Neil Patrick Harris

American actor (born 1973)

Neil Patrick Harris (born 15 June 1973) is an American actor, singer, comedian, author, magician, writer, film producer, and film director.

Neil Patrick Harris at the Time 100 Gala, May 3, 2010.


  • [on being LGBT in show business] People in the business are equally as terrified now -- but I really find it a personal thing. And maybe I’m at the end of that era. I wouldn’t even want to stereotype today’s generation. But the majority of the casting departments are gay, and a lot of the executives are. I think it’s a matter of your abilities and how you carry yourself -- I don’t behave any differently toward you right now than when I am with David [Burtka, his boyfriend] in our apartment, watching "American Idol." OK, "So You Think You Can Dance." [Laughs] I can see why an agent wouldn’t want to sign on a real overtly effeminate male actor -- not because I have an aversion to them but because agents might know it limits their job opportunities.
  • Playing gay in the theater is more fulfilling than on film because you can create a whole character and a backstory and you get to chip away at something over a long period of time. When you’re acting on film you sort of have one afternoon in front of a crew to just do it. And you don’t want to then be too overt and like that stereotype. But when I was doing A Paris Letter with Josh [Radnor], I was playing someone overtly flamboyant from the ’60s seducing him, and if I did that on film, I think it would look like I was acting too hard. It’s one of the fun things one wants to do as an actor, to play the flamboyant gay guy. But when you are gay that ends up being offensive to people. Say I was asked to play a flamboyant steward in an Airplane!–type farce. It would be a difficult decision to say yes to that role at this point because a lot of people would accuse me of making a mockery of gay people.
  • My job is jester -- not advocate. I’m on a situation comedy responding to [Josh Radnor’s character] Ted Mosby and his wacky adventures -- that’s my job right now. If people want to comment about where I go to dinner, they are welcome to, but it’s not my job to respond to those statements. The Internet stuff threw me for a loop because I didn’t understand where the vitriol was coming from. I thought I had been representing well, and in turn it seemed like I was quickly condemned to step to the plate, and I was fine with that.
  • I’m just really grateful and lucky that I get to keep existing in this business and existing by way of working as opposed to just being around the scene. So I love the process of making all of this. Being on set at the Sesame Workshop was one of the great things of last year for me. Getting just to work with Joss Whedon [on Dr.Horrible] for six days renegade-style was just unbelievable. Every week getting these new scripts and seeing what Barney Stinson gets to say and do is like a constant Christmas present. Things are swell.

I love everyone

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