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Video Neil Patrick Harris Talks About His Kids' "Weird" Cameo in A Series of Unfortunate Events
06:58   |   01/22/2019 at 18:46


  • -Your twins are 8 years old. -8 years old.
  • -Have they read the books?
  • -We read together the first book, because I was doing it,
  • but they've seen the series. -Gotcha.
  • -The books are a little darker in tone.
  • Daniel Handler, the writer, intentionally wanted them
  • to be more Grimms' Fairy Tale than Disney fairy tale.
  • So I think, for a longwinded book,
  • they should be a little bit older,
  • probably choosing it themselves.
  • -They were in an episode, though.
  • -They were in an episode. Yeah, that was weird.
  • -And so -- Genuinely, I'm curious --
  • How was it having --
  • -That's Gideon and that's Harper,
  • and that's my husband, David.
  • They all have little cameos in the show,
  • in the Carnivorous Carnival episode.
  • And it was fun. They asked if I wanted --
  • First, they asked if I wanted Harper to be on the show,
  • 'cause there was a part called Little Trixie.
  • And I said, "No, that's a terrible idea."
  • Just in every way.
  • I didn't want to have to deal with it.
  • But then I thought, "No, I should ask her
  • and see what she thinks," 'cause who am I?
  • And I asked her, and she was interested,
  • but Gideon was looking kind of sad,
  • so I went back to the producers, and I said,
  • "Instead of it being Little Trixie,
  • could it be Little Trixie and...Little Skip?"
  • [ Laughter ]
  • And so that's what they did.
  • And so they gave him half of the lines,
  • and they got to be on it.
  • But it's very challenging to be on a show
  • with your children as actors, because on a set,
  • it demands a certain level of professionalism.
  • You have to be a bit focused. -Sure.
  • -You can't just decide you don't want to do it anymore.
  • You know, tantrums -- often. -Yeah.
  • -And so, it was challenging to be there...
  • -And how did they do?
  • Did they execute themselves well?
  • -Yeah, they were fine.
  • It's such a technical endeavor for kids who aren't actors.
  • They were only, I think, 7 years old when we did that,
  • and you're asked to sit there for half a day in the same spot.
  • -I think that's the thing is it's so boring.
  • -Saying the same thing over and over and over and over
  • with your dad, who is next to you and your papa,
  • who's saying, "Just sit there!
  • Just sit there and say the line!
  • Smile. Smile. Say the line!"
  • [ Laughter ] So...
  • But we got through it, and I hope they never act.
  • [ Laughter ]
  • -Was there a moment where you thought,
  • "Oh, they caught the bug," or was it the opposite of that?
  • When they were done, do you think they --
  • -Well, I think -- I did it because I thought
  • it was good for them to see not only what I do for a living
  • but how it works in what I do for a living.
  • We film this show in Vancouver. We live in New York.
  • So it was me traveling away a lot,
  • and I wanted them to see kind of
  • what life was like while we were doing it.
  • That said, I think anyone who wants to act
  • needs to not be, like, pushed into it randomly
  • but needs to have chosen it
  • as something that they really are committed to doing.
  • And I think our kids are too young to make that decision.
  • -That's probably true. You --
  • Sorry. This is your son, yes?
  • -So, that said, apparently...
  • [ Laughter ]
  • They're really cute to put on Instagram.
  • -Yeah. So, that's your son.
  • -That's Gideon over there. We were at, yeah,
  • Sailrock Resort in the bathtub,
  • and we put too much foam in the thing.
  • He was having a foam party, so I Instagrammed that.
  • I thought it was funny.
  • And then, Harper got upset that it was getting so many likes.
  • [ Laughter ]
  • -So, she went to work. she re-created it.
  • -She then demanded that I take that picture.
  • [ Laughter ]
  • -Ad so, they're both posted, and it's not a competition,
  • but they sure seem to think it is.
  • -You won't let them --
  • They don't have their own social media,
  • but you let them start one for the dog?
  • -[ Laughing ] Well... That's -- They -- Yes.
  • They just two days ago
  • came up and proposed the whole thing to me.
  • -Oh, this is their idea. -Their idea.
  • They said, "Can Gidget," our adorable little dog,
  • "have her own Instagram account?"
