When CBS’ “How I Met Your Mother” returns with back-to-back episodes on Monday, Sept. 19, Cobie Smulders’ character, media professional Robin, will be kissing guys.
“Always. Multiple,” Smulders assures Zap2it during a break in filming on the show’s Los Angeles sets.
One guy of the “multiple” looks to be former “House” star and Obama White House staffer Kal Penn, who has signed on to a recurring role in “How I Met Your Mother” as Kevin, a potential love interest for Robin. His first episode is scheduled to air Oct. 3.
“I know that he’s going to be on the show,” says Smulders. “I’m going to be meeting him through therapy that Robin’s going to be taking. That’s all we know. But he’s going to be with us for a while.”
Asked why Robin is going into therapy, Smulders says, “Yeah, Robin is just a bundle of unresolved emotions. Hopefully she’ll be able to smooth things over in her emotional life. Right now, she’s in a hard place, because she’s pining over Barney. Barney is in love — love? Who knows? — is pining over this co-worker of hers. She’s having a hard time dealing with that, because it’s very much in her face.”
She’s referring to womanizing buddy Barney Stinson (Neil Patrick Harris), who moved on from his romance with Robin to pursuing Nora (Nazanin Boniadi), her co-worker at news broadcast World Wide News.
Barney has an abysmal track record with long-term relationships, so Robin should have known better.
“Yes,” says Smulders, “but the realization that she still has feelings for him kind of took her by surprise. I understand that feeling in real life, where you’ve been there with somebody, and it didn’t work out, and you don’t want to go back to that place. It’s like an internal struggle between how you actually feel and what you know.
“It hits her. It takes her by surprise, too. It’s also hard to see him really pursuing someone so wholeheartedly, getting rid of all his other tricks with other women and just focusing all of his efforts just on her.”
Apparently, Nora will be around in the new season.
“Yeah,” says Smulders, “she’s already been in one. She’s around.”
Regarding speculation about whether there’s a chart on a wall somewhere, depicting all the romantic ins and outs of the “How I Met Your Mother” characters, Smulders says, “Oh, I’m sure. I’m linked to everyone. I’ve had sex with everyone.”
Before she has to run back to production, Smulders reveals that the season opener, “The Best Man,” is going boldly up against its competition, ABC’s “Dancing With the Stars,” with a little ballroom action of its own.
“We open this season with a dance number,” she says. “No other job will allow you to be a teen pop star and get to learn the cha-cha. It’s cha-cha-esque. You can’t really label it as any time, but it’s kind of a ”Dancing With the Stars’ number, but it doesn’t some from any style of the dance, like cha-cha or the meringue or the salsa. It’s a mix of what we could pull off.
“I’ve never danced in my life, so you’re thrown in. My hope was that you look spectacular, like you’ve danced your whole life. It’s just not that way. Also, it’s not the character. Robin’s not a dancer.
“But I have such respect for dancers, what they have to do and the amount of training they have to do, I just really wanted it to look like they did.”
Smulders also wound up with a dancer’s tired tootsies.
“They were pretty sore,” she says. “We shot for about six hours. We did a lot of takes, so I was pretty zoned by the end of it. But I still went out clubbing the next night. What, what, bachelorette party!”