If there's been one secret to the success of the Harold & Kumar brand — one dark horse element more potent than the copious clouds of pot smoke — it is The NPH. For those of you not in the know, NPH is the Harold & Kumar penned acronym for actor Neil Patrick Harris — the one-time child star who was the brains behind the brains of television prodigy Doogie Howser. And it was his subversive appearance as a hyper-twisted bizarro world version of himself in the original Harold & Kumar Go to White Castle back in 2004 that acted as, in his own words, "such a nice boost to the randomness that is my career."
Since that unforgettable cameo, the 38-year-old NPH has gone on to star in the very successful How I Met Your Mother (with a season count fast approaching the double digits), perform in quite a few theatrical productions, secure a number of hosting gigs, provide the voice for the recordings of books on tape and, of course, continue revisiting the H & K films as "himself." The randomness that is his career is undeniably flourishing, and in many ways this consummate professional has the inspired and offensive lunacy of this franchise to thank. Which is precisely why he's back, stealing the show yet again in A Very Harold & Kumar 3D Christmas ("For a stoner film 3D just seems ... perfect," he says) as a despicable version of himself with whom the only true commonality shared is the acronym that has come to define "them."
How's it feel returning once again to the franchise?
It was great, silly fun. I did the second one because I felt sort of morally obligated to do it because the first one went so well. And then the third one they sat down and told me what their plan was, and I was cautious in listening to their story. And they told me they wanted to do a Christmas movie and I started laughing right away. So I was pretty onboard right from the beginning.
And you got to do some pretty ridiculous singing and dancing here.
I sort of like the weird, hyper duality of "Neil Patrick Harris" in these movies, so I enjoyed that you see me singing and dancing almost a little too frenetically and twitchy ... and then it's explained when I'm smoking crack in my dressing room. I enjoy that back and forth.
Do you ever have any concern that people might confuse the Harold & Kumar "you" with the real you?
Here's hopin' ...
You guys shot in Detroit, can you talk about that?
It was great. David, my better half, his family is all from Michigan, so I loved being able to go there. The heaven scene was filmed in the Opera House, a beautiful building. And that big song and dance number was filmed inside the Opera House as well. I love Michigan; it's a bummer that they don't have the incentives to make films there anymore. It's too bad, because I thought that was a really good thing for their economy. It's a really remarkable city, because it's tragic to see the skeletal remains of these big giant buildings next to buildings that are doing great. We were staying in this really nice hotel and everywhere around it were giant, fantastic buildings that were empty ... with shattered windows everywhere. But it's a super hard-working town, and I love Eastern Market, and I love ... I just love Michigan. They're really nice people.
A Christmas Story comes up a few times during this film. Do you see the potential for this to become that kind of a Christmas classic?
I'd love to say yes, but then I think about the baby on cocaine ... and I don't know how well that plays in the living room with a turkey baking. Or me pinning down a dancer and trying to force myself inside of her ... I don't know that that's a great thing to watch with grandparents, but you never know! Depends on the family I suppose.
You got to visit heaven in this one ...
That was hilarious. Fighting with JC ... getting' a handjob from angels ... just another day at work! | RDW
A Very Harold & Kumar 3D Christmas goes up in smoke on 11/4