×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Alyson Hannigan, ‘How I Met Your Mother’

It’s not like Alyson Hannigan hasn’t been on a popular series and in movies before.

Hannigan spent seven years as Willow on the cult hit “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” and played band camp fave Michelle on the “American Pie” trilogy before “How I Met Your Mother” arrived last fall. But despite those past successes on both the small and big screen, Hannigan views her latest role as the mother of all good fortune.

“I can’t rave enough of what a great experience this was,” says Hannigan of working with Josh Radnor, Jason Segel, Cobie Smulders and Neil Patrick Harris and wrapping up the first year of the CBS Monday night laffer. The skein was picked up for a second season with Hannigan’s onscreen marriage to Segel very much in doubt. “From a work-environment experience, you can’t find a better place to be.”

If not for the “Buffy” exposure, Hannigan might still be toiling for a full-time job. When co-creator Craig Thomas was casting “Mother,” his soon-to-be wife was a huge “Buffy” fan, and she told him she wouldn’t marry him unless he cast Hannigan. Thomas’ wife is the inspiration for Hannigan’s character.

While being on “Buffy” provided a steady paycheck, the experience was often difficult. The production schedule of a typical drama is eight days, with the duration of those days sometimes reaching 14 to 16 hours.

It’s not unusual for an actor who’s just left a drama to want to move to a half-hour situation comedy, where one’s offscreen lifestyle is infinitely more manageable.

“Being on a drama is so grueling,” Hannigan explains. “I was done with that kind of schedule. I had to have a life, make dentist appointments — and keep them. I wasn’t willing to go to another one-hour show.”

So Hannigan landed at “Mother,” where her years of experience on TV — much like that of co-star Harris, who grew up in front of the public as doc extraordinaire Doogie Howser — has given her an almost parental status among the rest of the cast.

“I’m like the mom on the set,” Hannigan says, laughing. “Neil and I are the old folks.”

SOUND BITES

Favorite scene of last season:

“Jason and I and two guest stars run into an elevator at the same time, calmly greet them and then, as we leave, I push all the buttons.”

Favorite shows:

” ‘Grey’s Anatomy.’ I love that show.”

Underrated actor:

“Kristen Bell from ‘Veronica Mars.’ She really needs more attention.”

More TV

  • Pete Davidson Sits Out Final 'Saturday

    Pete Davidson Sits Out Final 'Saturday Night Live' Sketches of 2018

    Just hours after “Saturday Night Live” cast member Pete Davidson posted a message on social media that said he “really [didn’t] want to be on this Earth anymore,” he was absent from the final 2018 live sketches of the late-night sketch comedy show. But although Davidson did not take part in the sketches or appear [...]

  • Pete Davidson photographed by Peggy Sirota

    Pete Davidson Posts Unsettling Message, Deletes Instagram

    UPDATED: “Saturday Night Live” cast member Pete Davidson posted a disturbing message Saturday morning stating he doesn’t “want to be on this earth anymore,” then deleted his Instagram account. In the post, Davidson wrote, “I’m doing my best to stay here for you but i actually don’t know how much longer i can last. all [...]

  • Disney Channel Fires 'Andi Mack' Actor

    Disney Channel Fires 'Andi Mack' Actor Arrested for Plotting Sex With Minor

    Disney Channel has severed ties with “Andi Mack” actor Stoney Westmoreland following his arrest for allegedly trying to arrange a sexual encounter with a 13-year-old. “Stoney Westmoreland, an actor working on the series ‘Andi Mack,’ was arrested in Salt Lake City today,” a Disney Channel spokesperson said in a statement Friday. “Given the nature of [...]

  • Russian Doll

    TV News Roundup: Natasha Lyonne's 'Russian Doll' Sets Netflix Premiere Date

    On Friday’s roundup, Netflix announces the premiere date for “Russian Doll” and Benedict Cumberbatch’s “Brexit” film has a premiere date on HBO FIRST LOOKS Showtime has released a new teaser for the upcoming comedy series, “Black Monday,” which will premiere Sunday, Jan. 20 at 10 p.m. ET/PT. The series stars and is executive produced by Don [...]

  • Vanity Fair Review

    TV Review: 'Vanity Fair'

    There’s something comforting about the predictability of a period piece novel adaptation in the Masterpiece Theater tradition. Knowing the story, or even just the rhythms of the genre, there are rarely many surprises. The women will toss off witticisms and cry careful, pretty tears; the men will steel their jaws and declare their love, ideally [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content