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April 16, 2014

'HIMYM' Star Neil Patrick Harris on What to Expect at The Tony Awards

by PopEater Staff, posted Jun 10th 2011 5:00AM
Neil Patrick Harris
Is Neil Patrick Harris now the hardest-working man in show business? These days he's juggling his duties on 'How I Met Your Mother' with a movie career that includes the much-buzzed-about 'Smurfs,' a hosting job with Sunday's '2011 Tony Awards and um, he's got 8-month-old twins.

But don't worry about NPH: He told Popeater little Gideon and Harper (with partner David Burtka) sleep 11 hours a night. We talked with the universally loved 'Doogie Howser' alum about what to expect during the show ("There will be the inevitable 'Spider-Man' jokes"), why he chose to raise his kids in the big city and he reveals details about the 'Smurfs' flick and how playing a coked-up hooker-lover changed his life forever.

You're hosting the Tonys again this year (last time was in 2009). How do you convince middle America that Broadway isn't some, I don't know, gay thing?
(Laughs) Well those are your words, not mine. I think the goal is to present all of these productions in a way that makes them desirable for the rest of America and entice them to come to New York and see a show. It's choosing the right numbers from the shows and explaining and then watching them perform, really.

Are there going to be a lot of 'Spider-Man' jokes?
I think there will be the inevitable 'Spider-Man' jokes. I don't know just how far we will go down that path.

Really? I thought you would have already been fitted for a Spidey outfit.
No, Sean Hayes wore one last year so I'm free. I'm not the biggest fan of silly costumes on hosts.

You have been so busy lately. Do you have time to eat or sleep?
Remarkably I do. It's been a busy year and when you add two babies into the mix it quantifies your time even more so.

I'm in awe of people who have twins. How do you even get out of the house?
We're kind of grateful and thrilled to be in New York while this is happening because New York is a great city for little babies, I think. Just going up and down the street, there's so much to see and the parks are unbelievable.

Are they on a schedule?
Yeah they're great sleepers. They sleep about 11 hours a night.

That's insane!
We had probably the most fantastic baby nurse/sleep specialist who helped us out for almost the first five months and she was phenomenal and the benefits have been incredible.

Are your friends with kids jealous?
No, I hope people are more happy for us.

Sorry, I'm a bitter person. You're also in the 'Smurfs' movie.
I grew up watching the 'Smurfs' cartoon. I wasn't a collector of the figurines but they were definitely a Saturday morning must-see cartoon.

I always found them a little creepy.
I always found Gargamel a little scary because the smurfs were always so pleasant and so sweet and Gargamel would come in and try to destroy them all and I was a little bit intimidated by him.

Are you a goodie or baddie in the movie?
Oh I'm a good person. I'm married to Jayma Mays from 'Glee.' We're expecting a baby and I'm too busy with work and we get inundated by these little blue people and we have to figure out how to get them back to Smurf village and in turn learn a little bit about ourselves. (Laughs)

Naturally. Speaking of 'Glee,' you were on it.
It's miraculous how hard they work on that show. You would think that the show has been on the air for five years just based on its popularity and how much they are everywhere but they just finished their second season. We were having dinner with Jane Lynch and her wife and she kind of couldn't believe just that. It seems like it's been around forever.

And you've still got 'How I Met Your Mother' which is going into Season ...
Seven.

So you're in syndication. Ka-ching.
(Laughs) Yes, I did it all for the money.

It's funny how you're a guy with kids and you play such a Lothario who appeals to men, women, ponies, everyone.
(Laughs) I don't know that Barney's ever contemplated a pony but there's always Season 8. No, he's a great character. You don't often as an actor come upon someone who gets to be so bold and so broad and so horny. I embrace it as much as I can.

Was 'Harold & Kumar' life-changing in the way the industry perceived you?
It was a fantastic, lucky moment for sure. I had no idea that sending myself up so completely and ridiculously would be as well received as it was. I thought it would be a small little movie that no one would really notice and if they did that gag might not even be that funny and it ended up having a cult status and a third movie is coming out.

It's like an Oprah moment. You took a risk, made fun of yourself and good things happened.
Yeah for sure. I think people appreciate I was making fun of myself in such a hardcore way -- a prostitute and a line of coke! It was much harder core than I think people thought I was.

'The 2011 Tony Awards' air Sunday June 12, 8PM ET on CBS.

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