When a fan approached Modern Family star Ed O’Neill for a photo, he obliged thinking it was just an average fan. However, once the photo was shared on social media, the internet found out she was no ordinary fan.
Modern Family patriarch Ed O’Neil was minding his own business in an airport lounge when a fan approached him for a picture. The excited fan thanked the actor and walked away to post the picture on social media, leaving the internet going wild immediately about her identity.
It was no surprise that the mystery woman wanted to take a picture with the famous actor. O’Neill shot to fame back in 1987 with the sitcom TV series Married…With Children where he played the lead role. Critics gave Ed much appraise for his acting skills and leading the show to great success. It had a hugely successful run and ended in 1997 after running for 11 seasons. But little did he know that this woman was also a star and a great success in her field…
It’s no surprise that the mystery woman was starstruck. Ed O’Neill’s role as Al Bundy earned him two Golden Globes and thrust him even further into the limelight, giving him more opportunities and leading him to star in films, as well. In spite of this, it is even more surprising that Ed did not recognize his mystery fan at the airport, seeing as he was heavily involved in Hollywood and most likely attended the same events as her.
Ed’s newly acquired awards allowed him to make waves in Hollywood, putting him further into the limelight and making many producers and studio heads aware of his acting abilities, making him desired property at the time. From this, he went on to star in movies including The Bone Collector, Little Giants and Dutch. The more Ed’s movie portfolio increased, the more his public profile increased, introducing him to a whole new world of celebrity.
Despite being married in 1986, Ed and his wife Catherine Rusoff waited a long 13-years before they made the decision to start a family. It was said that the couple wanted to focus on their marriage as well as Ed’s booming career before bringing kids into the picture. They welcomed their first child in 1999 and their second a couple years later. The ages of their daughters would have meant they grew up being surrounded by information about the mystery person!
After numerous successful appearances in movies, Ed went back into sitcoms after being offered a role that had the potential for him to star in another incredibly famous show. In 2009, Ed was approached to play the role of Jay Pritchett in Modern Family on the ABC Network. After appearing in the first season, critics and fans alike couldn’t get enough of the show and it was renewed for a number of seasons due to its great success.
Due to Ed now becoming famous with the younger generation, his new market of fans brought him much more attention with many wanting his picture or autograph as he was known to be Jay Pritchett. For this reason, when the young mystery woman asked to take a photo with him at the airport lounge, Ed thought nothing of it and just thought it was a regular fan wanting a picture to post on social media.
Ed is known to be a private person and has chosen to keep his private life out of the public eye. For this reason, he doesn’t have a Twitter, Facebook or Instagram, which is surprising for prominent actors nowadays. Furthermore, in 2012, a video was posted to YouTube entitled “Ed O’Neill Does Not Like Taking Photos With Fans.” In the video, it shows Ed swiftly walking away from adoring fans who wanted to get an autograph or picture with the star.
As it turns out, the attitude for not wanting to take pictures with fans was also adopted by the mystery woman who Ed was in the picture with. Many people are aware that that person often shies away from the limelight and keeps to herself, which is why it was surprising that they posed for a picture together. Perhaps the reason the photo went viral is because they are two people with similar attitudes to photographs in their private time.
The person in question clearly caught Ed on a good day as he was happy to pose for a picture, despite his facial expression saying otherwise. However, their encounter was more than pleasant and warm with the other person telling him that she absolutely loved Modern Family. Moreover, the mystery person called Ed “Mr O’Neill” in an attempt to be polite but it also revealed further information about the person’s southern background from her manners during the meeting.
If anyone needed to read what the people in the photo were thinking, it was written all over their faces. The mystery person couldn’t contain her excitement at meeting Ed, apparently one of her favorite TV stars, however the same could not be said for the actor. In the photo, Ed appears to be sitting in a chair looking less than impressed with the situation. Just because he allowed the photo, it doesn’t mean he was going to pretend he was happy about posing for it!
As soon as the photo was taken, the mystery person decided to immediately upload it to social media, expressing delight about the encounter with Ed. Almost instantly, thousands of people shared the post and it reached many media outlets, commenting on all different aspects of the photo including the whereabouts and the facial expressions of both people. The reaction from the internet community was not expected at all but it was mainly because of who the person was that posted it.
The Twitter post was accompanied by a caption which read: “Fancy running into this guy! Such a sweetheart!!” Despite the post reaching thousands online, Ed himself did not see it and only became aware of it after many text messages were sent to him regarding the person in the photo. As it turned out, Ed was none the wiser and had no idea who the person was. It took a call from Ed’s manager to explain the relevance of the other person to him.
It was lucky that on that particular day, Ed decided to take a photo with the excitable person. On the chance that he had declined to take a photo, it would have been highly likely that the story of Ed’s rudeness would have got out to press and the article would have been splashed all over news covers. If this was a regular fan it would not have been but because the mystery person was someone of interest to the public and the media, it would have blown up.
The mystery person in the photo is usually a highly recognizable face. They have been in the spotlight since they were a child, growing up in the public eye and having everyone scrutinize their every move. They were also a regular on high profile red carpets and was almost always played on the radio. Due to the widespread coverage of the star, it is increasingly surprising that Ed had no idea of their identity.
After the picture went viral, Ed appeared on The Ellen Show, in June 2016, to promote his new movie Finding Dory which he starred opposite the host of the show, Ellen DeGeneres. Ellen started the interview discussing their new film together and how much they enjoyed being the voiceovers for the characters. However, Ellen couldn’t resist asking Ed about the picture which received such a great amount of attention online. Ellen intended to get the juicy details about the encounter.
