How Jim Parsons’ Failed Audition For ‘Barney’ On ‘How I Met Your Mother’ Went Down


“I auditioned to play Barney, and felt that I was very wrong for it. I almost ran screaming from the room after I auditioned like, ‘Well I did that but I don’t know why,’” said Jim Parsons about the auditions for How I Met Your Mother.

Neil Patrick Harris | Photo Credit HIMYM

How I Met Your Mother was a different kind of sitcom when it hit the air. On the show, “A father recounts to his children, through a series of flashbacks, the journey he and his four best friends took leading up to him meeting their mother.”

It’s almost impossible to imagine Jim Parsons as Barney, especially after Neil Patrick Harris came in to conquer the role.

Jim Parsons Talks About The Barney Stinson Audition

Jim Parsons, NPH | Photo Credit Instagram

“They actually made me come back in as if they were interested. But the right person got that job, Neil Patrick Harris,” said Jim Parsons. On HIMYM, the character is a womanizer obsessed with close-up magic and the finer things in life.

On The Big Bang Theory, Sheldon Cooper is essentially the exact opposite. For the bulk of the show, Sheldon didn’t care at all about women and he still doesn’t care about money, but he does love his profession.

In the end, the right actors landed in the right roles.

Barney Stinson Life Lessons From HIMYM

“I’m always concerned that Barney remains someone you want to be friends with, even though you wonder why,” Neil Patrick Harris told SheKnows. “You’re drawn to him, not just disgusted. You never want to watch a character on a television show misbehaving too much, or you get disinterested in them.”

Over the arc of the show (2005-2014), Barney was mainly just the cool character who had the most ridiculous subplots. No one ever knew exactly what he did for work or how much money he made, but it was clear that he made a lot of money.

In the end, the show is more about Ted Mosby (Josh Radnor) than Barney Stinson (Neil Patrick Harris). But Barney certainly took over in terms of popularity. This goes back to Happy Days in 1974 (Fonzie over Richie) and is also true for The Big Bang Theory (Sheldon over Leonard).

But for any of these classic shows to work, it’s important to have an ensemble that works together and brings their own unique stories to the table.

Can you imagine Jim Parsons as Barney on How I Met Your Mother?