INTERVIEW with Neil Pattrick Harris, who plays Barney Stinson in How I Met Your Mother, to air weekdays 8,30 pm from Monday 14 Dec on Romedy NOW
Q: Barney’s become probably the most popular character on the show. Did you have any idea that he would end up taking center stage when you first embarked on that?
A: Well, he’s the most extreme character on the show. So, it’s probably easier to write big punch lines for him. The writers can set up a situation that’s more human and then have everyone comment on it. So, when you have a character like Barney in that mix, he’s going to say the most overt and extreme response. So, in turn, that gets the most reaction.
Q: Onto “How I Met Your Mother”, do you hear people on the street repeating Barney’s catch phrases, suit up or legendary?
A: Yah, I’m getting a fair amount of those recently, actually. It’s kind of nice. I went to the Magic Castle, this private club here in LA the other day. I got a lot of Barney’s, high fives and suit ups. So, it’s odd to walk around and have people assume you are the character and not the person.
Q: So what makes Barney tick?
A: Single-malt scotch. McCallum’s 18 – that’s probably what makes Barney tick.
- How similar are you to Barney then?
- In many ways I’m wildly different but in many ways I’m similar. I think I’m probably equally as sardonic and always kind of looking for a joke, but I’m much more settled down than he is. Also, he probably gets more girls than I do (laughs). But I have to live vicariously through him.
Q: Could you be best buds with Barney if he was a real guy?
A: Yeah, he’d amuse me. I have a lot of eccentric friends in my group. I got to do a musical called Rent that was about 12 or 13 years ago. I spent the majority of my time with an amazing, eclectic, gypsy group of people and I came to the conclusion that those are the people I like to hang out with. You can hang out with average, boring folk at work. I like to surround myself with court jesters.
Q: In 2010 you were named one of Time’s 100 Most Influential People, how much of that was to do with Barney?
A: I really couldn’t answer that, I don’t know. I think being on a weekly television show certainly keeps you in the public sector more than if I was just doing sporadic work. It seems like that came to be because of the random other things that were happening at the same time with hosting gigs and the show—I don’t really know how to answer that. I guess the juxtaposition of who I am in real life and who I play on the show might have had something to do with it maybe. I don’t know. (Fans in India can now watch How I Met Your Mother from Season 1 to 9, all episodes, weekdays 8,30 pm from Monday 14 Dec on Romedy NOW)