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Bullet Ponts: Neil Patrick Harris

The wildly popular star of “How I Met Your Mother” and Gone Girl is ready to host the Oscars

Author Nicholas Derenzo

nphWith four Tony and two Emmy ceremonies under his belt, showbiz’s go-to emcee takes the stage this month for his first turn as Oscar host. Here, he offers his dos and don’ts—and tells us why a Grammy hosting gig (and thus the full host “EGOT”) might not be in the cards. — (FEB. 22)

• On a host’s role
“A host’s responsibility isn’t to have a good show himself, but to provide a good show for the people who are nominated and who are watching. It’s less an opportunity to showcase what I do and more an obligation to make sure the people who are having a once-in-a-lifetime experience get to enjoy it to the fullest. That sounds polite and selfless, but it actually eliminates pressure on myself, because then my job becomes one of facilitator, not one of performer.”

• On co-starring in an oscar-bait film this year
“It makes me wonder just how much Gone Girl comedy one can put into a monologue without sounding like I’m shilling! All Gone Girl jokes—that could be beneficial to a number of us. But I’ll try and even the playing field as much as I can.”

• On Getting the tone right
“Actors are at theend of a very longgauntlet of awardsshows and red carpets and inter- views. They’re usedto being in a motor home in a different country 1,000 miles away. It’s going to be a tricky endeavor to just lead the room and make sure they feel like they’re in a safe space and not in some freaky sort of commercial environment.”

• On why hewon’t dress like Iron Man
“It’s one of my few tenets as a host: I’m not into silly costume comedy. I don’t understand why anyone wouldwant to put them- selves through that! It’s the one photo that’s inevitably used in the recaps. You spend all your time trying to look sharp in a tuxedo, and there you are dressed as Thor.”

• On new tricks
“Ventriloquism! I may do the entire opening monologue without opening my lips—which will be riveting. I do love puppets, though. It would be a model of an oversize Oscar.”

• On hosting the Grammys
“That would be a lovely idea, in theory, but I don’t quite have the mad music skillz—with a Z—that LL Cool J has. He’s on a CBS show and I think has Mafia ties, so I don’t want to upset him in any way. Maybe when my hip-hop album drops in July, I’ll feel more comfortable on that stage.”

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