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'How I Met Your Mother': Jennifer Morrison goes for laughs

November 19, 2010 |  7:00 am

99702_FOX_0043b On “House,” Jennifer Morrison tried to save lives. Now she's making life miserable for Ted Mosby (Josh Radnor) on “How I Met Your Mother” as passionate activist Zoey. After bonding over their mutual love of architecture, Ted and Zoey realized they were on opposite sides: Zoey's trying to save a historic building, which is  about to be torn down for Ted's new building. To top it off, Ted discovered Zoey was married. Recently, Show Tracker visited the set of “How I Met Your Mother” as they were filming Monday's episode, “Blitzgiving,” and chatted with Morrison about joining the comedy series, what's ahead for Zoey and whether she could be the mother.

What's it like jumping into the comedy world?
It's super fun. I'm having such a good time. I really am. Absolutely no complaints right now. I did a couple of comedy pilots before I did “House.” I was in “Big Stan” with Rob Schneider. I played his wife in that. I was in “Surviving Christmas” and played a funny character. My career's sort of been speckled with comedy here and there. I grew up doing both comedy and drama on stage. For me, it was nice to jump on something that was the opposite of what I'd been doing for so long.

Was it important to you to find something lighter after “House”?
Yeah. I definitely wanted to do that. I think for some reason in the industry, people think that even if you had done something funny before doing a drama, it's like, “Oh, she's been on a drama for six years, so she must have forgotten how to be funny.” [Laughs] I think people somehow have it in their mind that once we do one thing that's all we can do. So I definitely, for multiple reasons, wanted to jump on a comedy. Partly just personally because I thought it'd be really fun to do something light and fun and funny and goofy for a while. And also because I wanted to continue doing more than just one thing.

How many episodes are you signed on for?
I think officially 10. They've said probably between 10 and 13. I don't know exactly what their plan is with everything. I actually enjoy the surprise element of it, especially with this character. I like discovering her as time goes, as well. It's been really fun. I don't know exactly what they have planned. They keep teasing me, “We have so much good stuff!”

Was it hard to come into an established cast like this?
This show is not hard to come into at all because everybody is so lovely and so welcoming. Everybody has made me feel completely at home. I feel like I've been here forever in a good way. Most of my scenes for the first several episodes were with Josh [Radnor]. Josh and I actually were friends from before. We didn't know each other super well, but had run into each other here and there and knew each other. He just went so out of his way to make me feel comfortable and make me feel a part of this world. I honestly feel like it's been amazing to just to be embraced within this family as if I've always been here.

Had you watched the show before?
Oh my gosh, I've been such a fan! I've been like freaking out because I'm doing a scene in the bar for the first time in this episode. I'm like, “I'm at the booth!” I'm definitely genuinely a fan.

Are you excited to be part of Ted's journey for the mother?
Absolutely! I still can't quite believe it! I hadn't watched every episode. I watched whenever I could see it. I had always been a fan, so I've gone back now and I've been going through all the seasons. I saw all of Season Five and I saw one and two. I'm halfway through three, so all I have left to re-watch is half of three and all of four. Especially going back and watching everything in order, I'm like, “I can't believe I get to be a part of the whole idea of the this world.”

Do you think she could still be the mother?
We kind of know it's headed toward them liking each other even though it's antagonistic. I think anything's possible, but I have no idea what they have planned.

99866_FOX_1270b We see Zoey interact with the whole group for the first time in the Thanksgiving episode. How do they accept her?
They actually really like Zoey, which is what makes Ted really mad because we end up all having this great, fun night together. And Ted's like, "But she's my enemy! You can't be friends with my enemy!"

Will Ted and Zoey find some common ground?
Definitely more of that grows by the end of the Thanksgiving episode. It's a definite slow burn. The audience is going to get little pieces of information about Zoey very slowly. There's not huge things that come out. There's not a bunch of things that come out all at once. It's sort of like each episode, you get another piece of the puzzle, figuring out who she is and what she means to Ted.

Kyle MacLachlan plays your husband.
He's so awesome. Just as a person, he's so sweet and so funny. It's such an eccentric character, and he so completely goes for it and you completely buy it. Like, “Yup. He is that guy.” It's so great.

What kind of a marriage would you say they have?
Clearly, there's problems or this situation wouldn't be going on. I think that at some point they did have a great marriage, and I don't think that it's necessarily bad. I just think they may be at a place in their lives where they're realizing they're not meant to be forever. I'm guessing because it hasn't come out yet. Maybe they rushed into something at some point. It may not be something that can sustain in the long run.

Will Zoey continue to make Ted's life difficult?
When they first meet, they obviously have chemistry. They obviously like each other and have a lot in common. It isn't until the building issue starts that they are in conflict. [In the Thanksgiving episode], it's the first time that we return to that feeling between them where there's some sort of truce at least for the moment, for the holiday, and realizing that they do have a lot in common. It'll be interesting to see how they maintain conflict after we get to that place of starting to see eye-to-eye a little.

-- Vlada Gelman (follow my TV musings on Twitter at @stayingin)

Don't forget to come back to Show Tracker on Monday for more about "Blitzgiving" and Jorge Garcia's guest spot, as well as my episode recap.

Photos: Zoey (Jennifer Morrison) and Ted (Josh Radnor); Lily (Alyson Hannigan), Marshall (Jason Segel), Robin (Cobie Smulders), Zoey (Jennifer Morrison) and Ted (Josh Radnor) in "Blitzgiving." Credit: Ron P. Jaffe / Fox; Eric McCandless / Fox.

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