'Modern Family' on the lookout for new Baby Lily


Image Credit: Colleen Hayes/ABC

Modern Family has taken another step toward re-casting Baby Lily: The ABC comedy is spreading the word around the casting community that it is looking for an “Asian, 3-to 4-year-old” to play the daughter of Mitchell and Cameron. The role is currently played by Jaden and Ella Hiller, the docile and very quiet twins who have traded off portraying Lily for the last two seasons.

There is still a chance the Hillers will stay on the show, but the writers want to keep their options open. The show resumes production next month in Los Angeles. “We adore Jaden and Ella, but have started to think that they’d rather be at home playing than working as actors,” executive producer Steve Levitan told EW. “If we end up making a change, it’s only because we want what’s best for them.”

In May, Levitan told EW that at some point, Lily has to stop being a silent baby and start becoming a laughing little girl. “We all may determine that as gorgeous and sweet as Jaden and Ella are, it’s not what they signed up to do or what they love,” he said. “Maybe they don’t love to be on a set and have to listen to us do a scene 10 times. Maybe they would be happier being kids. We don’t want them to be unhappy. If we feel it’s not in their best interest to stay, we will replace them, and ask that people forgive us for doing so.”

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  • Mags

    Not that I want the kids to be unhappy, but I really hope they don’t recast. Those little girls are perfect for the role and the fact that they are so stoic among the craziness surrounding them in the family makes the scenes with them that much funnier.

    • scorpo

      You could not be more on point!

      • Lisa S

        Of all the stupid articles on EW this week, this one takes the cake.

      • LIGrrl

        DISAGREE! The baby is the only bad thing about that show. Replace her with someone with emotions and it could only improve this great show.

      • Carl

        @lLgRRL-the baby does have emotions–they’re just inscrutable.

    • Alan

      I disagree. It always annoys me when kids on TV don’t act like real kids. I remember on Everybody Loves Raymond apparently they had 3 kids, who you only say for 2 minutes every 10th episode. I mean what family is like that?? I am more annoyed than amused by the Mute Creepy Silent Baby Lily.

      • Kate

        See I think of Lily as the anti-Michelle Tanner. Not every kid on tv needs to be constantly mugging and throwing out catch phrases.

      • Alan

        Oh God, not that I want Lily to be a Michelle Tanner or Rudy Huxtable….but maybe a smile or a giggle? It’s the Shell Shock Serious Face that creeps me out, like she’s severely depressed about something.

      • HM

        Quiet, stoic, solemn, practically unreadable 1-2 year olds are perfectly normal. Haven’t you ever been to a daycare center or nursery school? I was for many years when my own boys were in daycare. Around 1 or 2 years old, after they’ve learned to walk but before they’ve become really talkative, some toddlers can be almost eerily calm around adults, particularly strangers. It’s likely because they’re still developing socially, and it’s also likely because they’re merely being very observant rather than interactive. One of those daycare toddlers might come up to you and give you a seemingly cold stare, and you might try smiling at him or her, jacking up the smile higher and higher as he or she shows no response, until the kid wanders off to play with toys or familiar friends.

        Within a couple of years, they’ll be loud and engaged and running around, and they’ll happily talk your ears off.

        For now, I think Lily’s behavior is normal and within the range of behaviors for regular toddlers. If the writers want to let the character develop, that will change.

      • Annette

        My niece is 10 months and already acts about 2 years old. She likes to play and talks a lot. She walks and cry’s when she does not no anyone. Lily is a quiet girl but she should start saying a few things and smiling.

      • Gigi

        I always thought Everyone Loves Raymond producers were being really respectful of those kids by not using them so much. Not many shows would do that.

      • me

        Ever watch the opening of Everybody Loves Raymond from the first season. Ray specifically states “It’s not about the kids”.

      • Vintagemom

        She is a beautiful child, but you would expect that she would interact with her parents and smile once in a while.

    • Ann

      Agreed. I love their quietness…it’s actually funny, considering everyone else around them are crazy. If they do recast Lily, I’d like the new kids to have the same personality type.

    • orkestra

      I don’t mind quiet kids, and I like the idea of Lily being so calm compared to the rest of the family, but these kids just look unhappy being on-screen. I’m sure they can find another girl to play her who enjoys being there. Let those twins go off and do something they enjoy.

    • E

      I thought the same thing. The fact that cam is so over the top and Lily so stoic often makes for laughs. If they do have to recast I hope they maintain that balance.

    • charlotte

      Exactly. I love how quite they are. Lily is just the silent observer among the crazies.

    • Pen

      That girl always looks like she hates her life. It may work in context but she’s not acting, she legit hates her life. Some babies seem to actually enjoy working (Raising Hope baby) and others don’t (Lily). I hope they recast.

