Information Diet: Nolan Gould

The 'Modern Family' star uses his iPad to keep up with the latest books, games


Age 13 

Accomplishments Plays Luke Dunphy on ABC's Modern Family; stars in made-for-TV movie Ghoul, premiering Friday April 13, on Chiller TV; member of Mensa

Base Los Angeles 

What’s the first information you consume in the morning?

My schedule is usually pretty busy, so when I wake up in the morning, first thing I usually do is turn on the TV and watch shows from the night before. I eat breakfast and watch TV and try to wake up.

What occupies your mind in the car, on the subway, train or bus?

During long car rides to the set, after I study my script, I go onto my iPad to read books and play games. I’m working on the Lord of the Rings trilogy and The Hunger Games right now. I didn’t want to read The Hunger Games because I thought, “Ugh, that’s the book that everybody talks about.” But my brother bought it on my iPad and I read it, and now I’m a huge fan.

What media do you use in school?

I’m pretty much using media all day because my school is online. It’s sort of like homeschooling but also like going to real school—you log in and do all your work and email it to the teacher, and we have a teacher who oversees us on set.

What TV shows do you like?

I like a variety of shows—anything from reality shows like The Amazing Race and Survivor to shows like Raising Hope and The Middle and Suburgatory. Sometimes I go on Netflix and watch shows—that’s become a routine with me and my dad. Every other week, we sit down and watch two really goofy movies in a row, like Airplane or Young Frankenstein.

Before bed, do you bite into a novel, graze on Twitter or fast until morning?

I do go on Twitter right before I go to bed. I find that I can’t read books right before I go to bed because I’ll be thinking about what I just read—”Oh, what’s going to happen next?”

Give us the skinny on your favorite app.

I’m addicted to Words With Friends on my iPad. All anybody does on set to pass time is play that game. I’m pretty good at it—I think the highest word I ever spelled was 90 points.

BlackBerry or iPhone?

I have a BlackBerry. When we went to shoot Modern Family at Disneyland, I had another phone that I really liked, and I lost it there, and I was, like, “Oh no, what am I going to do?” And I got a BlackBerry the next day. I was lucky I lost my phone! I’m still figuring out how to use it.

What’s your biggest digital indulgence?

Probably the thing I use most in media is video games, but I have to limit myself. If I wake up super early in the morning and I’m not tired, I’ll play video games until everybody gets up. My favorite game is Skyrim—I’m the biggest nerd for that.

What’s your favorite gadget?

My MacBook Pro. I was a PC person beforehand—they were really cheap, really easy to use—but everybody kept saying, “Get a Mac!” So I got one and now I love it. There are so many helpful apps, and it’s awesome using GarageBand!


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