The hardest-working man in showbiz? It’s still Neil Patrick Harris, who spent his 2014 wrapping up How I Met Your Mother, starring in a pair of movies, playing eight shows a week on Broadway, releasing a memoir… in fact, just about the one thing he didn’t do was decide to take over for David Letterman. Why? Because he was worried he’d get bored hosting a nightly show.
Here, Harris tells EW about one of his busiest years yet—and prepping for a jam-packed 2015. (Hello, Oscars.)
This last year has been the most glorious of clusterf–ks. I was finishing How I Met Your Mother, in rehearsals to perform Hedwig and the Angry Inch on Broadway, and filming back-to-back feature films. I remember one day where, after rehearsal as ladies man Barney Stinson on HIMYM, I quickly drove across town to put on high-heeled boots to rehearse in a totally new physicality for Hedwig, then headed back across town to do some looping for the western A Million Ways to Die in the West, and then went to a table read for the thriller Gone Girl.
With the series ending, and all these overlapping gigs—things I simply couldn’t pass up—as well as a bunch of new things on the horizon, it was a bit like juggling. Juggling a bowling ball, a tennis racket, a kitten, and a
So I thought I’d add a book into the mix, multi-tasking in the present while writing about multi-tasking in the past. I needed a book structure that allowed for a healthy dose of self-deprecation and comedy—the last thing I wanted was for my book, Choose Your Own Autobiography, to seem a self-important memoir. My life is very full, but it’s also incredibly random. This year I got to both shag probable Academy Awards nominee Rosamund Pike in a David Fincher film, and also shit in a derby in a Seth MacFarlane comedy. And winning a Tony was an unbelievable once in a lifetime—well, maybe a first in a lifetime—thrill. It ran the gamut.
Right now, I’m in New Orleans filming American Horror Story: Freak Show. My husband David’s doing a cabaret that I’m directing in New York. And we bought a brownstone in Harlem that we’ve started renovating. And I’m starting a production company. And I’m gearing up to host the Oscars.
My expectations are understandably high. We’re sort of in the dream-it-up stage, reaching out to writers we think are smart and funny. And since it’s the Academy Awards, they tend to make themselves available. In this kind of show, you want to make everyone feel comfortable, welcome and then move on to the next award. I don’t want to make it the Neil Patrick Harris Oscars. I just want it to be a kick ass Oscars.
But I remain hopeful that next year will involve more calm, more family time. Sigh. ‘Cuz nothing says calm quite like tireless, ebullient twin four-year-olds…
For more on 2014’s biggest moments, as well as the year’s Bests and Worsts, pick up this week’s issue of Entertainment Weekly, on stands now.