Ed O’Neill Might Have Wound Up in the Mob If It Wasn’t For Acting

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Speaking with Rolling Stone, Modern Family co-star Ed O’Neill reveals where he might have been headed if he didn’t get into acting… and it’s a bit surprising.

It turns out O’Neill wasn’t always the lovable guy we know him as today.  While talking about his youth, he reveals “I was drinking too much and fighting almost every night.  I liked speed, too. Man, I liked speed.”  After earning a rep around the neighborhood, O’Neill’s friends in the mafia in Youngstown, Ohio almost made him an offer he couldn’t refuse.  He explains, “They said, ‘You’re a tough guy, we trust you, we could find some things for you to do, light work, collecting money.’  But I knew how that was going to end.  It was going to end badly.”

O’Neill went on to star on television shows like Married… with Children and L.A. Dragnet before his current success as one of the leads on the ABC comedy Modern Family.  Though O’Neill was game for the series from the get-go, he was initially passed over for the part because the producers wanted former Coach star Craig T. Nelson

So how did O’Neill end up in the role?  He explains, “After I read the pilot, all I could think was, ‘This is a hit!’ But the offer went to Craig T. Nelson. Then my manager tells me that Nelson asked for too much money. I said, ‘Make the deal.’ Craig T., I heard, wanted to fire every fucking body that was connected to him when the show started doing what it’s doing.”

It has turned out pretty well for O’Neill so far: he has gotten two Emmy nominations for his work on the show in the past two years.  Not bad for a second choice!
 
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In college, overachiever Christopher McKittrick double-majored in Film and English because he loves to read, write, and watch movies. Since then Chris – who was born and raised on Long Island, New York and currently lives in Queens – has become a published author of fiction and non-fiction, a contributor to entertainment websites, and has spoken about literature, film, and comic books at various conferences across the country when he’s not getting into trouble in New York City (apparently it’s illegal to sleep on street corners...)For more information about Chris, visit his website here!

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