Neil Patrick Harris Didn’t Know He Was In His Big Comeback Movie

Apparently, Neil Patrick Harris didn't even know that he was in the movie that turned put his career back on the map

By Mark McKee | Published

neil patrick harris

It’s a tale as old as time. A young and bright-eyed child finds success on screen and becomes a beloved child star, only to fall from grace and disappear into oblivion. The only evidence they even existed is old reruns and a segment on VH1. Every once in a while, a child star will overcome oblivion and return to the limelight with a role that can remake their image. Neil Patrick Harris is one actor who was headed into the memories of nineties babies as Doogie Howser, M.D. It wasn’t until he appeared in a satirical version of himself in Harold & Kumar Go to White Castle that his career saw a steep improvement. But how he would find himself in the movie is an interesting story that he recently divulged in an interview with GQ. 

In the interview, he says that he first heard of the part when a friend of his called and told him about a movie he was auditioning for. The surprising part to Neil Patrick Harris was that he found out he was in the film his friend was auditioning for. Worried he would be the but of jokes, he called his agent and got his hands on the script. What he got was a screenplay he found not only funny but flattering. He agreed to play himself but had one demand, don’t change a thing. The three scenes he appeared in next to the co-leads were arguably among the best in the film, and they reminded the world who he was and that his talents had been wasted for the 11 years following the cancelation of his series. 

A year after Neil Patrick Harris appeared in Harold & Kumar Go to White Castle, he brought his next iconic role (maybe his most iconic) to life. For the next decade, he played the despicable and somehow simultaneously lovable Barney Stinson on How I Met Your Mother. His inexplicably charming way of being a misogynistic womanizer and all-around horrible person made Stinson the cornerstone of a show that had all the makings to be a diet version of Friends. His involvement, along with the likability of his four costars, carved a place for HIMYM as one of the most beloved tv series of the 2000s. Since then, he has appeared in Netflix’s A Series of Unfortunate EventsThe Matrix Resurrections, and roles in the Star Wars and Dr. Who franchises

Neil Patrick Harris is not only popular for his roles on the big and small screens. He is also prominent on social media, and his Instagram showcases his amazing Halloween costumes with his partner, David Burtka, and their two children, Harper Grace and Gideon Scott. Now that his career is resurging and he is at a point fans can expect him to appear in big movies or storied franchises, it is almost impossible to look back and see the impact on the movie industry that the Harold & Kumar franchise had on the film industry. With NPH, Kal Penn, and John Cho all finding new life and careers beyond the films.