Ariel Winter has grown up before our very eyes thanks to her role as Alex Dunphy on ABC’s hit sitcom Modern Family, a show she booked when she was just 11 years old. But now, she’s ready to show the world that she’s more than just a sitcom star, and fans should get ready for a brand new Ariel Winter in The Last Movie Star, on DIRECTV now and in theaters Mar. 30.
In The Last Movie Star, the actor plays Lil, a tattooed wild child who wears a uniform of booty shorts and crop tops and picks up a temp job working as a 24-hour chauffeur for the past-his-prime movie star Vic Edwards (Burt Reynolds) in Nashville. In other words, the role is the opposite of Winter’s goody-two-shoes television alter ego. In the exclusive clip from The Last Movie Star below, Lil shows up late to pic Vic up from the airport, and it’s safe to say she doesn’t make the best impression on the older star. Over the course of the film, though, Lil and Vic get to know each other better and form an unlikely friendship — hopefully one that no longer requires Vic hitting Lil in the leg with his cane to get her attention.
The movie, previously titled Dog Years, marks Winter’s first live action film in almost three years, and it’s certainly a departure from her sweet Modern Family on screen persona. “I’ve been playing Alex for eight years, and I love her, but I’ve been wanting to transition into more adult roles because I’m an adult now,” the actor said in an interview with Maxim. “I wanted to show that I have a broad skill set.”
That said, it was actually Winter’s prior experience on Modern Family that The Last Movie Star writer-director Adam Rifkin said made her perfect for the role. “We needed somebody who was young enough to be believable in the role, but with enough experience to match wits with Burt,” Rifkin said in an interview with Entertainment Weekly. “Ariel Winter fit the bill perfectly… She and Burt were great at throwing barbs at each other and giving each other sh*t.”