'How I Met Your Mother's Neil Patrick Harris Strips, Cast Gets Nostalgic at PaleyFest
The festival is home to shows in their freshman season (Masters of Sex, Orange is the New Black), shows that have been off the air for years (LOST), and shows that are about to bid their finale adieu. For the cast of How I Met Your Mother, saying goodybe isn't easy. The cast, director and showrunners of the series that's been on the air for nine seasons took the stage Saturday night at PaleyFest in Los Angeles. The show has a mere three episodes to go before it's off the air for good, including the one-hour long March 31 series finale. Conversation with the cast was dominantly focused on the yet-to-be-seen episodes, although the show's creators — Carter Bays and Craig Thomas — were exceptionally tight-lipped.
The event was moderated by improv master and frequent HIMYM guest star Wayne Brady. One question he asked the panel surrounded fan theories that the Mother actually dies in the last episode. "We have been the worst interview in show business for years," Craig Thomas said jokingly. ""I think one of the great things about How I Met Your Mother is that it's surprising."
Carter Bays added: "We're wildly excited about the finale, and it's great, but obviously we can't say anything."
While the showrunners were cryptically silent, one thing that was not left to the imagination was HIMYM star Neil Patrick Harris's half-clad body, who joined the panel over Skype. As he gave heartfelt thank you's to each of the cast and creators for their last season together, while pausing to take shots of a clear liquor (let's guess vodka) and down gulps of red bull. At the end of his time, he ripped open his shirt and said, "I'm a rock star!" before zipping out of the focus. Typical Barney behavior? We think so.
While filming the farewell episode of the series, the cast had to work at keeping their emotions in check. "They made special Kleenex for us that said 'Let it all out. No questions asked,'" Josh Radnor, who plays the series lead Ted Mosby, said of their final day on set. And when asked if he felt Ted had taught him any lessons as a character, the actor was torn. "I found Ted to be like my annoying younger brother," Radnor said, noting that while he felt thankful to play Ted, he sometimes felt it was hard to relate to his character.
When the panel was opened up for audience questions, a young girl, who Wayne Brady dubbed, "child in black", asked the cast if they had any tips for aspiring actors.
"I was a child actor," Alyson Hannigan said. "Get other hobbies. Don't take the criticism to heart. I couldn't get a 'Saved by the Bell' call back to save my life." she said.
"Don't go to theatre school. If you want to go to theatre school, roll around in a dark room and pretend you're a zebra and save $80,000," Cristin Milioti, who plays The Mother, added.
Cobie Smulders, who plays Canadian Robin Scherbatsky — a T.V. anchor with a not-so-secret past as a teen singer in the 80s — was asked repeatedly to sing on stage. But the actress wouldn't indulge her fans, saying, "I don't know how I convinced these two I could sing," nodding at the showrunners.
How I Met Your Mother will debut a new episode Monday (an episode audiences at PaleyFest were privileged to view) and the series wraps with a final episode on Monday, March 31.