      • Miranda

        I’ve seen video of them on set when they’re not filming. Those kids do not hate life. They laugh and play. The problem is that they become stoic when the show is filming. It’s worked so far but it’s not clear if they’ll be able to act when it becomes necessary.

      • Sofia

        I agree, I would like them to recast. Those girls look miserable. I would understand if one twin was quite and in another scene her sister would smile or laugh, but you get nothing. It’s like both are truly miserable, even when Gloria hugs her and cuddles her, the girl does not react at all. It’s creepy,,,,, how exactly the same their personalities are.

    • Joy

      One of those little girls is actually a boy

      • Joey M

        Sounds like my last date in West Hollywood.

      • Michelle

        ^ LMFAO!!!!

      • Burnsey

        Why would you lie about something like that? Seriously, are you on drugs or so in need of attention that you would lie about an infant? Both of these twins are female, and you are an ass.

      • JAck Rob

        burnsey is a meansy

    • sarah

      I disagree. They are far too quiet.

    • seattleellen

      Mags, I agree completely. I love the little twins that play Lily now – I really hope they do not have to recast. That would be a shame. After all, the writers had her acting out by – remember – the biting storyline.

      • LuvModernFamily

        I don’t recall any acting at all on the part of Lily. It was in the story line but it seemed that all the others acted out the scenes; not the catatonic zombie twins.

    • RJ

      What you are forgetting is that it can take MANY MANY takes to get the baby to sit still and do what the director and mother and/or handler wants them to do. As the producer says in the article, when you have to do ten or more takes for a scene, especially one involving a lot of actors and moving parts, it is INCREDIBLY EXPENSIVE to have everyone sitting around because a baby won’t sit still or stop crying. The Olsen twins we’re prefect angels and LOVED to be on screen, and apparently the Hiller twins don’t seem to be showing signs they want this life. I’d rather they switch them now while you won’t rally know the difference.

    • susan

      hellloooo….they are babies….they have no clue what they want or dont want. their parents have a clue though… this is so gros…..

      • peggym

        They know what they want now, and apparently it isn’t to sit around at tv studio all day. Theye’re people, not dolls, and have definite opiions, even if they can’t vocalize them.

      • Jen

        Have you ever been around a toddler? Trust me, they know what they want!

      • LuvModernFamily

        If they don’t look happy, ummm… that could be a sign that they are not enjoying it and would rather be home playing. Nothing wrong with that. Get kids who like being on set.

    • agnes

      Totally agree.

    • vicki

      Perfectly said!!!! I loved the original Lily. And its sad when people refer to the original twins as creepy…they were beautiful and very normal…seeing the typecast fake smiley Shirley temples gets old….jay and lily were the grounded type characters on the show. I’m sad to hear the twins needed a life outside of acting (if indeed that is really true )

  • penelope

    Good! Those kids are adorable, but they honestly look like they’d rather be ANYWHERE else but on camera. Let them go off and be happy and find another kid that enjoys being on camera.

    • cookie

      I agree 100%. We’ve often commented on how boring she is.

  • Jane

    Completely understand that these kids are working at a very young age, but those girls are freaking adorable. They will be hard to replace.

    • LuvModernFamily

      Not so much.

      • Sam

        Quite the contrary, LuvModernFamily.

  • Alan

    I normally don’t like Re-casting or SORAS-ing because they are Soap Opera tactics, but I would love a change of Lily. What baby in the world is mute and deadpan all day long? Judging from the producer’s comments, it seems the current babies are not happy on the set and maybe their parents probably misjudged when deciding to put their kids into show biz. I would love to see a new Lily.

    • Buddy

      I was mute and deadpan when I was a baby. My mom said my twin sister would go nuts, throwing bags of sugar and flour all over the kitchen, while I’d sit there watching her. Quiet kids do exist, you know. It’s a temperament.

      • Alan

        True, I was quiet too. But did you smile? It’s Lily’s Creepy Stone Face that creeps me out. Like she’s the little boy in The Ring. I’m sure most babies laugh or smile at least once in a while even if they are quiet.

      • Asha

        She never seems happy though. We’ve watched a lot of behind the scenes stuff and she looks just as miserable when she’s not acting. I think they need to get those girls out of the biz and into preschool.

      • hj

        I was a creepy quiet baby and a creepy quiet toddler. My parents had no idea if ANYTHING was going on in my head because while other children were running around, I would sit there and stare off into space. Eventually they realized it was because I was extremely observant and when I began to talk, I would often scare my parents with the things that I know. They never realized that the entire time I was “staring off into space” I was actually listening to adults’ conversations. Then once I hit elementary school I became extremely talkative but to this day, I’m sometimes silent and stoic. Some people simply have the quiet observer personality.

