Last month, embattled pop singer Britney Spears stepped out of the tabloids and onto a soundstage, filming a cameo that would bring "How I Met Your Mother" its highest ratings ever. In the weeks since, rumors have swirled that the "Crossroads" star is eager to resume her acting career and is in talks with the sitcom to become a permanent castmember.
For some insight, we went to the breakout star of "How I Met Your Mother": Neil Patrick Harris.
"Well, uh, no," he grinned. "[They're] totally unfounded rumors."
Reached by phone, a spokesperson for "How I Met Your Mother" said the show had no comment on Harris' statements.
You can watch the NPH video yourself and draw your own conclusions on his assessment of Britney's acting skills. Either way, he suggested that Spears simply isn't ready to take on such a responsibility.
"She's not an actress," he said. "She played a role for a week, and did a really nice job, but the workload involved with doing memorization and the purging of comedy over and over is really, really hard. I mean, it takes a strong skill set to do that every week."
An acting veteran who first gained fame as "Doogie Howser, M.D." in his midteens, Harris believes that the cast of "HIMYM" has become a well-oiled machine over 60-plus episodes, and revisiting Spears' receptionist/stalker would be a mistake. "You do it one week, it's fine, but to do it a lot of weeks is hard," he added. "She's not going to be a regular on our show."
As for his own personal memories of working with Brit, Harris said he was just happy the shoot kept her out of the paparazzi's unblinking gaze for a while. "We kept the set closed to make her comfortable," he remembered. "So I would probably keep [conversations we had] to myself. We wanted to make sure that she didn't feel exploited from us personally. She's exploited from everyone, all the time. We had some nice times, but they were our times."
Harris, who reprises his hilarious role as drug-addled hornball "Neil Patrick Harris" in the upcoming "Harold & Kumar Escape From Guantanamo Bay" later this month, also speculated about whether Spears' well-received cameo could end up getting Britney a sitcom featuring her in the lead.
"If she ends up getting her own show," he added, "she has to be prepared for the work load."
Check out everything we've got on "Harold & Kumar Escape From Guantanamo Bay."
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