving him trouble, pranking him on the show."
Stonestreet said he was "constantly after" Ferguson while filming "Modern Family," which ran on ABC from 2009-2020 and would prank and scare the actor.
"I would write things with my finger on the back window of his car, like 'I'm the redheaded guy from ‘Modern Family,’' ‘I live in a mansion,’" he recalled. "Well, I would write on his car, just different things like that. So then he would drive with this message written in the back of his car. That's one of the minor things that I would do to him. I tormented him. At some point, it became like, 'OK, well, he's not getting me back. This is just bullying. Cut it out.'"
Outside of acting and pranking his co-stars, Stonestreet is also busy promoting the National Pork Board. According to the star, the organization is doing "some myth-busting" about the pork producers of America and shedding "a positive light" on the industry while taking down some of the "negative connotations" that are circulated about it.
In addition, he's preparing to celebrate Halloween, having ordered some "creepy masks" that he plans to use to spook Schweitzer's 9-year-old sons. It's also a fun time of year for the star, as he sometimes sees people dressed up as Cam, his "Modern Family" character.
"When the show first started, people would send me pictures of them dressed as Cam, and then they put a pillow in their shirt and I'm like, 'You don't need to put a pillow in your shirt. Just wear the shirt. Come on!" he said.
Sometimes, people would make a couple's costume out of it, and dress as Ferguson's Mitch, who was married to Stonestreet's character, and even babies have been dressed as Cam, with pictures of their costumes going viral.
Since the show ended, Stonestreet reunited with Vergara when he appeared as a guest judge on "America's Got Talent," but it doesn't seem that any more "Modern Family" reunions or reboots are in the books just yet.
"I think the window was kind of closed on doing a spinoff," he admitted. "I think there was that opportunity, but I think it's kind of gone by the wayside at this point. But we'll see."
He did, however, note that he and his castmates are "all still in touch" and are "close friends."
Playing Cam was a special experience for Stonestreet, who said the dramatic but lovable football coach had some admirable qualities.
"Playing that character always was a great opportunity for me because Cam was a lot of things that I'm not sometimes," the actor explained, describing Cam as "patient and a celebrator of life."
"I do miss aspects of it [filming ‘Modern Family’], but mostly what I miss are my friends, the crew and all the people that who make the show and I always say, I didn't go to acting school, but I know for sure one thing they don't teach you in acting school is how to do the job for 11 years and then just say goodbye to everyone. You know, a lot of relationships were formed, a lot of friendships were made, and then all of a sudden that just ends."