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Home » «Exploring Changes to Barney for Neil Patrick Harris’ Return in ‘How I Met Your Father’ Production»

«Exploring Changes to Barney for Neil Patrick Harris’ Return in ‘How I Met Your Father’ Production»

29 March 2023, Wednesday

Sophie (Hilary Duff) got a big surprise in Tuesday's season 2A finale of "How I Met Your Father" - she ran into Barney Stinson. He revealed that he's a changed man from the ladies man he was in "How I Met Your Mother," due to the fact that he now has a daughter. He even gets electrocuting shocks when he makes inappropriate comments, which was hilariously portrayed by Neil Patrick Harris.

Director Pamela Fryman, who helmed almost all episodes of "How I Met Your Mother", and returned for "Father", mentions of Neil Patrick Harris' performance on the show, "You write this much and then go, 'Neil?' and he fills in the rest."

Harris also agrees that it is a great comedic method for Barney to address his flaws, while still being true to his character. He explains, "I thought that was a very smart call because it allowed recognition of the world and humanity and the way one is supposed to behave and yet, it’s still kept — in a comedic way — Barney’s engine is always running and revving. You can’t really stop it. As much as Robin tried, as much as fans might want, Barney’s Barney. That’s how he was designed.”

The hit show "How I Met Your Mother" aired on CBS from 2005 to 2014, bringing many storylines - particularly those of Barney - to viewers. However, with the passage of time, Barney's character has grown and evolved and the team behind the show have acknowledged this. Director Pamela Fryman spoke of the character's development, saying "We have to recognize this character that we’ve loved for so long. It seemed perfect to me."

When asked to make a cameo on the show, Neil Patrick Harris did not just immediately say "yes". However, after a Zoom call and timing everything accordingly, it felt both extraordinary and bizarre to get back into the role. This is especially due to the fact that Sophie, the main character, is beginning to look for her biological father, similar to what Barney had done.

Harris commented on how relatable the scene was, since Barney starts off wanting to say something inappropriate, yet he is instead saying genuine words to someone who, in most cases, he would normally be inappropriate to. He described it as "Barney Fodder".
Overall, Harris described the experience as both wonderful and surreal.

Harris had a strong connection to his role in 'Euphoria' since both he and Duff are parents in real life. He discussed how much his views on parenting had changed over the 10 years and this provided an authenticity to the scenes he was speaking in. Even more so, when Barney showed Sophie a picture of his daughter Ellie, it was a photo of Harris' 12-year-old daughter, Harper.

Fryman remembers it as a lot of fun to see Harris and Duff together for the first time, as the former was incredibly nervous. “She was trembling,” Fryman notes, “but we had some downtime due to rain, and they got to talk and get acquainted, which was pretty special.”

When asked if Harris would ever return to the role of Barney, Fryer quipped, “I think it’d be Barney the movie”, to which Harris responded, “I think it’d be Barney, the spinoff. Let’s just call it ‘Stinson!’ with an exclamation point at the end.”
Season 2 of the Hulu series will return on May 23 with new episodes.
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