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How I Met Your Mother - Season 9 - Josh Radnor Interview

How does it feel to know that you’re in the final season of How I Met Your Mother? Does it feel anything like you expected it to?

It’s been really good and weird. Before the season started, we had dinner and the creators, Carter [Bays] and Craig [Thomas], told me that it was such a strange thing to find themselves in the ninth season of a show and feel so creatively inspired. They just hit on some ideas that they really just got jazzed to tell, from a new way. It’s still How I Met Your Mother, for sure. It zips all across time, backwards and forwards. It still does that funky narrative stuff that the show is so great at, but it’s also more concentrated. Also, because you have eight seasons of a tidal wave of narrative behind our backs, there’s so much history informing the characters now that there are so many more avenues to go to, in terms of both more dramatic stuff and comedic stuff. We’ve done five episodes, and I think they’re as good and as strong as any episodes we’ve done. And then, there’s the other thing of just being on set and knowing it’s out last time. I remember I was cutting through to my dressing room and I cut through the bar. We’re not using the bar set as much. We go back to it a bunch, but we’re not there the way we have been, throughout the whole series. And I just had this moment of being in the bar when no one was there and feeling like, “Wow, this was a powerful time in all our lives.” It’s certainly changed everyone’s life, in so many ways, and everyone’s life changed while they were doing it. I had this moment that almost felt like walking into an empty church. Not to overstate it, but it was really beautiful.

Is everybody owning that it’s the last season, or is everybody still in denial?

I think there’s something you can’t quite escape about the fact that it’s the last season. Even though everyone loves the experience and recognizes how transformative it’s been and what a gift it’s been, you don’t want to do it forever. It’s just a long time to stay with one character. We’re as popular as we’ve ever been, so we’re not one of those shows that dwindled in quality or overstayed its welcome. So, I feel like there’s a sense that it’s totally time to end. We’ll be happy when it ends, but also inconsolable. I think there’s going to be a grieving that goes on, just because of the transition into not having that be the main part of your year, with those people. And it’s not just five people. It’s 100 people. It’s people that we’ve really grown to love. We know their families. There have been births and deaths. It will be almost a decade. On the first table read, I remember thinking, “Oh, this is the last first day.” And then, at the holiday party, I was like, “Oh, this is out last Christmas party.” Everything is the last, but that’s okay. One of the secrets to life is saying yes to change and allowing things to transition, but I also think you have to mark the time and give thanks for all that it gave you.

Do you know how the show will end?

Not entirely. They’ve told me some of the arcs of this season. The narrative character knows everything. Whether or not he’s a reliable narrator is a question for PhD students to hash out in their thesis about How I Met Your Mother. But, the character that I play doesn’t have all that information. He’s playing it forward. It’s helped me to have more naivete about what’s about to happen. I just get the scripts a few days before. In some ways, I’m a fan of the show, but I just get to know what happens before the rest of the world.

Read full interview at Collider

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