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Gilt Groupe threw itself a dinner party at The Dutch on Wednesday night to toast the Aug. 8 launch of its men’s full-price retail site, Park & Bond. It made a sort of sense to see Neil Patrick Harris, who plays the hyper-dapper Barney Stinson on CBS’ “How I Met Your Mother,” among the attendees. WWD stole a few minutes of the actor’s time to chat about his latest cinematic turn in “The Smurfs,” which opens today, and which sees him play the human foil to a gang of little blue CGI elves.
WWD: Your prime-time character is sartorially sharp. Are you in real life?
Neil Patrick Harris: I used to be a real jeans and V-neck T-shirt guy all the time. But I’ve learned a lot from our wardrobe department and David [Burtka], my better half, loves dressing well. He’s taught me and dressed me a lot. I’m very content with either a wardrobe mistress or a better half saying: “Wear this, wear this, with these and that.”
WWD: “The Smurfs” comes out on Friday.
N.P.H.: Yes! Smurftastic.
WWD: It takes a special person to say “Smurftastic” and not sound cynical.
N.P.H.: No cynicism at all, man! We were really excited about making a movie that wasn’t just a little kids’ movie because we were all fans of The Smurfs when we were younger. I’m happy to say I think we succeeded.
WWD: How long were you walking around talking to imaginary figures?
N.P.H.: A couple of months.
WWD: Did you have to work your way back out of that?
N.P.H.: I just felt bad for the crew. Normally the crew behind the camera gets to watch a scene with two actors play itself out. I had an earwig in my ear with voiceover actors in another room and I was acting to no one but little dots all over the place, so they saw me looking like I was in the loony bin.
WWD: Who was your favorite voice to work with?
N.P.H.: Well, I didn’t really work with them because they would all go in separately, but my favorite voice of them all has got to be Jonathan Winters’. Katie Perry’s really awesome as Smurfette….Jonathan Winters’ voice is amazing. It’s the deepest voice I’ve ever heard. He must chain smoke or maybe they did something digitally. I shouldn’t say that Papa Smurf chain-smokes. That probably goes against the demographic that we want.