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Julie Bowen: Sofia Vergara ‘Owns the Boobs’

Sofia Vergara and Julie Bowen
Sofia Vergara is a "handful of fun," says Modern Family costar Julie Bowen

As Claire Dunphy on ABC's "Modern Family," Julie Bowen is — how can we put this lightly? — a bit high-strung.

You get the feeling that finding out one of her kids has something like life-threatening allergic reactions would send her into a tizzy, and wind up with him trapped in a nut-free house for the rest of his life.

But in real life, Bowen, the mother of three young boys, is pretty relaxed when it comes to parenting curveballs. Like the time she discovered that her then 18-month-old son Oliver, who's now 6, had to be rushed to the hospital after his second time eating peanut butter.

"Some allergy parents would love the world to be nut-free or shellfish-free or whatever it is, and I get it," Bowen shares with omg!. "It sure would make it easier, but at there same time, it's very manageable. We carry an epinephrine auto injector, it's a little one for him. He knows what questions to ask, he never picks something up and just eats it. Right now in our life, for the most part, he only likes the same three things, so we're pretty safe."

Bowen, who's promoting a new campaign called Raise Your Hand for Anaphylaxis Awareness, answered some questions about her off- and on-screen families, whether fans can expect Mitch and Cam to get married on the show, and her secret to enjoying red carpet event.

What does she really think about co-star Sofia Vergara? You can't have two females on a show without wondering if there's some sort of rivalry. Everybody wanted to think [at the beginning of the show], I imagine, that she must be a handful because of the way she looks, and she's not a handful except for a handful of delight. I mean, she is kind, she is funny, she's funny about herself, she is generous to a fault, and she's running an empire. Acting is the tip of the iceberg. I respect her so much, and I said when I was lucky enough to win an Emmy last year, I said I want to be you when I grow up, even though I'm older than you. Because she owns herself and she owns the boobs and the clothes and the hair, and she owns it so completely and knows who she is. I have nothing but respect for that woman. She is awesome.

What kind of relationship does she have with her TV daughters, actresses Sarah Hyland and Ariel Winter? I love seeing them. Sarah is away shooting a movie right now, so I have not seen nearly enough of her, but she's going through some medical stuff, which is not a big secret, and it was so nice to have her nearby [during that], and to just be able to like pop in and ask her if she needed something. And I see Ariel a lot.

[Related: Recap the 'Modern Family' Season Finale]

How does the two-time Emmy winner feel about red carpet events? I think for a long time, I really, really dreaded them because I was determined not to take it seriously, and I was determined not to spend money and time on it, and I was determined not to make it a big focus. But the reality is that once you embrace it and go OK, I have to get a stylist, because I don't have time to shop … and guess what? I don't want to shop. And then you find hair and makeup people that you like to work with, and suddenly a red carpet event becomes 90 minutes of hanging out with your buddies. … The reality is that not only do I not have the time to go and shop for clothes, I don't own these clothes. I couldn't afford to constantly buy clothes. They've gotta go back at midnight.

Does she agree with the American Civil Liberties Union that Mitch and Cam, a gay couple on the show, should get married? There was a big push a few years ago, they wanted Cam and Mitch to kiss more purposefully or something, and the writers got around to that when it was right for the story. And if it's right for the show and right for the story, have them get married. If it's not, and they don't think it serves the story, they won't, but I guarantee they won't do it because of external pressure. That would be weird, and the ACLU stands for free speech and I'm sure they respect the free speech of our show as well.

Very diplomatic – not at all like something Claire would say.

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