09/09/2013 01:48 pm ET

Julie Bowen Talks Allergies, Granny Panties And More For HuffPost's #NoFilter


These days, our knowledge of celebrities too often originates with paparazzi images and snarky quotes by anonymous "insiders." After a while, it's easy to forget that stars are real people. That's why HuffPost Celebrity decided to launch its all-new #nofilter quick-fire question-and-answer series. Because how well do you know someone until they've shared their guiltiest pleasures?

Julie Bowen plays one of the funniest characters on TV, but to be honest, she's pretty hilarious in real-life, as well. The "Modern Family" star chatted with HuffPost Celebrity about everything from her guilty pleasure to her take on granny panties as she took on our #nofilter challenge while promoting the campaign Get Schooled in Anaphylaxis, a health initiative she is leading to raise awareness for anaphylaxis in school communities.

Bowen's oldest son, Olivier, 6, has life-threatening allergies to peanuts, walnuts and bee stings and suffered an anaphylactic reaction when he was a toddler. The experience was a wake-up call for Bowen and her family and she has since encouraged others to recognize the signs and symptoms and realize how to quickly get appropriate and immediate medical care when anaphylaxis occurs. Get Schooled in Anaphylaxis is releasing a new online book narrated by Bowen called "The Adventures Of Ana and Phyl Axis: The Carnival" to help children and their parents better understand the cause.

Bowen discussed her involvement in the campaign, her love of Nilla Wafers and much more with HuffPost Celebrity.

What’s your guilty pleasure?
My guilty pleasure is probably a combination that involves my couch, it involves maybe “Project Runway” and Nilla Wafers, and that’s that. I’m not that out there and on the edge, but generally my life is kind of in fast forward and it requires so much energy that my guiltiest pleasure is when I’m lying still, watching something that requires very little thought and eating sugar.

What’s your biggest pet peeve?
When my kids chew with their mouth open I want to smack ‘em! [laughs] But really, I’d have to say my biggest pet peeve is mean tweeters ... don’t get it! Why? Why do we all have to be mean now? Didn’t your mother teach you any manners? If I ever catch my kids doing that stuff, I swear I’d put up a stockade in my front yard and put them in there with like a, "I’m a mean tweeter,” sign. I don’t understand why it’s OK for people to be mean because they get to hide behind a handle. It’s unbelievable that because of social media, everyone gets to be mean. I was told, If you don’t have anything nice to say, zip it.

We’ve seen a lot of this "mean tweeting" over the last couple of weeks with celebrities, like Miley Cyrus.
I mean, Miley’s Miley! She did her thing [at the VMAs].

What’s your biggest weakness?
There are so many. I mean, having Nilla Wafers is considered weak if you’re an actress, uh … My biggest weakness is probably ignoring all of my responsibilities to watch basketball when it’s on. It’s not good. I’m not proud of that.

What’s your biggest strength?
I think my ability to get up when my alarm says time to get up at 4:30 or 5:00 a.m. That is a contrary action to what a sane, human being wants to take and I take it anyhow and get my booty into work. So, I think that that’s a good thing.

What did you have for dinner last night?
Oh God! I’m doing some weird shakey, drinky thing right now that my friend who’s a trainer does. It’s full of protein and enzymes, I mean I have no idea.

Well you look amazing, so those shakes are working!
No, no, this is new … I kind of eat what’s in front of me. Sometimes I can just eat whatever the kids don’t eat for dinner. And then sometimes it’s something very healthy and then sometimes it’s just, my friend who just made these things and makes me drink them and they’re filled with healthy stuff because he knows otherwise I’ll sit there and eat a box of Nilla Wafers. I don’t always make the best or the healthiest eating choices. I don’t think about it a lot.

Are you a granny-panty culprit?
You mean the high-waisted things?! I’m granny panty from way back, but I never rock the high-waist … that’s not where you’re going to find me. Just plain old, sensible works for me. I’m not into the high-waisted, hipster thing. God bless those girls. I don’t understand that whole getup. Not sure I get it.

What’s on your nightstand?
A bunch of books … I’m reading the Scientology book, I’ve got "Ask the Dust" by John Fante, I have Junot Diaz just because I love that book. I also have the alarm clock that blasts the time on the ceiling so I can see it from any angle. It’s not pretty, but it gets the job done, because the time is right there … on the ceiling.

What song is your number one workout tune?
My number one tune right now is anything by Lorde. She’s amazing, but when I work out, this is what a dork I am, I listen to podcasts. I listen to Radiolab, I listen to "This American Life," I listen to the New York Times Book Review, they have a podcast … I know! But I can get lost listening to that stuff whereas music, I’m not as distracted.

What’s one thing you want to do before you die?
I want to travel to India with my kids. It just seems so impossible.

If you could be anything aside from an actress, what would you be?
Like I can just pick it? I don’t know. I mean, I would love to be something useful. Like the reality is, I would like to help kids in some capacity … I sound like Miss America right now, don’t I?

What made you want to get involved with Get School in Anaphylaxis?
I worked with them last year because I was personally invested because my son has allergies and I realized how many other people are out there who were just like me and didn’t know much about anaphylaxis. And I wanted to keep the conversation going … it’s not over and every day more kids are being born with food allergies or just allergies in general and I would feel awful if people didn’t know what anaphylaxis was and did not have any strategy for dealing with it.

And tell us about the e-book you narrated.
I did an e-book called "The Carnival" and it’s basically for kids and it’s about being inclusive and aware of allergies. No one should have to live in a bubble. The e-book is to keep the conversation about anaphylaxis going and to get the kids and parents more aware of the whole process.



They said WHAT? #nofilter