Co­bie is keep­ing her cool

From Avengers to sit­coms, this ac­tress is fir­ing heat, writes Roger Moore

The Gold Coast Bulletin - Play Magazine - - TELEVISION -

WHEN Hol­ly­wood sizes up Cana­dian ac­tress Co­bie Smul­ders, the model-gor­geous and model-thin star of TV’s How I Met Your Mother, they en­vi­sion her as ‘‘some tough chick’’.

She laughs: ‘‘I do all th­ese things where I like guns, and I’m kind of a guy’s girl. I have no idea where that comes from.’’

It must have started with the sit­com. Even her win­some, ro­man­tic but thick­skinned TV an­chor, Robin Scherbatsky, has been tough­ened up by a dad who would have pre­ferred hav­ing a son. And Robin likes her guns.

As agent Maria Hill in The Avengers, Smul­ders is pack­ing.

Sur­rounded by un­sta­ble su­per-he­roes and the oc­ca­sional su­per vil­lain, who can blame her?

In her new movie, De­liv­ery Man, she car­ries heat. She’s a New York City cop, preg­nant by a boyfriend (Vince Vaughn) who ‘‘needs to grow up and be the man she’s al­ways hoped he could be’’.

That’s another niche the Van­cou­ver na­tive has made her own.

As How I Met Your Mother winds up its run, her char­ac­ter ties the knot with the wom­an­is­ing Peter Pan, Bar­ney Stin­son (Neil Pa­trick Har­ris), dur­ing a wed­ding weekend that takes up the en­tire fi­nal sea­son of the show.

Smul­ders, 31, is used to play­ing an adult woman in a world of child­ish men.

‘‘For some of us, it hits us in our late 20s or early 30s – with some men, it’s in their 40s – that mo­ment where we re­alise, ‘Oh, shoot, I need to grow up, don’t I?’ For women, that seems to hap­pen sooner.’’

For Emma in De­liv­ery Man, that re­al­i­sa­tion hits when she be­comes preg­nant. Her char­ac­ter sizes up the beau and finds him want­ing.

And just as she’s sent him pack­ing, with an im­plied ‘‘come back when you’ve grown up’’, he learns of more ev­i­dence that he’s a bit of a child­ish flake. The sperm dona­tion for money thing he did to make ends meet 20 years ago blows up on him as his sur­ro­gate kids want to know his iden­tity – all 533 of them.

He hides this from Emma, but starts to grow up as he se­cretly tracks down and lends a hand in th­ese many and varied young adults’ lives. ‘‘I get to play the au­di­ence, in a way’’ Smul­ders says. Ja­coba Fran­cisca Maria ‘‘Co­bie’’ Smul­ders started turn­ing up on TV and in films a dozen years ago, and had re­cur­ring roles on a cou­ple of shows be­fore How I Met gave her that big break.

She has been rel­ish­ing ‘‘ev­ery minute, ev­ery fi­nal sur­prise on set’’, this year as that show fin­ishes shoot­ing in Fe­bru­ary.

That means her years of squeez­ing in movies be­tween sea­sons are over.

And even though she has a star­ring role in the com­edy They Came To­gether with Paul Rudd and Michael Shan­non, even though she sees ‘‘a long, life and ca­reer, I hope, in the Mar­vel Universe’’, with a cou­ple of Avengers projects in the can ( Cap­tain Amer­ica: The Win­ter Sol­dier, and The Avengers: Age of Ul­tron) or in the fu­ture, the end of How I Met Your Mother will her­ald a ma­jor life change for Smul­ders.

The mar­ried (to ac­tor and Satur­day Night Live reg­u­lar Taran Kil­lam) mother of a lit­tle girl is pulling up stakes.

‘‘I’m mov­ing to New York and hope to do some the­ater there. I’m not go­ing to im­pose my­self on mu­si­cal the­ater. Why try and take a job from some­body who can ac­tu­ally sing? But dra­mas and come­dies? I’m up for those, orig­i­nal plays and clas­sics with a new spin? Call me.’’

How I Met Your Mother: Thurs­days, 8pm, Seven, Prime7

The De­liv­ery Man opens Novem­ber 28.

Co­bie Smul­ders

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