    • Lil’ Kid Lover

      What does a baby know about being happy? Sounds more like the producers just wanted kids with different personalities or the parents were a pain and they want to be nice about letting the girls go.

      • Mrs.Crabtree

        Lil Kid Lover? Is this a pedophile site now?

      • Jesse


      • Alan

        Some people may need clarification: Lil Kid Lover is Michael from The Offce’s online dating name to show women that he likes kids. He doesnt get the double entendre.

      • Anona Muss

        Careful with that moniker. Myself, I like to talk about Youtube film crews being on location. L’il kid lover is too risky.

      • Asha

        Seriously, babies tend to be very happy. It’s not hard to make a baby smile or laugh. My son used to laugh when you told him “I pity the fool” Babies in general are very happy smiley and engaged. These babies never seem to be engaged in the scene and are always looking off camera at what I am assuming is their parents. Let’s get real, she’s just a prop for Cameron to dress up anyway. They should just use a doll instead of scarring a child.

      • Jen

        Okay, reading these comments about how babies don’t know what they want, or don’t know anything about being happy, is disturbing. I hope the people who write them are not parents.

      • Leslie

        What does a baby know about being happy? Seriously? Have you actually been around babies and small children? They are born knowing what they like and don’t like, and with a definite personality.

        Those girls do not react at all to the people they work with, which seems to me like they just shut down when they’re on camera. It isn’t normal, happy baby reaction. I think the quiet, observant baby in the midst of chaos is kind of cute, but when there is absolutely no reaction, that isn’t good, and they should be allowed to go home and just be kids.

  • Mr. Holloway

    One of TV’s best straight men ( women?) so to speak. I know Lily had to talk and become more like a normal little girl at some point, but I loved stoic Lily and I’ll miss her whether they re-cast or not.

    These two girls are adorable to boot. (Loved the shot of Lily holding the Mother’s Day balloons for Cameron outside Mitch and Cam’s bedroom.)

    • LuvModernFamily

      Stoic does not mean catatonic zombie.

  • Johnification

    Man, now I feel really selfish for wanting them to keep the current babies…they really are accidental deadpan geniuses. But…aw man…yeah, they should probably be able to go have childhoods and lives.

    • ST

      I think the thing that gets me is if they recast, then the new “Lily” won’t have a life according to this. So it’s good if you’re letting the actresses who play Lily go off and be “normal” but then whomever takes her place won’t have a “normal” life.

      • Anya

        Yeah I was thinking that too. But then again some kids don’t mind and really do love to be on camera. They’re just naturals at it. I think they’re looking for a kid like that, someone who really wants to be there.

  • Jane

    I like how Levitan is couching this move as what’s best for the kids or that he thinks they don’t want this. No two year old knows what they want. How will re-casting be different? “Let’s make another set of two year olds miserable,” is basically his argument. The reason all boils down in the bit about needing the kid to stop being silent, but instead laughing. That means they don’t believe the current twins are dynamic enough to pull the job off. It’s kind of insulting. If Levitan were to say, “They did exactly what we wanted them to do at the time- they stayed quiet. But now we need kids who are going to be playful and vivacious as Lily learns to speak,” then that would be honest and much more respectful. Why do these Hollywood types feel they need to play games? Just lay it on the line, bro.

    • Mircat

      You’re so very right! That’s what this is about, what’s good for the show, not the kids. I don’t have a clue why they can’t just say they need more outgoing kids. It’s not a crime.

    • Kate

      It does seem weird to say that since the cast all talk about how great the babies are and how much they love them. Eric and Jesse (tv dads) buy them gifts for Christmas and holidays, etc. Their parents posted videos of them running around on set with toys the crew gave them. So unless that’s all for show, it seems more likely the producers want different kids then the current twins being unhappy.

    • fbgaefva

      no, 2 year olds dont ‘know what they want’ but arent we the adults supposed to guide them? If it is apparent that they arent adapting to the life of acting, then it is best to have them do something else. Hollywood is definitely full of spin but there are human beings involved as well. Who are you to assume Levitan is trying to manipulate the story when you in turn are manipulating his statement?

    • MiaS

      I second Jane’s comments.

      I think that having Lily totally deadpan while surrounded by chaos is very funny.
      Levitan is just doing PR about the switch.
      FUNNY, how we have not heard from the twins parents.

      I will hate it if they get another “Full House stage stealer kid”. Those kids drove me nuts.

