How Ed O'Neill Is Helping Kids Learn to Love Reading
Ed O’Neill’s talent is truly one for the books.
The Modern Family actor, who thinks reading is “the greatest thing,” has partnered with the SAG-AFTRA Foundation’s children’s literacy website Storyline Online to inspire a love of reading in the next generation.
“I remember I was concerned about my voice when I was a young actor,” O’Neill tells PEOPLE about how his love for reading helped boost his career. “I thought that I needed a lot of work in areas of pronunciation for example hitting consonants and vowels and that sort of thing.”
“I worked on that a lot because I used to read voice books and it suggested reading poetry out loud and I did those things,” he continues. “I think reading helps you without you even being aware of it.”
In addition to the interactive video where O’Neill brings How I Learned Geography by Uri Shulevitz to life, Storyline Online also features actors like Betty White, Eva Longoria, Allison Janney, Christian Slater and Kevin Costner reading their favorite children’s classics.
And aside from all the voice acting practice he has gone through (his voice has been featured in animated films like Finding Dory and Wreck-It Ralph), O’Neill could also be considered a professional bedtime story reader.
“I would read to [my two kids] in bed,” the actor says about reading to his two daughters, Sophia, 17, and Claire, 10, while they were growing up. “I used to read them stories and I would always try to jazz it up like I would read different voices of different characters and Claire would say, ‘don’t do that!'”
“Claire didn’t like it and sometimes the uninflected voiced just works better than the cartoon voice,” he adds.