Cobie Smulders Never Thought That Acting Could Ever Be a Career Until She “Went Full Throttle”

Cobie Smulders did a small amount of acting as a teenage model, but didn't realize she could do it for a living until she tried again in college.

Cobie Smulders

“If you’re lucky enough to get a job as an actor, I don’t think you can ever be picky” – Cobie Smulders

How I Met Your Mother star Cobie Smulders has continued to be successful as an actor after the popular sitcom wrapped and currently stars in the ABC series Stumptown. It has been a remarkable period for the Canadian actress, especially since she revealed in an interview with the Evening Standard that she never really expected that she would be able to make a living as an actor after her career as a model ended unsuccessfully.

In the interview, Smulders explains that she did a limited amount of acting when she was a teenage model, but didn’t actually realize that she could do it for a living until she returned to acting in college. She recalls:

“I was doing theater throughout my elementary, high school life, and at the same time, I was attempting to convince people that I was attractive as a model. I got to go to different cities all over the world – Paris, Milan, New York, Tokyo – from the age of 14 onward, but I never took it seriously. I did it with the intention of making money to pay for college, and it was sort of a way to travel for free.

Eventually, I was like, ‘Okay, I’ve been doing this weird modeling thing for a while, I’m just going to move to New York for a year and see how it goes.’ And it was a failure. It was an epic failure, I went home so broke.

I’m like 20 at this point, and I was actually going to go to the University of Victoria that fall, but I just started getting back into theater in Vancouver. I met all of these fun actors and we started doing plays together and I started doing classes and I delayed university where I was going to study marine biology, and then I just never went back. I’ve always kind of lived in my head a little bit, but I never thought having that going in my brain or doing theater could ever amount to a career – I just didn’t put two and two together until I moved back home in my 20s and went full throttle.”

Many fans were surprised when Smulders, who was best known for playing Robin on How I Met Your Mother, was cast in a supporting role of Agent Maria Hill in The Avengers, a role which has continued in several Marvel Cinematic Universe movies. On how that came about, Smulders remarks, “If you’re lucky enough to get a job as an actor, I don’t think you can ever be picky,” and points out that she aspires to have variety in her acting roles, adding, “I’m constantly trying to take the next role – if it comes to me. I’m looking to do something totally different than what I was just doing just to keep myself entertained and challenged.”

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