Ariel Winter reveals 'Modern Family' death isn't who you'd think (Exclusive)

Ariel Winter is opening up about how the Pritchett-Dunphy family will deal with a major tragedy on a highly anticipated episode of Modern Family.

Last month, co-creator Christopher Lloyd told Entertainment Weekly that a “significant character in the series” will die in season 10, affecting the characters across multiple episodes. ET spoke with the 20-year-old actress at the Girl Hero Awards luncheon on Sunday, where she talked about how the beloved comedy will handle such a serious topic.

"It's a character that we'll all be sad to see go, but it's probably not an older character that you think is going to go," Winter teased to ET. "We haven't ever really had a death on the show. It definitely impacts the family, as I think it impacts any family. You know, some people have never dealt with death or if it's a person close to them, they're having to deal with them because it's a tragedy, and you follow people's stories on how they do that and I think some people obviously take it better than others."

"It doesn't hit people right away and it's gonna be an episode that's pretty relevant to how people deal with it, and some people's struggles with the person that passed, and I think it's a pretty real episode," she continues. "And we try to do everything lightheartedly and it's a show that people can enjoy, but also incorporate some real-life occurrences."

Sunday's awards luncheon was hosted by the United Nations Foundation’s Girl Up initiative, which supports UN programs promoting the health, safety, education and leadership of girls in developing countries. Winter talked to ET about still learning how to deal with social media trolls in today's world, and she offered up a few wise words.

"You know what, it's a hard journey to move forward and not say anything and take the high road and knowing that regardless of everything they say, it's untrue," she says. "People don't know you, and they only know what they see on the internet -- which is a very small version of everybody -- and they think it's the whole picture. I, for a while, was doing fantastic and I wouldn't respond to negative comments, but then, of course, you fall off the wagon. And because you get upset and, of course, in the current climate ... you share your opinion and everybody takes it in a certain way, and then they bash you for it and you feel like crap and then you're, like, well, don't do that and why am I responding to this?" 

"Hate responds to hate responds to hate responds to hate," she continues. "If someone says something hateful and you respond back to hate, you're just gonna get more hate because it fuels them because that's the answer that they're getting. So, it's a hard thing to learn that it doesn't matter what other people say who are not in front of you. The people that support you and they love you and they love your work, the things you stand up for, those are the people that you really need to focus on, and the other people, they have no idea. They must be going through something else in their lives that's making them say these terrible comments to people, and then it doesn't matter, you know? It's hard -- you gotta learn to not do anything about that, and it's difficult, but I'm working on it."

These days, she says confidence is key. 

"Don't be afraid to be yourself," she says when asked about what the most important lesson she would teach her younger self. "Don't be afraid to say what you believe in, and don't listen to people who want to bring you down. It's hard because when you hear people say things about you sometimes, if they say it repeatedly, it sinks in and you're like, 'Wait, is that true? Am I this terrible person? Am I ugly? Am I stupid?' And you think all of these things and it sinks in, but I think these days, we just have to teach our daughters and our sons and everybody to be able to have their own voice, be secure in themselves, and it's hard, but to know that other people's opinions are so unimportant in who you are."

Last month, ET spoke to Winter's Modern Family co-star, Ty Burrell, who said that the show's team is starting to talk about the final season.

