Ariel Winter: 'I Want to Be Like My Sister'

05/17/2013 at 02:00 PM EDT

Ariel Winter Praises Sister, Talks Family Custody Case
Ariel Winter at USA upfronts
Gregory Pace/BEImages
Modern Family star Ariel Winter's family life has been more drama than comedy this year – but the young actress says she's grateful she has a strong support system in her sister.

"My sister is the most amazing woman I've ever met in my life," Winter, 15, told PEOPLE at the USA Network 2013 Upfronts in New York. "If I could be half the woman she is ... she's kind of who I want to be like."

The teen star doesn't just reserve admiration for her older sister, Shanelle Gray, 34 – who is currently in court-ordered care of her famous sister following abuse allegations against Winter's mother, Chrisoula Workman – but she also praises her extended family.

"[Shanelle] supports me in everything I do, and so does my brother-in-law David," Winter said. "Both are kind of like my biggest supporters."



The Modern Family star also joked that she's "slightly obsessed" with her nieces.

Her TV family also plays a big part in her life off set.



"Our chemistry has been there since we first met, and it's really made us come off as a family on the show, and in real life, because we are," Winter said.

Now that the hit ABC comedy series (which is headed to syndication on USA in the fall) is on hiatus, Winter is looking forward to some downtime. "It's just going to be a great summer spent with family and friends," she said.

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