Perhaps Ed’s obliviousness to the situation should have been predicted as seen in his history. In the interview with Ellen, Ed revealed that when he started speaking the parts for his character in Finding Dory, he didn’t realize how big the role actually was until he was brought into the studio months and months on end. His confession resulted in great laughs from the audience who thought his confession was hilarious. Ellen also couldn’t contain her laughter at the situation.
After Ellen had finished discussing her new movie with Ed, the conversation shifted to the elephant in the room, the story behind the picture that everyone wanted to know. It was especially funny for host Ellen as the person in the photo, posing with Ed, was a regular on the talk show and has been involved in many different projects with Ellen. From this, Ellen couldn’t believe Ed did not recognize his eager fan in the airport.
In true Ellen style, she began quizzing Ed on the encounter. He then said “I was flying alone to Hawaii. I was waiting for my flight to board, they told me the flight was boarding and I picked up — that’s a little Modern Family hat. I saw a woman approaching me so I just flopped it on, you know, I was leaving. She came up and said, ‘Oh, Mr. O’Neill, I love Modern Family, and you’re my favorite on the show.’ There was more to come.
Ed looked around before taking the photo and said “Well, I’m here, I’m the only one here, ‘Could you please, and I know you’re in a hurry…’ couldn’t have been nicer, so I said, ‘Sure, fine, you know, OK.’ So she sat there and we took it and I said, ‘Have a nice trip, I’m going,’ and I left.” Ed didn’t think anything of the encounter and went on his way on his trip to Hawaii. However, his phone was about to be bombarded with messages.
One of the people who was trying to get hold of Ed after the picture was posted was his manager. He sent him a text which read “What is this? It’s 53,000 likes.” Unbeknown to Ed, the woman he was posing with was an international pop superstar who is hugely successful. Although the star is much younger than Ed, her presence in the United States and worldwide has made her a household name with many girls looking up to her.
Among the people who was most frustrated to see the picture with Ed having no clue who the superstar was, was his daughter. Ed’s daughter grew up listening to the pop star and the prospect of meeting her was incredibly exciting. She was so jealous of her father that when she found out he wasn’t aware of the star’s identity, Ed recalled that she sent him a text which jokingly labelled the Modern Family actor a “moron” for his mistake.
Once the pop superstar’s identity was revealed to Ed, he found it laughable but also slightly embarrassing that he had no idea what she looked like, even though her name was extremely familiar. Upon realizing his mistake, he paid a call to the singer’s manager and profusely apologized for the mistake, not recognizing one of the most famous women in the world. Ed clearly needed to brush up on his pop knowledge as the mystery superstar is an incredibly talented and amazing woman.
The mystery singer was none other than international pop princess Britney Spears! The singer was in the middle of her Las Vegas show residency but had taken a private vacation with her family to have a break from her grueling schedule. Britney is known to live a private a life as possible which is why she had next to no entourage in the airport. Perhaps if she had, Ed O’Neill would have had more of an idea of who she was!
Britney’s politeness when asking Ed for a picture came from her understanding of what it’s like to be a celebrity and be constantly hounded by fans for pictures of autographs. Britney is someone who knows all too well about people overwhelming celebrities, making them feel like they are under a constant microscope. The intense nature of the paparazzi and fans drove Britney to a mental breakdown in 2007 but she always remained a sweet girl at heart.
Someone who picked up on Ed’s facial expression in the picture was Ellen DeGeneres who observed “you don’t seem thrilled”. When Ellen’s audience burst into laughter, Ed admitted his mistake. When Ellen asked if Ed knew who he had agreed to take a photo with, “Look at the look on my face, do I look like I’m sitting with Britney Spears?” Perhaps Ed should broaden his horizons into pop music and listen to Britney’s smash hit albums.
The reason why the Twitter post gained over 53,000 likes was because of Britney’s star status and millions of followers. Britney’s fan demographic is relatively young and because of this, many of her fans had no idea who Ed O’Neill was! Many of the comments beneath the post were Britney’s followers asking about the identity of the man she was posing with. It’s not everyday that Britney Spears gets excited about meeting another celebrity so this was a nice moment.
When Britney posted the picture with the Modern Family patriarch, many of the show’s fans were calling for the pop star to make an appearance on the hit television show. As it turns out, the rumors of Britney appearing on the show were already circulating but the picture sent them into overdrive. The show has been renewed for a couple more seasons so Britney has every chance of being asked to appear by producers in future seasons.
Britney Spears is no stranger to appearing on the television, having made numerous appearances in sitcoms and even starring in her own movie. She has appeared in How I Met Your Mother, Will & Grace, Glee, and The Simpsons. Britney has been incredibly excited and eager about all the roles she has taken on and her performance has always been well received by her co-stars and producers. Her successful reputation on screen may just win over the Modern Family producers.
Although Britney didn’t comment on Ed’s admission of not knowing who she was, hopefully Ed and Britney will have a nice discussion next time they meet in Hollywood. It is an industry where everybody knows everybody so the fact that Ed was oblivious was quite surprising. Nonetheless, he reacted very graciously to the situation and even took the time to apologize when he realized his mistake. Let’s hope it was a one off and Ed isn’t the one saying “Oops I Did It Again!”