27 PHOTOS
Modern Family Cast
See Gallery
Modern Family Cast
HOLLYWOOD, CA - APRIL 16: The cast attend the FYC Event For ABC's 'Modern Family' at Avalon on April 16, 2018 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Tommaso Boddi/WireImage)
HOLLYWOOD, CA - APRIL 16: The cast attend the FYC Event For ABC's 'Modern Family' at Avalon on April 16, 2018 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Tommaso Boddi/WireImage)
LOS ANGELES, CA - NOVEMBER 15: The Cast of Modern Family along with show runners attend ABC Celebrates The 200th Episode Of 'Modern Family' at Fox Studios on November 15, 2017 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Earl Gibson III/WireImage)
NORTH HOLLYWOOD, CA - MAY 03: (L-R) Nolan Gould, Steven Levitan, Ariel Winter, Eric Stonestreet, Julie Bowen, Aubrey Anderson-Emmons, Jesse Tyler Ferguson and Ty Burrell attend the 'Modern Family' ATAS event at Saban Media Center on May 3, 2017 in North Hollywood, California. (Photo by Jason LaVeris/FilmMagic)
NORTH HOLLYWOOD, CA - MAY 03: Actress Julie Bowen and actor Ty Burrell attend the 'Modern Family' ATAS event at Saban Media Center on May 3, 2017 in North Hollywood, California. (Photo by Jason LaVeris/FilmMagic)
MODERN FAMILY - 'Modern Family' cast members Julie Bowen (Claire Dunphy), Ty Burrell (Phil Dunphy), Jesse Tyler Ferguson (Mitchell Pritchett), Eric Stonestreet (Cameron Tucker), Sarah Hyland (Haley Dunphy), Nolan Gould (Luke Dunphy), and Ariel Winter (Alex Dunphy) talk about their favorite scenes from Season 9 of the show with show co-creator and executive producer Steve Levitan, at an FYC event held Monday (April 16) at the Avalon Hollywood, hosted by 20th Century Fox Television and ABC. (Todd Wawrychuk/ABC via Getty Images) SARAH HYLAND
MODERN FAMILY - 'Modern Family' cast members Julie Bowen (Claire Dunphy), Ty Burrell (Phil Dunphy), Jesse Tyler Ferguson (Mitchell Pritchett), Eric Stonestreet (Cameron Tucker), Sarah Hyland (Haley Dunphy), Nolan Gould (Luke Dunphy), and Ariel Winter (Alex Dunphy) talk about their favorite scenes from Season 9 of the show with show co-creator and executive producer Steve Levitan, at an FYC event held Monday (April 16) at the Avalon Hollywood, hosted by 20th Century Fox Television and ABC. (Todd Wawrychuk/ABC via Getty Images) JULIE BOWEN
LOS ANGELES, CA - AUGUST 25: (EXCLUSIVE COVERAGE) 66th ANNUAL PRIMETIME EMMY AWARDS -- Pictured: 'Modern Family' cast and crew Nolan Gould, Eric Stonestreet, Ariel Winter, Sofia Vergara, Aubrey Anderson-Emmons, Ed O'Neill, Julie Bowen; Jesse Tyler Ferguson, Rico Rodriguez, Sarah Hyland and writer/producer Steven Levitan pose in the NBC/People photo booth during the 66th Annual Primetime Emmy Awards held at the Nokia Theater on August 25, 2014. (Photo by Larry Busacca/NBC/NBC via Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA - AUGUST 25: (L-R) Actors Sarah Hyland, Sofia Vergara, Aubrey Anderson-Emmons, Ariel Winter, Julie Bowen, Jesse Tyler Ferguson, Nolan Gould, Rico Rodriguez, Eric Stonestreet, and Ed O'Neill, winners of Ouststanding Comedy Series for 'Modern Family' pose in the press room at the 66th annual Primetime Emmy Awards at Nokia Theatre L.A. Live on August 25, 2014 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Jason LaVeris/FilmMagic)
LOS ANGELES, CA - AUGUST 25: Steve Levitan (C) and cast and crew of 'Modern Family' appear onstage during the 66th Annual Primetime Emmy Awards held at Nokia Theatre L.A. Live on August 25, 2014 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Michael Tran/FilmMagic)
LOS ANGELES, CA - AUGUST 25: Producer Steve Levitan (C) and cast and crew of 'Modern Family' appear onstage at the 66th Annual Primetime Emmy Awards held at Nokia Theatre L.A. Live on August 25, 2014 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Lester Cohen/WireImage)
SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - FEBRUARY 20: (EUROPE AND AUSTRALASIA OUT) Cast and crew on set during filming for the American sitcom 'Modern Family' on location near the Park Hyatt hotel in The Rocks, on February 20, 2014 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Craig Greenhill/Newspix/Getty Images)
SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - FEBRUARY 20: Sarah Hyland poses at the Modern Family Media Call at The Sebel on February 20, 2014 in Sydney, Australia. The cast from the popular television program are in Australia filming their Australian vacation episode. (Photo by Don Arnold/WireImage)
SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - FEBRUARY 20: Nicholas Loeb and Sofa Vergara arrive at the Modern Family Media Call at The Sebel on February 20, 2014 in Sydney, Australia. The cast from the popular television program are in Australia filming their Australian vacation episode. (Photo by Lisa Maree Williams/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA - JANUARY 18: The cast of 'Modern Family' on stage at the 20th Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards at The Shrine Auditorium on January 18, 2014 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Angela Weiss/FilmMagic)
The cast of 'Modern Family,' winner of the Best Ensemble in a Comedy Series award, poses in the press room at the 20th annual Screen Actors Guild Awards, January 18, 2014 at the Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles, California. AFP PHOTO / JOE KLAMAR (Photo credit should read JOE KLAMAR/AFP/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA - JANUARY 18: The cast of 'Modern Family' attends the 20th Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards at The Shrine Auditorium on January 18, 2014 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Stefanie Keenan/WireImage)
LOS ANGELES, CA - SEPTEMBER 22: (L-R) Actors Sarah Hyland, Aubrey Anderson-Emmons, Sofia Vergara, Ty Burrell, Jesse Tyler Ferguson, Ariel Winter, Nolan Gould, Eric Stonestreet, Rico Rodriguez, Julie Bowen and Ed O'Neill, winners of Outstanding Comedy Series for 'Modern Family,' pose in the press room at the 65th annual Primetime Emmy Awards at Nokia Theatre L.A. Live on September 22, 2013 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Jason LaVeris/FilmMagic)
Actress Sofia Vergara (2nd-R) and the cast of 'Modern Family' pose in the press room after winning Outstanding Comedy on September 22, 2013 during the 65th Annual Primetime Emmy Awards in Los Angeles, California. AFP PHOTO/Frederic J. BROWN (Photo credit should read FREDERIC J. BROWN/AFP/Getty Images)
JIMMY KIMMEL LIVE - Emmy Award-nominated 'Jimmy Kimmel Live' airs every weeknight (11:35 p.m. - 12:41 a.m., ET), packed with hilarious comedy bits and features a diverse lineup of guests including celebrities, athletes, musicians, comedians and humorous human interest subjects. The guests for MONDAY, OCTOBER 7 included the cast of ABC's 'Modern Family' and musical guest Korn. (Photo by Randy Holmes/ABC via Getty Images) JESSE TYLER FERGUSON, ERIC STONESTREET, ED O'NEILL, SOFIA VERGARA, TY BURRELL, JULIE BOWEN
LOS ANGELES, CA - SEPTEMBER 22: The cast of 'Modern Family' onstage during the 65th Annual Primetime Emmy Awards held at Nokia Theatre L.A. Live on September 22, 2013 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA - JANUARY 30: (L-R) Actors Ariel Winter, Ed O'Neill, Sofia Vergara, Rico Rodriguez, Eric Stonestreet, Julie Bowen, Nolan Gould, Jesse Tyler Ferguson, Ty Burrell and Sarah Hyland of the cast of 'Modern Family,' winners of Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Comedy Series award, pose in the press room during the 17th Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards held at The Shrine Auditorium on January 30, 2011 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Jason Merritt/Getty Images)
INSIDE THE ACTORS STUDIO -- Guests: The Cast of Modern Family -- Pictured: (l-r) Jesse Tyler Ferguson, James Lipton, Eric Stonestreet (Photo by Anthony Behar/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
INSIDE THE ACTORS STUDIO -- Guests: The Cast of Modern Family -- Pictured: (l-r) Ed O'Neill, James Lipton, Sofia Vergara (Photo by Anthony Behar/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA - AUGUST 29: Cast & Crew of 'Modern Family' accept the Outstanding Comedy Series award onstage at the 62nd Annual Primetime Emmy Awards held at the Nokia Theatre L.A. Live on August 29, 2010 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA - AUGUST 29: Cast and crew of 'Modern Family', winners of the Outstanding Comedy Series Award pose in the press room at the 62nd Annual Primetime Emmy Awards held at the JW Marriott Los Angeles at L.A. Live on August 29, 2010 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Jason Merritt/Getty Images)
GOOD MORNING AMERICA - The cast of 'Modern Family' makes themselves at home on GOOD MORNING AMERICA, 5/19/10 airing on the ABC Television Network. GM10 (Photo by Ida Mae Astute/ABC via Getty Images) ERIC STONESTREET, GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS, ED O'NEILL, JUJU CHANG, JULIE BOWEN, JESSE TYLER FERGUSON, SOFIA VERGARA, ROBIN ROBERTS
HIDE CAPTION
SHOW CAPTION
of
SEE ALL
BACK TO SLIDE

Read Full Story

Sign up for Entertainment Insider by AOL to get the hottest pop culture news delivered straight to your inbox!

Subscribe to our other newsletters

Emails may offer personalized content or ads. Learn more. You may unsubscribe any time.