Although How I Met Your Mother is first and foremost a comedy, Cobie Smulders has gotten to do a fair amount of heavy lifting this season thanks to a dramatic turn involving Robin's infertility. And while this turn towards the serious has been divisive amongst fans, the actress couldn't be more pleased that she was given the opportunity to portray such a widespread issues. Although Cobie was also elated to ditch the drama for some old school superhero action in 2012's first blockbuster, Marvel's The Avengers.
In the film she plays S.H.I.E.L.D. agent Maria Hill -- a superpower-free character that Cobie assumed would spend the film re-steaming The Hulk's latte. But this is a Joss Whedon movie, so you can expect the same caliber of female warrior he brought to life on Buffy and Dollhouse. I caught up with Cobie while she was in New York City, where The Avengers closed out 2012's Tribeca Film Festival, to talk about her first big screen adventure, joining The Whedonverse and what you can expect from the final three episodes of HIMYM!
Insider.com: You've been gallivanting all around the globe promoting this movie. How jet-lagged are you?
Cobie Smulders: I'm good! I mean, I'm in New York now and leaving for Toronto in the morning, so I'm kind of obsessed with frequent flier miles now [laughs]. But it's been awesome because my dude [Saturday Night Live star Taran Killam] is here. My man. He's finishing up his SNL season and we get to be a family for a week [laughs].
Insider: These Avengers movies are unlike anything most actors ever get to be a part of -- especially the promotion. Have you acclimated to the supersized red carpet welcomes these films require?
Cobie: It's been great, which is strange [laughs]. I thought I would be anxious or nervous – which I was on the way to the premieres -- and I'm certainly not comfortable standing in front of 50 photographers clicking away, but it's a lot more chill than I thought it would be. We've been traveling as a cast, and everyone is so nice and supportive. Which is good. And not always the case.
Insider: Not that I should have expected anything less from Joss Whedon, but I was impressed with how excellently the female roles were written in The Avengers.
Cobie: It's funny because I heard Joss [Whedon] was doing The Avengers and I just wanted to work with him, so I hadn't even read the script when I got hired. So when I read the script, I was so, so excited. Not only was it a great movie, but I had quite a bit to do. Even though Maria Hill is a high ranking S.H.I.E.L.D. official, I thought she might not have that much to do. Like I would be delivering someone a latte or filing papers for Nick Fury. But I had things to do – and more importantly, I had stunts to do. I mean, the movie opens with me and a car chase. That's incredibly exciting.
Insider: In real life, are you a good driver?
Cobie: I like to think so, but what's a good driver if you live in Los Angeles? I'm awesome at sitting in traffic! [laughs] Oh, and I'm amazing at getting on and off the freeway. I feel like I am a good driver, but that kind of action driving is a whole other thing.
Insider: You've also joined The Whedonverse now, so it'll only be a matter of time before you work with Joss again.
Cobie: That's the plan! [laughs] I want to work with him over and over again. He's so great and involved in every step of the process. We're talking about the smallest detail to these big character decisions. Coming from TV, I was so intimidated with this film, so it was great to have someone like him in my corner in such a big way.
Insider: Also, as a result of this Avengers promotion, you've joined Twitter. How has the reception been?
Cobie: Really cool. I am still trying to figure out how to use it, so I find myself sounding like an old person because I don't know any of the cool abbreviations yet [laughs]. But I love connecting with fans. I think I was scared of it until now because I've always associated it with reading something bad. I'm an actor, you read ten positive things, but one negative thing and that's the one you take away. So I didn't know if I wanted to open myself up to that, but it's been a lovely experience and I like being able to let fans in on what's happening behind the scenes.
Insider: Whether it's good or bad, I would steer clear of Twitter Mondays at 8:31 p.m. for fear of being inundated with HIMYM questions, concerns, etc...
Cobie: That's one of the things I love about our show though: it breeds lots of conversations. Whether they be positive or negative, that's why do we do it. I hope that people are enjoying the season.
Insider: Have you been?
Cobie: I've been so excited this season. The great thing about our writers and our creators is that they're on the pulse of what’s going on. Especially with the fertility issue Robin's dealt with because I know so many women dealing with it and I love being the place this is presented. Hopefully it starts some discussions and helps people connect to our show on a deeper level. I was really excited and grateful that I was able to get that storyline. They've always been kind with giving me these emotional arcs – it's cool to be on a sitcom where we do jokes about farting to also have great episodes with these great, emotional centers.
Insider: There are three episodes left, one of which involves the reveal of who Barney is marrying ... right?
Cobie: Yes. It's not another "tune in next year" moment. There's a cliffhanger, but with a big reveal in the finale too.
Insider: Do you think fans will be happy with the brides' identity?
Cobie: I think fans will really like it. Of course there will be division among fans because they want Barney to end up with a few different people, but I hope the majority of them are happy with who he ends up with -- I know I am.
Insider: Is there anything you haven't gotten to do with Robin yet that you're hoping for next season?
Cobie: I'm excited to see her in a relationship and finally settle down … into something [laughs]. Committing to somebody is a huge step for her. She tried with Kevin earlier this year and it didn't work out. But our creators have actually thought about everything and that relationship was very much needed in order to get Robin to where she's headed.
Marvel's The Avengers opens Friday and How I Met Your Mother airs Mondays at 8 p.m. on CBS.