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So who is the girl with the yellow umbrella
Her name is Cristin Milioti a 27 year old New Jersey actress who s shown up on Broadway in films and on television The Broadway set will know Milioti as Girl in the musical version of Once a role which earned her a Tony nomination last year film buffs will recognize her from movies like 2012 s Mike Birbiglia comedy Sleepwalk with Me and TV fans may remember her from The Sopranos The Good Wife Nurse Jackie or most notably 30 Rock. (Milioti showed up in 2011 as a baby voiced comedy writer whom Liz Lemon (Tina Fey) hired to spark a femolution at TGS.)
But how did Milioti get cast How d they keep her casting a secret How did it feel to watch her shoot her first scene EW exclusively talked to How I Met Your Mother co creators Carter Bays and Craig Thomas about bringing the actress into the fold.
CASTING A SECRET It was exciting says Bays about choosing the actress to play the much buzzed about role. Part of what helped us is our casting director Marisa Ross she sort of has been talking about Cristin for two years now. It helped that she turned us onto her and then the more we got to know Cristin and see her work the more we realized Yeah she s the right choice. So that definitely helped because we didn t want to do a big casting cattle call we were going to make it come audition for Barney s cousin or something.
THE MUSICAL CONNECTION The mother is known to be a member of the band at the nuptials between Barney (Neil Patrick Harris) and Robin (Cobie Smulders). So was musicality a prerequisite in selecting the actress Oh absolutely says Bays who points to Milioti s time on Broadway s Once as dovetailing nicely with her HIMYM character. Definitely yes. We re big fans of music as I think the show has demonstrated and we ve already established that she s a bass player in a band. I think there will be a musical component to her character and that was definitely a little bonus feature. Adds Thomas Last season we flashed forward to a little glimpse of her playing bass in that band and that was before we had cast Cristin so you just sort of saw a face and a shoulder but we love the idea. For anyone that has gone and seen Once she s not in it anymore obviously but she has an amazing voice. She s an amazing musician.
HOW HIMYM MET THE MOTHER The rest of the cast loves Milioti already. They all think she s a fantastic actress says Thomas. I know a couple of them had seen Once. We flew Cristin out to do an on camera audition with Josh Radnor who plays Ted with our decoy script pages and it was funny Neil walked into the makeup trailer while I was just chatting with Cristin she was getting make up to go do this screen test with Josh and Neil walked in and looked at her and his eyes widened and he sort of said Oh my God are you the mother And he gave her this big hug and was like You re the mother And Cristin and I were like No it s still just an audition it s not done. I m not cast yet. Neil was celebrating a little too early. Adds Bays with a laugh That s when you widen to reveal the other two girls that are also screen testing in the trailer. Continues Thomas It was dangerously close to that because two other people did come in and they had thankfully stepped out of the trailer but Neil was doing his victory dance that it might be Cristin. There were other two very lovely wonderful actresses coming in to read for it but ultimately we really believed in Cristin for it. The right choice.
CRISTIN ON SET Ultimately when we were shooting the train station scene this is actually fun all the extras are staff from How I Met Your Mother. They re all there. It was really fun. I kind of felt bad for Cristin because it was really like Jesus has risen when she showed up on the set the whole crew was like Here she is the women we ve been waiting for for 10 years And she s like I m just an actor.
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