Is Eric Stonestreet gay in real life? Modern Family’s Cameron Tucker talks about being ‘gay for pay’

Eric Stonestreet - Cameron Tucker - Modern Family

Eric Stonestreet won two Emmy Awards for playing Cameron Tucker, a flamboyant gay man in Modern Family. To say it’s a convincing portrayal is truly a testament to Eric’s acting skills — considering he identifies as straight.

“I kind of always felt like I had to dig myself out of a bit of a hole and let girls know that I’m actually straight,” Eric joked in 2009.

Even though Eric says he’s “openly straight,” he has no problem playing a gay man on television. On-screen fiance Jesse Tyler Ferguson, who is gay, doesn’t view it as an issue, either.

“He is so game for this character. We just clicked. We hang out a lot,” Jesse told Out Magazine in 2009, the year Modern Family debuted. “Really, the chemistry is what dictated how the relationship was. I’m certainly falling in love with Eric Stonestreet more and more each day!”

Mitch and Cam - Modern Family - Is Eric Stonestreet Gay

The pair also has a running joke about Eric being “gay for pay.”

“He’s straight in real life, and they pay him X amount of dollars to be gay,” Jesse said on Inside the Actors Studio in 2011. “And wouldn’t anybody?”

Although Eric’s sexuality didn’t affect his willingness to play a gay character, Jesse said it did initially affect Eric’s portrayal of Cam.

“I love that he gets to be the one that’s a little more flamboyant. I think he does it really well. Although in his test, he did do one of those over the top z finger snaps,” Jesse told Out in 2011. “I’d already been cast, and at that point — everyone else in the room — we all wanted him to get the job so badly, but you’ve got network executives there judging, and then Eric pulls out this really flamboyant finger snap, and in our heads we were all like No! Do over! Do over! Take it back. But he got the role.”

Eric eventually scaled back on Cam’s effeminacy, but still received some criticism. (Fun fact: Eric says the character is based on his mother.)

“In the beginning, people said ‘Oh you’re too much…’ Maybe a few times somebody said that,” Eric told Larry King. “But then, Jesse, who plays Mitchell, we get to go out into the gay community and do a lot of fundraisers and things like that. And I meet people all the time that are Cam.”

In terms of his personal life, Eric dated Broadway performer Katherine Torkaz for three years before splitting in 2012.

Eric Stonestreet and Girlfriend Katherine Tokarz

He was then linked to Charlize Theron, but debunked that rumor on Twitter: “I wish people would stop spreading rumors that Charlize Theron and I are dating. Its starting to make Halle Berry jealous.”

UPDATE E! News reports Eric is dating Real Housewives of New York City‘s Bethenny Frankel! According to their sources, the pair began casually dating in spring 2015.

They have been pictured together several times in recent months after first attending an event together in May.

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  • siriusthecat

    He really is a great actor. I happened to see a CSI rerun shortly after Modern Family started and knew he was just a great actor, really excellent. I was then disgusted by seeing the relief of people hearing this. Not because hes hot and women want him but for his soul and career. Honestly, it should only even be relevent because it shows great talent. One idiot actually pointed out John Cryer still had a great career. He also has a great marriage and kids because hes not gay, lol. People really need to quit obsessing over celeb sex lives. It is creepy. Just enjoy the damn show!

    • Karlina

      He’s hot and women want him?

      • siriusthecat

        That would be the opposite of what I said. Homophobes were concerned he’s going to hell and his career was ruined. Some fool used Jon Cryer as an example of a successful gay actor. A Ricky Martin needs to worry about coming out because hes hot and woman want him. A Nathan Lane needs to worry about religious whackjobs.

      • jaques marques

        I’m a guy and would want him. Your point? He is cute might I remind you.

      • RickP530

        He’s hot and I want him.

  • sammi

    I love Modern Family and I enjoy Cam and Mitchell so much. Cam is so funny with those button up shirts lol. This is such a great show and I was so missing out for a long time. I only started watching the show a few months ago. Now I am scrambling to find past seasons on dvd.

    • kiki

      Turn your television to USA. . They’re starting to play almost as much as NCIS

      • sammi

        Thank You. I’m watching it now lol. I watched the all day marathon yesterday as well.
        It’s now become my new fav show

    • Thomasina Foulk

      I also just started watching this show and I can’t get enough of it. I just adore Cam and Mitchell.

  • Moe Greene

    If he was gay then he wouldn’t have the front of his shirt pushed under his belt like he just took a leak.

  • Phelony Jones

    Eric is a hell of an actor. He had me convinced.

  • shieroc

    He plays his role so well. My faves on the show are two gay guys and Ty Burrell. They are hilarious!

  • Fun gal in Marin

    Cam and Mitchell are the show…. I would so love to have them in my family, they are way too funny………

  • Don Dressel

    Cam is my favorite and Gloria is my second favorite. The show is the best one on t.v. in years!

  • Johnny LoveFive

    He’s gay, no one can act THAT well!! Everyone is either 90% straight, and 10% gay, or 90% gay and 10% straight, there is no 100% one way or the other!

    • Professor_Tenay

      Gay community agenda created statistics I see.

  • BeaveVillage

    Gay isn’t the way, human civ needs straight people.

    • to_tell_the_truth

      There’s no shortage of straight people in the world. The percentages never seem to change, so there’s really no point in worrying about the ‘need’ for str8 people – there’s plenty enough to go around.

      • Tiredofit123

        So why is there a need for gays again?

        • to_tell_the_truth

          I bet you’d feel the loss if there had never been a Walt Whitman or an Alan Turing or a Michaelangelo, or a Bayard Rustin, or a Richard the LionHearted, or a King James, or a Gertrude Stein. (The list of our contributions is long indeed. Why, even I wrote a business best-seller.)

  • merlin186

    cam is awesome