  • And I said, "Tell me more." [ Laughter ]
  • And they said, "We want to take a bunch of pictures of Gidget,
  • and we want to put them on the Instagram."
  • I said, "Uh, all right.
  • I don't want you to start thinking that likes
  • or favorites or anything means anything.
  • We can't put any onus on the success of a photo,
  • but if you want to do it, you can."
  • So it's called Gidgetgrams on the Instagram.
  • -Yeah.
  • -And there's a picture right now.
  • -Really? It's active -- an active account right now.
  • -It is, yeah. -See, I feel like it's too late.
  • I think, like, once they get anything
  • that has likes, it's just too late.
  • -I'm just worried about Gidget. -Yeah.
  • -'Cause she's gonna be depressed if it doesn't get a lot of hits.
  • -And I don't know your kids,
  • but they probably oversold it to Gidget
  • and said, "This is gonna be huge for you."
  • -I might find her with a razor,
  • and she shaved herself nude and is just taking selfies.
  • [ Laughter ]
  • -That's the saddest. -Maybe. You never know.
  • -You are -- You love magic.
  • You love puzzles.
  • Am I wrong that you did a crossword puzzle?
  • You did a "New York Times" crossword puzzle?
  • -Yeah, they asked me to help be an editor
  • on one of the crossword puzzles.
  • A remarkably difficult endeavor.
  • -I can't even imagine what it's like to put together
  • a crossword puzzle.
  • I felt like it would be super easy --
  • Not super easy, but you'd come up with random --
  • you get the cube, and you'd write little words,
  • and then come up with how they fit together
  • and then come up with clues, which is kind of how you do it,
  • but you paint yourself into corners
  • that you can't get out of. -Yeah.
  • -And then you have to erase and start all the way over.
  • -And they just, like -- they asked you to do it,
  • and then they just send you on your way to figure it out?
  • -No, no, it's Will Shortz, and he's the editor of that.
  • He had someone that was really good at it to help me out.
  • -Well, it was great. -Actually, now I'm into games.
  • I love the games and the puzzles and the escape rooms
  • and the immersive theater and all of that stuff.
  • And I have a game now, called "AmazeD,"
  • that my friend Jonathan Bayme at theory11 helped create.
  • We sell it at Target. And I have --
  • Is there a box out here? -Okay, great.
  • -I have cards. So, it's a really cool game.
  • It's a puzzle, sort of -- It's a puzzle board.
  • You can open up the board in 16 different configurations
  • to create the board.
  • And then there's three different levels
  • of riddles, puzzles, clues like that, and you can play it.
  • So I thought we could try a few of them.
  • -Okay, great. These are riddles.
  • Or puzzles. -You'll see.
  • Tell me -- Tell me what this is.
  • -Okay. This is a...honeymoon.
  • -Honeymoon. Very good.
  • -I think I got it before that lady in the audience.
  • [ Laughter ] -I'm not sure you did.
  • -[ Speaking indistinctly ] -What is it?
  • Airplane hangar. You're getting the hang of it.
  • -Someone did say hangar plane, which is my...
  • -Hangar plane! -That is my --
  • You are my favorite person today.
  • [ Laughter ] -All right, here's another one.
  • -Better -- -Better safe than sorry.
  • -...than sorry. I got it first!
  • -Okay. So the timer -- A timer is upside down.
  • You're trying to get as many of these
  • before the sand runs out of time
  • and the next person's turn.
  • Try this one. This is an easy one.
  • The timer's running.
  • -Uh, horse cheese fist. -No, it's easy.
  • -Punch a horse in the cheese. [ Laughter ]
  • -Come on! The timer's running.
  • -Over -- Horse over...
  • -No, I just made that one up for the show.
  • It's not really in there.
  • [ Laughter ]
  • That's just not in there.
  • [ Cheers and applause ]
  • -Well... -That's nothing.
  • -You know, that really proves the old saying,
  • that it's better to have a fist in the cheese
  • than a horse on top of it. -As the adage says.
  • -As the old adage goes.

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Neil Patrick Harris talks about working with his kids on the set of A Series of Unfortunate Events, his hesitance to let them start an Instagram account and making a crossword puzzle for The New York Times.
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