How I Met Your Mother star Alyson Hannigan talks slap bets and magic tricks
As her hit show How I Met Your Mother returns on TV, Alyson Hannigan tells stories of how she plays mother
She’s best known as Willow in the series Buffy the Vampire Slayer, and as Lily Aldrin in the TV show How I Met Your Mother. Few people know that Alyson Hannigan has been appearing on-screen since she was a toddler. Now, with the comedy returning to the small screen, and Alyson nursing her own little ones at home, she speaks with Indulge about magic, motherhood and more.
How I Met Your Mother was all about the running gags. Your favourite?
It has to be the slap bet. It was so much fun, and you never knew when one was going to be thrown in there. Jason (Segel) and Neil (Patrick Harris) had so much fun doing them, and the fact that I got to be the slap bet commissioner was fantastic. But you could probably mention four more and I would say, “Wait no that one is my favourite!” So it is a little hard to choose.
What has been the hardest part about raising your daughters while working in Hollywood?
The hardest thing is explaining why people want to take pictures with me. I remember saying to my oldest daughter, “Imagine you saw Strawberry Shortcake walking in the mall. You would want to take a picture, right?”
Your character Willow in Buffy the Vampire Slayer and her relationship with Tara was a bit of a breakout moment for LGBT characters on TV. Is that what you made of it, at the time?
Not really. What I loved was that they weren’t treating it as that. They were treating it as two people falling in love. It was such a non-issue. Other shows back then would bring on characters that were gay, but it was never one of the original characters, where you can see their whole story. At the time, it was a big deal, but it was a love story, regardless of gender.
Moving on to the show, Penn and Teller: Fool Us, you get to spend time around magicians. Have you ever tried your own hand at magic?
Teller taught me a few tricks, and to have Teller teach you magic is surreal. But it’s definitely magic training wheels. He’s teaching me the same tricks that he is teaching my five-year-old.
You’re also very active with social campaigns to give back. What inspires you?
If whatever recognition that I have from what I’ve done can help people in any way, I’m all on board to give back. I recently took my oldest daughter to a children’s hospital, and we were crafting with the kids. There was this little boy who was non-verbal, but was obsessed with cell phones, so my daughter made him a cell phone out of pipe cleaners. It was so beautiful and so wonderful to watch.
How I Met Your Mother premieres December 26 at 8:30 pm on Star World.