Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Harris is not blue at all about new role(s)


Five quick questions for Neil Patrick Harris, star of TV, stage, awards shows and, starting on Friday, "The Smurfs," as a harried marketing man who helps save the day for some lovable blue creatures in New York City.
If you voiced an animated Smurf instead of playing a guy who turns out to be their live-action pal, which one would you be?
I don't know. Maybe Variety Smurf? I like to juggle and do magic, see.

What would Barney (the womanizing character he plays on CBS' hit, "How I Met Your Mother") say about The Smurfs in this film?
He'd probably ask for Smurfette's number (especially since she's voice by Katy Perry) and call it a day.

What did you know about "The Smurfs" when you got this role?

I thought the whole thing was created by Hanna-Barbera in the '80s as part of that "Captain Cavemen," "Wonder Twin" powers kind of movement. So, that's all I sort of knew of them.

In the film your wife (played by Jayma Mays, shown with Harris and Smurf buddies above) is expecting. Were you (and longtime partner David Burtka) expecting your twins (from a surrogate mom) during filming, and how did that resonate for you?
When we were filming the movie we were maybe five or six months pregnant and weren't telling anybody. So, it was my little secret and it was certainly easy to play things like looking at an ultrasound photo and feeling what emotion that brings. That was nice and a little secret moment. That day actually, in Times Square, the scene where I sat and took out that card and read it, I finally went up to (director) Raja Gosnell, who, bless his heart, because both Raja and (producer) Jordan Kerner had been constantly telling me what it feels like to be a potential dad and how you're heart will skip beats when you find out that you're expecting.

I was nodding, like, "Is that right?" So, I leaned over to Raja and I said, "I've got a secret. We're expecting twins in October." He kind of melted and was a little bit embarrassed that he had been so forthcoming in trying to explain to me what that felt like, not realizing that I all ready knew. But it was nice. When the script came my way we had just started that process, and so it seemed like good timing when I looked ahead into the future.

Do you think that (now 9-month-old twins Gideon Scott and Harper Grace) will be fans of "The Smurfs"?
I hope so. They're a little young. We haven't shown them any screeners at all yet, but maybe when the third movie comes around.

By the way, Harris says he is signed on for sequels to the 3D film and hoping for a blockbuster franchise. Until anything is officially greenlit, though, you can read more from him and co-stars Hank Azaria (the evil Gargamel) and Alan Cumming (voice of Gutsy Smurf) at Sun News and CriticsChoice. My review of their film should be up on Friday at both sites, along with my review of "Crazy, Stupid, Love" and some talk with stars Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone. (See my ratings of all current movies here.)

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