Q&A with Cobie Smulders
A: Yeah, I'm from Vancouver. That's how it all got started on the show actually. In our first season, Carter [Bays] and Craig [Thomas], our creators, told me they were thinking of making Robin a Canadian. They said they thought it was kind of "exotic." They said: "It'll be great because this way we can poke fun at America and say that Canada has universal healthcare and their politics are more straight and all these great things about Canada. It can reflect on America and we can show our flaws." So they had one joke like that in the next episode, and the rest were just silly Canadian jokes.
Q: Do you mind that?
A: Nah. It's fun. It's definitely quirky. We've been doing it a lot though—we just wrapped an episode today, and my entire storyline was spitting out Canada-isms. It's such an easy, funny thing for [the writers], and you can do so much with it. Every character has their go-to joke. With Jason [Segal, who plays Marshall], it's food stuff. He's always eating, looking for the best hamburger in the world or something. For me, I'm always throwing out sayings or things that nobody's ever heard of because they're Canadian. And then there's Robin Sparkles, who was only a star in Canada, but that story line's a whole thing unto itself.
Q: Speaking of Robin Sparkles...please tell me we haven't seen the last of her.
A: Oh no, definitely not! She's such a funny, weird piece of Robin's history. A part of her past that is so abnormal. It's hard to bring her back now, because how do you go, "Oh, we found another video," when the first two were so hidden. But there's talk of a reunion tour. The writers really want her to come back, but I don't think it will be an actual music video.
Q: The writers do seem to keep great track of each characters' history, bringing up something random in one episode and then revisiting it episodes later.
A: I'd like to think that it's all on purpose, but then it's like: "Okay, we have three days! What do we write? Remember in the last episode, when we were talking about the goat? Let's bring that back!" But really, we've got some very talented writers, and the series is somewhat based on our creators' lives. Carter's supposed to be Ted, and Craig and his wife, Rebecca, are Lily and Marshall. So it all started from from a really sweet, down-to-earth place.
Q: Well, there's one storyline they really have to keep straight—the mystery of the show's title. Will we be getting any more mother clues soon?
A: We shot the season finale already because Alyson [Hannigan, who plays Lily] is on maternity leave. There's some stuff that's revealed in the finale. It's always such an awkward thing when talking to the press about it because when we find out who the mother is, the show will be done. People who I meet on the street are like: "I love your show. Who's the mother? You've got to tell me!" and I'm like "Dude, I don't even know what we're shooting next week!" I wouldn't be surprised if they did an ending where I was the mother or someone else was that people had been guessing. Or it could be a totally new person.
Q: If you could have dinner with anyone, living or dead, who would it be?
A: I would really love to sit with Kathryn Hepburn because I find her so interesting. I also lost a cousin a few years ago who I was really close to, he was like my brother, so if I could have dinner with him one more time I'd love that.
Q: What one lesson do you want to pass on to your child?
A: I think the big thing for me and my guy is that we really just want her to be kind and considerate. And to listen. Listening is a big thing for us. We're both in this industry, and it's so important to listen to people and to connect and be generous. Kindness is something that I feel is leaving us a little bit—people are getting more self-involved. And I get like that too, we all do, so I just really want her to be kind and good.
Cobie Smulders' favorite things