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Q&A With 'Modern Family' Actor Eric Stonestreet

The 'Modern Family' actor is devoted to his dog. Plus, how he stands up to cancer.

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Do you ever give him people food?

"If I'm having beef or something he can eat, I'll throw some on the patio when he's not looking and let him scavenge for it. But I never give him anything from the table or hand it to him."

What's your routine when you come home from work?

"Typically Coleman meets me at the door, I drop off my keys, he does his business, and he runs around a bit. In the old house, when I'd go on big auditions before Modern Family, I'd tell Coleman that I was going off to find work so I could get him a bigger yard. So when we left that house for the last time, I had an emotional moment. I told him I made good on my promise to him. I'm happy I could do that."

Who wakes up whom in the mornings?

"With Modern Family, I go to work so early that I usually have to wake him. I wake up at 5:15, and he's always astonished -- face hair matted down -- like, 'Are you kidding? What have I done to you that you are waking me up this early?'"

Does he come to the set with you?

"He has, but it kind of feels like a jail to him because he has to stay in the trailer. He travels with me sometimes, but I don't like to disrupt his routine. It's not normal for a dog to hop on a jet and go to 35,000 feet."

Other than dog love, what relaxes you when you're stressed out?

"I have a drum set in my living room like other people might have a piece of furniture. I get some aggression out and have some cathartic time, and that helps me with stress. I know it sounds cliché, but there's no doubt that Coleman is the glue that's held me together in a lot of tough times. He's always there, he's always a willing listener, and he gives good feedback."

Is exercise part of your routine?

"I don't love jogging. When I work out it's usually with weights, and it makes me feel like I'm young again. I turned 40 and wanted to lose some weight, so between July and November, I lost 35 pounds."

What's your favorite comfort food?

"I'm not a sweets person. Every once in a while a piece of dark chocolate with an almond sounds good, but for the most part, tacos and steak sound better. I like mac and cheese and mashed potatoes, and I grill a lot. Brussels sprouts are probably my favorite vegetable."

What do you always carry in your bag that goes to the set with you?

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