Wednesday, 12 March 2008

Britney Laughed 'A Lot' on 'Mother' Set

Usmagazine.com has confirmed that Britney Spears will guest star on the March 24 episode of the CBS sitcom "How I Met Your Mother."

The pop star, 26 will play Abby, a receptionist at a dermatologist's office who falls for architect Ted (Josh Radnor) when he comes in to have a tattoo removed. (It is Spears' first return to the small screen since a 2006 cameo on "Will & Grace.")

[ Britney Spears: Animated in New Music Video! - Read the article ]

In Abby's first scene, she bursts in during Ted's painful session.

"Doctor, are you all right? I heard a woman screaming!" Abby says. Seeing Ted, she giggles.

[ Britney Spears' Lawyer: K-Fed Can Pay His Own Legal Fees - Read the article ]

Us spoke exclusively to show creator Craig Thomas about Spears, who attended a table reading with the cast on Monday.

Tell Us how this all came about.
Britney's people ended up coming to CBS and expressing interest in our show, and we were thrilled: 'Britney Spears watches our show!'

They said she was a big fan of the show?
They said she was looking for a small part on a funny show, and she checked out our show and liked it. They were really receptive to the idea of bringing Britney in and just doing a funny role for her. It all came together really quickly - it was kind of shocking.

How quick?
We heard that they read about the part on Thursday. We were literally in the middle of a re-write of that script, and they said, 'Oh, we're having dinner with Britney tonight, and she likes the show. Can you get her a script a half-hour from now?' So we just sort of busted a-- for the next 40 minutes, hit print and showed her our in-progress rewrite of the episode. She got in and thought the character was really funny and said yes the very next day.

So the script came before you knew Britney would be attached to it?
That's right. They thought the part was a great thing for Britney to do, just to keep her acting chops up and come have fun with us for a week.

Describe the role.
The episode's about Ted, our main character. Ted went crazy one night earlier in this season and got an embarrassing butterfly stamped right above his a--. Not his proudest moment. So he's now in the predicament of having to remove this tattoo, so he goes to a dermatologist to remove it and gets a big crush on his dermatologist. What he's sort of oblivious to, as he's pursuing this dermatologist, is that the dermatologist's receptionist (Spears) is falling in love with him. It's a fun, romantic comedy episode.

So Britney's character is kind of mousy?
She is just trying to get Ted's attention and keeps on screwing up, saying awkward things. Ted's absolutely oblivious. Go, Josh Radnor - he has Britney Spears chasing after him in this episode!

So it worked out pretty well that you happened to have this part.
I think it was great because it was the size and shape of what they wanted [her] to do. They were very explicit about wanting to do a funny, smaller part that Britney could come in and have a good time with. So I think it just fit what they were looking for. Britney came in [Monday], we did the table read. She did a great job, and we all had a lot of fun.

What happened at the table read?
She showed up a little bit early - the table read is at 10 a.m. - so she could talk to us and our director. It was great because we all got to know each other. We described what a fun, low-key environment our set was, and it seemed like that was exactly what she was looking for.

Who did she show up with?
She showed up with her acting agent, an assistant - not many people.

Was the acting agent the one who originally approached you guys?
Yeah, the person we interacted with was her acting agent.

How did the cast get along with her?
Great, they seemed to click. She seemed to fit right in! She was having a good time. She was laughing. And it's a very sweet, romantic episode, so the vibe in the room was just very fun. Everyone was having a good time, and I think she had a good time.

When will she be filming these scenes?
It'll be one of the days of this week: Wednesday, Thursday or Friday. It'll be a day-and-a-half during those three days, but we don't have the full schedule yet, so we're not sure.

Is she going to talk differently, dress differently?
It's a character, for sure! Britney's not playing a version of herself. I think that's part of what appealed to her: She gets to play a character who's not her.

Have you ever seen her act?
Yeah. One of our executive producers was an EP on "Will and Grace" at the time that she was there, and he thought she was great. I remember seeing that episode, and she was great. Also, she's hosted "SNL." Britney's really funny! We've seen her display her comedic chops before, so we're thrilled to have her bring that to our show.

Is this going to be a recurring character?
You never know! We don't rule anything out.

Do you know when this episode will be airing?
The episode is going to be on March 24.

Are you prepared to deal with the paparazzi on-set?
I don't know that anyone's going to get through! The table read this morning was so low-key - you wouldn't even believe it! There weren't a bunch of people there, no paparazzi. She seemed to have a great time, and we had a great time working with her. It was just like really a normal table read.

How long was she at the table read for?
She was probably here for an hour-and-a-half.

Did she give the impression that she knew the characters?
I think she did. She was really laughing a lot during the table read and seemed to understand the characters. When we were trying to get her to come on, we sent her that early version of the script and a few episodes. So she brushed up on watching those episodes again and read the script. We heard that she really liked all of it. We were thrilled that, less than 24 hours later, she was doing the show. That must mean that she liked the script!

That's a pretty good sign.
I think it's going to be one of our best episodes of season three!

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