Whether cracking up the crew between shots or jumping on the bed in the middle of our penthouse suite, it’s not easy keeping a straight face around the 27-year-old starlet. With such a zest for life, it’s hard to believe Smulders is also a mom to an eight-month old daughter – though she is sure to leave the shoot on time to get home to her little one. It can’t be easy balancing such a hectic lifestyle, but Smulders assures us she has little to complain about.
Dress by Abs; Shoes by Jinny Kim; All jewelry by Malinda Maria
SNMag: What initially drew you to the character of Robin?
Cobie Smulders: The whole show is really sweet and funny. I actually hadn’t done any comedy before so I was interested in doing that. When I read Robin I thought it was a strong, independent female role, and I was excited to play that and some extreme comedy. She gets put in some of the most insane situations.
SNMag: Was the character originally Canadian like you?
CS: Halfway through the first season, they were thinking about making Robin a Canadian. They thought it was really exotic, which I don’t understand. They wanted to use her being a Canadian to point out the flaws of the American system. Canada has health care and good school systems and the government is better managed. There was one episode about that, and the rest of it was making fun of Canadians. They made her Canadian because they liked that I was one.
SNMag: What can you share about this season? Any major surprises in store?
CS: I know Robin is starting another relationship with her co-anchor Don so I know that will be happening. I don’t know how it’s going to manifest itself or what kind of relationship it’s going to be, but they’re going to have us together pretty soon.
Dress by Corey Lynn Carter; Shoes by Chinese Laundry
SNMag: If it were up to you, would Robin end up with Ted or Barney?
CS: Tough question. Probably Ted because, even though Barney is a lot of fun, I just feel like it’s one of those relationships where there’s a lot of excitement, but there are a lot of ups and downs. With Ted, it’s pretty sturdy and he’s loving.
SNMag: Can you imagine yourself being in a relationship with a guy like Barney Stinson?
CS: No. I was in a relationship with someone like Barney and it did not work out.
SNMag: Will we eventually find out who Ted winds up marrying and who is the “Mother” in the show’s title?
CS: Yes. Hopefully, in Season 11.
SNMag: There’s an episode where Barney receives “Robin 101” instruction from Ted. What would “Cobie 101” entail?
CS: I am an avid photographer. I own equipment that was made in the 60s. My favorite is a Hasselblad. I take a lot of pictures and have learned to develop them on my own. I was going to build a dark room before I had a child, and the dark room turned into a playroom. I’m going to be studying marine biology, I’ve always really been into it, and I’m taking some classes starting in March – right on the beach at Santa Monica College. I love to eat, which is problematic when I’m on a television show. I’m of Dutch descent, my father’s Dutch and my mother’s British. My legal name is Jacoba. Not even when I was in trouble was I called Jacoba. But it’s cool to have a secret alias.
Top by Anne Taylor; Jeans by Rewash; Ring by Skinny; Bangles/earrings by Malinda Maria
SNMag: You’ve had some really great guest stars on the show and we hear Jennifer Lopez is about to do an episode. What can you tell us about that?
CS: I have no idea who she’s playing. She’s going to be working with Neil [Patrick Harris] a lot so maybe she’s going to be a conquest of his.
SNMag: Which guest star has been your favorite to work with?
CS: Sarah Chalke I loved and she became a really good friend of mine. She became a good member of our group. She sort of came in and it clicked. Britney [Spears] was interesting. She was really nice and fun to meet. Tim Gunn was fun. He was super nice and happy to be there.
SNMag: Who are you hoping will come do an episode?
CS: I don’t know if Meryl Streep is available. I’m sure she’s busy shooting an Oscar-winning film but if she can squeeze us in, I’d love that.
SNMag: Are you close with your cast mates outside of work?
CS: Definitely. We’re all really close. Everyone’s super nice and normal, and I’m so thankful that there’s no drama on our set. Everyone’s very down to earth and gets along super well. We all hang out on and off set. We’ve been together for five years now so I spend more time with them than I do with my family.
Top by Anne Taylor; Jeans by Rewash; Shoes by French Connection;
Ring by Skinny; Bangles/earrings by Malinda Maria
Ring by Skinny; Bangles/earrings by Malinda Maria
SNMag: Any funny on-set stories?
CS: There’s a lot of music that happens on our set. Everyone’s very musically inclined – a lot of piano and guitar playing. We play games in between scenes. There’s a lot of laughs, hanging out, eating. So much food at all times.
SNMag: Who makes you laugh more – Neil Patrick Harris or Jason Segal?
CS: Jason. He makes me laugh a lot, on and off camera. If he does something funny or starts to laugh at himself it just sets me off.
SNMag: Do you ever have trouble getting through filming with these guys?
CS: Absolutely. Oh my God. I’m the worst at it too. I’m the one who’s always breaking right away. Jason and I spur each other on when we do that.
CS: Absolutely. Her daughter is on set all the time. Mine’s at home most of the time and she comes in if I have a lighter day. When they do come in, they play together. It’s nice to go through it with someone on set because it can be demanding in terms of “I need a bigger shirt,” and you don’t want to be a pain in the ass with the wardrobe.
SNMag: How have you managed to balance work and motherhood?
CS: It has its good and bad days. Our show has one of the best schedules on the planet. We shoot three days a week and rehearse the other days. It’s pretty easy going, and they’re very accommodating so it makes it a lot easier. My guy is really helpful and a great dad, and he’s around to help me with anything, so we’re a really good unit.
SNMag: Any plans to do more films in the future?
CS: I sure do. I’m running out of the house right after this to go to an audition. We’ll see what comes of it. It’s hard because you have just a couple months of hiatus so you have to find something that shoots in between then. But that’s the dream, to go on to do movies and do different roles and try new stuff.
SNMag: What are your favorite L.A. spots and what do you like to do on the weekend when you’re not filming?
CS: Well, I’m on Abbot Kinney a lot. Usually, me and my dude just bike down there and go for dinner and go grab a drink or bike down the beach and go down the path. We stick to the west side and hang out with friends down here. That’s why I like living in Venice because I can hop on my bike and go anywhere I need to go.
SNMag: What’s your favorite way to spend a Saturday night?
CS: Find a sitter, and have me and my guy take our bikes out, go to our friend’s house, have some drinks, head out to dinner and just hang out and connect with friends and laugh. Have my daughter sleep through the rest of the night. Have my daughter not wake up until 7 a.m. the next day.
By Jillian Gordon
Photographs by Bobby Quillard
Photo Assistant: Casper Brindle
Hair by Ian James
Makeup by Agostina
Styling by Miriam Sternoff
Location: Hotel Erwin, Venice Beach