‘How I Met Your Mother’ Creators Reveal The Actress Who Was Supposed To Play Robin

It’s hard to imagine How I Met Your Mother without Cobie Smulders. So much of Robin is based on the actress, including that whole being Canadian THING. Beside, if Smulders hadn’t been cast, the world as we know it would cease to exist: no one would go to malls, sandcastles would crumble, no beavers would be better than one because all the beavers would be dead. Luckily, these scenarios are hypothetical, because creators Craig Bay and Craig Thomas picked Smulders, though she wasn’t their first choice.

“After what Bays and Thomas described as ‘a pretty famous actress’ turned down the role of Robin, they cast Cobie Smulders, also an unknown.” Will you ever tell us?

Jennifer Love Hewitt did The Ghost Whisperer instead of HIMYM!

That came from a Reddit AMA the pair held yesterday. Here’s a dramatization of HIMYM without Cobie:

What the hell was that last night. Anyway, other notable questions and answers:

Hi!!! Do you regret any plot decision through the series? If yes, which one?

Craig: I regret that we had the Narrator say he “never” found out about the pineapple. That said, we may have found a clever way around that, and a way to bring back the pineapple. Stay tuned…

Carter: I regret the unfortunate moments of cultural appropriation in Slapsgiving 3. There are things about that episode I really loved — the storytelling structure, Boyz 2 Men, the opening slow motion shot, all the slapping — but I think we all regret Ted’s Fu Manchu mustache very, very much.

Which was the most difficult episode to manage and why?

Carter: The episode with the two minute date. Getting that scene all in one shot felt like pulling off the moon landing. Every member of the crew had a job to do, and had to do it with perfect timing. It was like watching the inside of a clock. I was so proud of our show that day. I wish we’d had a camera running on the backstage goings on, because it was heroic. We have a scene like that in our third to last episode, Gary Blauman, that may top it in terms of difficulty of execution. It’ll be a fun challenge for our third to last week of shooting!

Craig: Shooting the Robin Sparkles videos is always a huge — but just awesome — challenge. We usually block out one extra day of shooting — only a day — to shoot a 4-minute music video with lots of sets, locations, wardrobe changes, etc, so it can be edited properly, with tons of cuts. Cobie Smulders winds up dancing for about 16 hours straight! Never complains…That stuff is some of the hardest to shoot, and yet some of the best times we’ve ever had…The entire “Suits” musical number was similar…super hard, but full of total joy…

I am a huge fan of the show’s theme song and think that the full version would be a great addition to one of these final episodes both musically and lyrically. Seeing as it is your guys’ band who sings it, is this a possibility? Perhaps maybe even a guest cameo by the Solids?

Craig: I don’t know if Carter is reading my replies (we are not together – he is in 70 degrees and I am in NYC snow!), but CB, I think we could put the fuller version of the theme song in the finale in that one spot…you know what I’m talking about! So…yes to this, this could very well happen!

Carter: CA-CHING! Uh… I mean… yes, Craig, let’s use that song by The Solids. They seem like a good band.

Will there be another Robin Sparkles before the end?

Stay tuned…people do tend to sing at weddings…

Which of the recurring jokes over the past 9 seasons has been your favorite?

Craig: Someone just did a “General Consensus” joke (salutes!) on here and I really do love that…one of the most-oft repeated in the writer’s room, actually!

Carter: There’s been an inside joke, I’m not sure how many times it’s been on the show, but it involves the word “guys.” Anytime you see one of our characters say “Guys guys guys,” three times like that, they’re tipping their hat to our amazing Assistant Director Michael Shea. The AD is the person who, among other things, has to get people’s attention on set and keep everyone informed of what’s being shot and how we’re shooting it, and often the way Michael does that is by yelling out, “Guys guys guys!” So if you hear someone say “Guys guys guys,” that’s what that’s about.

Craig: Neil also has a joke where, when the gang’s eating take-out, Barney can never get the food to his mouth while eating with chopsticks…look for that, it happens a whole bunch. Maybe in the final episode, we’ll see him actually take a bite…payoff!

Via Reddit