In fact, Cristin Milioti is one of the rare few Hollywood stars who have avoided all forms of social media.
“I don’t think as an actor — and talk to me if I ever join these things — but as an actor I don’t want to tell you what I had for breakfast or who I am hanging out with,” she says.
“When you watch what I do, I want you to not know much. I didn’t get in this to become a brand. I think we have lost a little humility with all of the self-branding and promotion. Sure there are people who got into (acting) for this. But I didn’t.”
So don’t expect Cristin — who rose to fame on the final season of HOW I MET YOUR MOTHER — to be posting cute hashtags about her return to primetime this week on the new NBC rom-com, A TO Z.
Early reviews say the beginning-to-end story of a couple who meet and fall in love after an online dating mixup is one of the bright spots in Peacock’s fall lineup.
She told me more about the show, her views on love and the end of HIMYM when we caught up at an NBC event in Los Angeles.
How do you feel about romance: are you hopeful or optimistic?
It has been a while since I have been in the dating world. But yeah… I feel like you know right away whether you are going to be with somebody or not — whether that be for a couple of months or a couple of years. I am very optimistic. There is enough love to go around.
Have you ever tried to make it work when part of you knew it didn’t click right away?
God yes. I wouldn’t be human if I hadn’t tried that. I think we all do.
Do you have a boyfriend now?
I do have a boyfriend who I am very, very happy with. I just try to keep [the relationship] close to the chest. But yes I do.
Do you have a date from Hell story?
When I was in middle school, I was supposed to get my first kiss. My friend — I forget her name — but she was going with her boyfriend and we were going to see GODZILLA. The thing was I was going to get my first kiss during GODZILLA. And he never showed up! So I sat there [alone] while she made out with her boyfriend. And I had to wait another 2 years.
When did you finally get it?
I got it toward the end of 8th grade, going into 9th grade. I was doing a community production of A CHRISTMAS CAROL.
What is the difference between joining an established show that is already up and running [HIMYM] and building something like A TO Z from the ground up?
The food is not as good. [laughs] I was so warmly welcomed to HOW I MET YOUR MOTHER. It felt like I had been there much longer than I actually was. I was so embarrassed I was crying just as hard as everyone on the last day. That is a testament to those people. But certainly I would say that on that show there was a more care free [approach] where this show, starting out, everyone is still figuring it out. We are still all getting to know each other.
Do you find that people are more at peace now with the way HIMYM ended?
I have no idea. I am not on any social media so I didn’t feel the full brunt of it. But it is a testament to the show that it was divisive. Because people were super invested. While we were filming it I had a sense that it would be divided. Of course there are always people who thought that Ted and Robin should be together and people that don’t.
How was your personal experience, getting exposure on this beloved TV show and earning a certain degree of fame.
It has been an overwhelmingly positive experience. Everyone that has come up to me has just been absolutely lovely. I did make a mistake… I read a comments section [on a blog] That is another reason why Twitter terrifies me. I don’t have a thick enough skin. My agent sent me an article with Craig [Thomas] and Carter [Bays] where someone asked them ‘How did you find them?’ And I didn’t recover for weeks. So the social media thing, I am terrified. But I might join Instagram because that feels safe. It is like a picture of a tree. There is something about it that feels like I can handle it. I mean, how much can you say about a picture of a tree.
When you signed on to HIMYM, did you know that the mother was dead?
No. They told me at the Christmas party. Craig was talking to me. We both had a couple of drinks. He gets very giddy and happy when he has had a few. And he was like “Do you want to know how it ends?” And as a complete joke, I said, “What do I die?” And then he told me and I started sobbing.
At what point did you know A TO Z would be going forward?
I got this pilot while I was still shooting HIMYM. I was so convinced that this wouldn’t go, that I cut off my hair when we finished. It is not a huge cut, but I got in trouble because I wasn’t supposed to do that.
A TO Z premieres October 2 on NBC.
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