‘HIMYM’: Josh Radnor Remembers Auditioning For Ted Mosby Role

"This was a role that I read and I thought, 'I think I know how to play this part. I think this is gettable.'”


Josh Radnor

It’s hard not to get nostalgic as HOW I MET YOUR MOTHER prepares for its series finale tonight.

“Certainly you want to feel — after knowing what the fan investment is and knowing what our investment has been — you want to finish in the most elegant and satisfying way that you can,” star Josh Radnor tells me.

Josh, 39, was a relative unknown back in 2004 when he ventured out on a rainy afternoon to audition for the role of Ted Moseby.

He told me about the day that changed his life forever when we met up recently on the HIMYM set in Los Angeles.

“I had a good sense when I was auditioning a lot about what roles I would either get or come very close to as opposed to the ones I had no chance at.  This was a role that I read and I thought, “I think I know how to play this part.  I think this is gettable.”  So I worked on it and I felt really confident.  But I woke up that morning and it was raining.  And it never rains in L.A. so I thought it was like this bad omen.  “Oh no, it is raining, this is going to be terrible…”

But I got in there and I met [creators Carter Bays and Craig Thomas] and Rob Greenberg who was a producer for years on the show.  And these guys were so great.  They had gone to liberal arts college just like I had.  We were the same age.  One of them was from Ohio.  Ted was supposed to be from Ohio.  It just so happened that I was from [Columbus] Ohio.”

“So it ended up to be just a fantastic audition.  I had a test deal by the time I got to the car.  They called my agent and said, “We want to bring him to the studio.”  Then I met Cobie [Smulders] for a work session where they kind of pair you up.  And we really hit it off.  It’s funny when a role is not yours, it feels like there is nothing but locked doors.  But if a role is yours, it feels like “This door is open and this door is open” and it just keeps going and going.  There is an ease to it.  That is just how this one felt.”

Josh — who is now working on his second screenplay — insists his life is still “pretty regular,” despite his nine seasons in prime time.

“I keep it that way, intentionally,” he insists.  “Some of my days look like a day in the life of a person not on a well known TV show.  And there are other days where I am reminded that millions of people watch this show and know who I am and have feelings about the show.

“I got recognized in India and Tanzania.   When I go to Europe it is kind of crazy.  We make this show on this little soundstage and it feels very intimate and it gets beamed out everywhere. There is a lot that is great about that.  There is a lot that you have to deal with that is a little unnerving.  But you do the best that you can.”

The series finale of HOW I MET YOUR MOTHER airs tonight at 8:00 PM on CBS.

Will you be watching?  Sound off in the comments below.

Sean Daly

Sean Daly

Editor-In-Chief at TheTVPage.com
Sean Daly is a veteran entertainment journalist.His work has appeared in People, Us Weekly, The Toronto Star and other top publications. He was the west coast TV reporter for The New York Post from 2008 - 2013. Sean is the author of Inside AGT: The Untold Stories of America's Got Talent and Teen Mom Confidential: Secrets and Scandals From MTV's Most Controversial Shows.
Sean Daly