    • Tom Hudson

      Uhm. Most two-year-olds I’ve encountered have a VERY firm grasp on what they want and what they don’t and have a very hard time NOT expressing it in unquestionable terms. With regards to the producers wanting only what’s best for the show and not what’s best for the twin girls: if the twins are unhappy, then that IS bad for the show. The needs are aligned here. As the character evolves, the producers are going to need an actress or pair of actresses that actually enjoy being on set and in front of the camera. The Hillers were infants when they came into this. Right now is exactly the time to assess whether it makes sense to continue with them or find some other little girls who seem to enjoy that environment and have the chops to, you know, actually act.

  • Andy

    Those babies are expressionless. Good move modern family.

    • Mrs.Crabtree

      So’s yo mama!

  • Mark

    Of course, the poducers will do what’s best for the girls, and if they want to go, I wish them the best and will never forget how much they helped make MF a success. But I hope they still keep the character of Lily as the straight many to the zaniness around her. Just because she can talk now doesn’t mean she must be a gregarious joke-getter. That would be wrong for the character (and now I keep picturing an infant Alex, belting out her first “Mama” in a sarcastic tone).

    • Anona Muss

      Mark! I’m going to try to watch Big Brother so I can post over there? Are you a fan of So You Think You Can Dance? If not, then I’m technically harassing another Mark. Oops.

      • Mark

        You can find me on the Big Brother board every week, and I’m looking forward to seeing you there too (using the same screen name?) But I’m not a fan of SYTYCD (it’s odd – I love reality shows, but I hate talent shows).
        And just to be on the safe side, maybe you should harass every Mark you see on an EW board.

      • Anona Muss

        Ha, harass every Mark – Will do! User name, I would imagine little sister is already in use so I’ll stick with anona muss.

  • Miranda

    I support the move but only if they work in a reference to ‘Rosanne’ or ‘Bewitched’.

    • Ryan

      Completely agree! It would be hilarious if they actually somehow recognized that they switched actors in a subtle way by referring to a TV show that did it

  • Gina

    I thought they wanted a stoic baby on set. A regular four-year-old girl will be too creeped out by these queers. They already messed up the Hiller twins and now they want to ruin another poor little girl’s life.

    • Anonymous

      Troll much, or do you actually believe what you are saying?

    • Alan

      Isn’t that a Flame as opposed to a Troll?

    • ikagirl

      @Gina You really scare me.

    • B.A.

      @Gina,you’re pathetic. And a b****.

  • Jen

    I thought maybe Lily had ptsd from being in the orphanage. I mean the character doesn’t even interact with her Dad’s at all. She doesn’t smile or laugh or anything when the actors interact with her during the show. I am not looking for a mugging baby. I am looking for a baby with a pulse.

  • Barry

    They need to recast the fat little toad boy Manny.

    • Robert Sas

      Manny is just a kid. A lot of pudgy kids grow up to be healthy, attractive adults.

    • vin

      “FAT LITTLE TOAD”?! Rico is hysterical! I think you are a fat little toad!

      • Barry

        I don’t just think it, I KNOW that you ARE a fat toad.

      • vin

        It annoymes me when people take shots at defeseless kids. Yes he is not in the best shape BUT theire is more to people than just weight. It’s sad that people pick on this poor kid. If you want to pick on a person not in ideal shape pick on adults like Louis Anderson, etc. NOT A KID.

    • EW Board Censor

      You are banned from posting on EW for use of negative language.

      • Real EW board censor

        You are banned for impersonating an EW staff member

    • K

      Rico is awesome, and yeah, there’s a good chance it’s just baby fat. I know it’s not trendy to accept baby fat any more, but honestly I was an active, healthy-eating child who was chubby until I hit puberty and then WHAM I got skinny fast. However, growing up chubby with all the other kids around me oh-so-kindly pointing it out to me via helpful nicknames like “Fatso” – that effed me up something fierce and I didn’t realize I’d gotten skinny (I only realized it years and years later) and I drowned my sorrows in Oreos because hey, I thought I was already fat anyways so what could it hurt? Now I’m having to work to undo all that. So don’t be an a-hole about a kid’s appearance. You could really do some damage because they don’t know how to deal with it. I know Rico’s got better things to do than read comments about articles about his show, but I don’t want you being a d*ck about some other kid who CAN hear what you’re saying.

    • ikagirl

      @Barry What a horrible thing to say! Not only about a child, but about anyone. Seek help. Now.

  • big help

    ive been thinking this would happen for a while. The baby is too unhappy all the time. After camparing the baby to Hope, the baby looked like a robot. I do know who they should cast. The baby from Warriors Way was perfect!!!!

  • Robert Sas

    Weren’t the Olsen girls quiet in the beginning and eventually started talking?

    • Marianna

      Not really. Full House still runs on one of those classic channels and is seemed like Mary Kate and Ashley fed off of the on set energy. It was only for a very short time that they were still infants not yet speaking but even then they were dynamic scene stealers. It saddens me that I know this. *slinks quietly from room*

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