TV star and Broadway veteran Neil Patrick Harris won raves — and an Emmy — for hosting the Tony Awards in 2009. The How I Met Your Mother star talks about taking the reigns of the show again on June 12 (8/7c, CBS).
TV Guide Magazine: How will you top your last performance? Dress in a Spiderman costume or as a Mormon missionary?
Harris: Thankfully Sean Hayes did a lot of silly costumes last year. I can steer clear of that joke. And I can — almost — guarantee I won't be on stage in drag. I will do a big opening number.
TV Guide Magazine: Who are some of the presenters this year?
Harris: There are so many! Chris Rock, Daniel Radcliffe, Christie Brinkley, Whoopi Goldberg, among them. And we can expect some watercooler surprises!
TV Guide Magazine: This year, TV and movie fans will know a bunch of Broadway shows like The Book of Mormon from the South Park creators, Sister Act, Catch Me If You Can and the much parodied Spiderman: Turn Off the Dark.
Harris: It definitely helps the ratings to have recognizable shows. The exciting thing for me is The Book of Mormon, which got the most nominations. It's very irreverent and blue, and they finally found a number they think won't upset the censors. It may be as unpredictable and lewd a Tonys as network televisions will allow.
TV Guide Magazine: You just starred in several performances of a special all-star version of the musical Company. It got great reviews.
Harris: It's coming out in 500 movie theaters on June 15, my birthday. I'll probably mention it on the Tonys 25 or 30 times. (Laughs)
TV Guide Magazine: What was the first Broadway show you saw?
Harris: It was Les Misérables. I sat in the back row of the orchestra and was just mesmerized. It was magnificent. And it's still my favorite.
TV Guide Magazine: What musical, new or old or not yet written, would you love to do?
Harris: The Magic Man, which was a Doug Henning show that Stephen Schwartz wrote in the late '70s. I just love magic, so it would be cool standing on stage doing illusions while singing songs.
TV Guide Magazine: Why should people watch this particular awards show?
Harris: It's an awards show that not only honors amazingly talented performers, but you actually get to see them performing live. There's no canned music; there's no lip-syncing allowed. It's what you'd see if you came to New York and saw one show. You can sit in your living room and see nine of them.
TV Guide Magazine: Switching gears from the Tony Awards, who would you like to be Barney's bride on How I Met Your Mother?
Harris: Who would work for Barney? I'd say Gisele. Only because she's wicked hot. Maybe he could marry into one of those polygamous cults. I don't think you can keep him down to only one woman. I don't think he'd be comfortable with the same thing over and over. But that's just me. There are a couple of chicks that he's into, so we'll see what ends up happening. But I certainly don't want him to end up being a stereotypical sitcom Johnny with a potbelly and a hot wife. He has a lot more playing to do.