So the secret is out: the titular mother of How I Met Your Mother was finally revealed to be played by Cristin Milioti in the eighth season finale. Not only did she have to keep her casting a secret from everyone, even auditioning for the role was difficult to fit in her schedule.
Milioti auditioned for the show while starring in the Tony Award-winning Broadway musical Once, during which she was also appearing in Martin Scorsese‘s The Wolf of Wall Street as Leonardo DiCaprio’s wife. She spoke to The Wall Street Journal about the ultra-secret audition for the TV show and what she feels is the difference between theater and film and television.
Milioti admits that she couldn’t tell anyone, revealing, “If anyone found out there was probably a possibility of them firing me and re-shooting those episodes.” She couldn’t even tell her Once castmates and crew what she was up to, confessing, “I flew out to Los Angeles to test on my day off. Everyone from Once was calling me because we had a matinee and I kind of had to tell them that I was going to L.A. You’re not really allowed to do that, but I was flying to L.A. but couldn’t tell them why, that took some trust. And then so many people from How I Met Your Mother, came to see the show and my dressing room stage manager would come upstairs and knock on my door and say Pam Fryman and Josh Radnor and the cast from How I Met Your Mother, are here. And my cast were like, are you testing for How I Met Your Mother? And I was like, ‘I have no idea why you would think that, I’m just friends with those guys and they came to see the show because they were in town.’ I was making stuff up left and right. It was definitely really hard and when everyone in the cast asked, ‘Did you get that job you tried out for?’ I had to lie and say no or that I was still waiting to hear.”
However, because of her sneakiness and perseverance Milioti was able to able in a film, TV series, and on Broadway all within a single year. She admits that it doesn’t seem possible, pointing out, “I’m still pinching myself that I could do all that stuff in one year.” On the differences between them, she says, “Film and TV very different than theater, when you do a play you’re up there. The stopping and starting on film and television, you do one thing seven hours. You really dig into a scene really deeply and the cons are you have this intense scene and you have to keep that up for eight hours. When all was said and done I had done Once close to 500 times. An incredible thing happened, I could just exist in that character.”