44 Back to the Modern Family set

Singing Coldplay's "The Scientist" for his film "127 Hours" marked a turning point for Lucas. As the song's emotional resonance washed over him, the meticulously crafted image of Aron Ralston in his mind began to loosen its grip. He felt a sense of catharsis, a release from the intense immersion he'd experienced during the film's production.

This cathartic moment, Lucas realized, signified the completion of his internal transformation. He had successfully embodied the character, wrestled with its complexities, and ultimately laid it to rest. The exorcism, as he metaphorically envisioned it, was complete. Freed from the lingering hold of Aron Ralston, Lucas was ready to move forward, both as an actor and as an individual.

Following his successful meeting with Fox Searchlight, Lucas secured the expected $180,000. His mind immediately turned to a specific investment: a high-end computer equipped with Bitcoin mining software. Compared to the future Lucas knew, mining in this era was significantly easier and less resource-intensive.

The appeal was undeniable. But before diving headlong into the world of cryptocurrency, Lucas had another stop planned. 20th Century Fox headquarters, just a short walk from his current location at Fox Searchlight, beckoned. He had unfinished business there, and the close proximity made it a convenient next step.

Lucas followed up with the contact he'd established regarding his potential renewal for the upcoming season of Modern Family. This presented an exciting opportunity, potentially requiring a shift in his current commitments.

He discussed this development with his manager, Liza, acknowledging that it might impact his availability at the restaurant. Liza, understanding Lucas's progress in his acting career, was supportive of his potential opportunity and the resulting schedule change.

Their flexible arrangement at the restaurant, without formal contracts, allowed for this smooth transition. Lucas expressed his gratitude for Liza's understanding and support as he pursued his career.

October 2nd, 2009, and Modern Family's production team was eager to finalize Lucas's contract renewal. Lucas, however, opted to review the terms carefully. If they fell short of his expectations, he wouldn't hesitate to delay signing. Instead, he'd consider connecting with the agents who had reached out after his successful Modern Family pilot appearance.

His goal? Finding an agent whose vision aligns with his own. Around noon, Lucas met with a representative from 20th Century Fox to discuss the renewal contract for his role in the show.

The offer on the table was $5,000 per episode. Lucas considered it, aware that as a newcomer, ABC and 20th Century Fox might still be assessing his potential. He also acknowledged that the producers might not yet be aware of his recent film role in "127 Hours" under Fox Searchlight, which could explain the offer being lower than those typically given to established guest stars.

Lucas didn't immediately accept the offer. While the 20th Century Fox representative seemed confident of an agreement, Lucas wouldn't be swayed easily. He reached out to the agents who'd contacted him previously, but their phone conversations revealed limited ambitions for his career, suggesting shows he wasn't interested in. These interactions confirmed his reservations about their suitability.

Unfazed by the lack of immediate results, Lucas remained patient. He believed that his forthcoming performance in "127 Hours" would raise his profile and attract agents who better aligned with his vision. Selecting the right representation was critical, and he wouldn't settle for anything less than a partner who shared his aspirations.

Over the following days, Lucas engaged in negotiations regarding his Modern Family contract renewal. While the initial offer was $5,000 per episode, he successfully secured a revised agreement for $8,000. Although this increase fell short of his ideal compensation, Lucas ultimately accepted the terms.

From 20th Century Fox's perspective, finalizing the contract and ensuring timely production of the next episode remained the primary focus. While Lucas's negotiation efforts were acknowledged, the pressing need to move forward with filming likely played a significant role in their decision to accept his revised proposal.

Lucas signed the contract and headed straight for the Modern Family set. Arriving amidst the controlled chaos of filming, he spotted Julie Bowen first. "Lucas! Great to have you back!" she exclaimed, pulling him into a warm hug.

Lucas chuckled, returning the embrace. "Feels good to be back, Julie. Same set, same faces, even more laughs, I hope."

His quip drew a hearty laugh from nearby. "Speaking of faces," boomed Ty Burrell, clapping Lucas on the shoulder. "Nice to see you came to terms with the suits, eh, young man?"

Lucas shrugged, a playful smile on his lips. "Let's just say we found a common language." He flashed a wink at Ty, not wanting to dwell on the contract details. After all, the camaraderie on set was always worth more than any number on a sheet of paper.

Lucas chatted with Julie and Ty for a bit, catching up and soaking in the familiar buzz of the set. His gaze then caught Sarah Hyland huddled over a script nearby. Approaching her, he offered a warm, "Hey Sarah, good to see you again!"

Sarah's head snapped up, a hint of surprise in her eyes. "Oh, hey Lucas," she replied, a slight blush creeping onto her cheeks. Clearing her throat, she added, "Yeah, good to be back!"

Lucas nodded, sensing a touch of nervousness. "Excited for our scenes this episode," he said, hoping to ease the tension. He launched into a discussion about their shared beats, his tone friendly and professional.

As they talked, Lucas noted Sarah's gaze flitting around, never quite meeting his eye. He wondered if she was simply focused on the scene or if something else was on her mind. Regardless, he pressed on, eager to collaborate and ensure their on-screen chemistry remained electric.

After hashing out the scene details with Sarah, Lucas found himself face-to-face with the show's creators, Steve Levitan and Christopher Lloyd. Diving into the script, Lucas eagerly discussed the scene where Dylan uses music to soothe the family's tension.

Suddenly, a question from Steven Levitan caught him off guard. "Lucas," he inquired, "do you have any musical background?"

Lucas's surprise was genuine. "Yes, actually," he admitted, a touch of pride creeping into his voice. "I know music, and I even dabble in composition." In his past life, music had been his solace, but its popularity hadn't matched his passion.

The writers exchanged a knowing glance. "Well, Lucas," Steven said, a hint of excitement in his tone, "if you're a musician, why don't you compose the song Dylan sings in that scene?"

Lucas's breath hitched. "Compose the song myself?" he echoed, his mind racing. He'd envisioned himself performing a pre-written piece, not crafting the melody from scratch.

Both writers nodded enthusiastically. "We believe," Christopher explained, "that having you compose the song will add a unique layer of authenticity to the scene. Dylan's music comes from his soul, and yours can too."

Lucas's initial surprise melted into a mix of trepidation and excitement.

This was a chance to pour his own musicality into the character, to blur the lines between himself and Dylan. He'd always strived for authenticity, and this felt like a leap of faith, a chance to truly own his portrayal.

"Alright," he declared, a determined glint in his eyes. "Let's do this."

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