New Page 1
Q) Is it true you shot part of the ending early because of the child actors' ages?
Carter: That's true, in an amazing stroke that was probably more naivety than anything else. In the off chance the show would go on a long time we sort of covered our bases. We knew how we wanted to end the series right from the beginning so we decided to go ahead and shoot it. We haven't looked at the footage yet. It's interesting because we know what's on there, but we haven't actually sat down and looked at it. Hopefully, no one taped over it.
Q) Would you have been able to bring the show to a close if you had only had eight seasons?
Carter: Yeah, if the eighth season had been the last there would have kind of been a quicky ending. There was a lot of story left we wanted to tell, especially involving the mother. We really wanted to write that story and get to know her, too. We wanted to get to know her and write that story, too. Luckily, we were able to do this in the ninth season.
Q) You did go into last season thinking for a while that it would be the last season.
Craig: It went so much deeper into season eight than we wanted it to without knowing. We were kind of planning Plan A and Plan B that we hit a drop date where it had be one or the other and we basically butted right up against that time where we would have had to start writing the way we were going to end it. But the thing that happened once we realized it wasn't the ending is we had the idea to meet the mother before Ted. I'm so glad it worked out the way it did because I think it was such an appropriate way in year eight and we will get to know her in year nine. And it may not have happened in the same way if we hadn't had one more year. It wouldn't have happened.
Carter: If you're a fan of the show it will come across and I feel every season we'll have a target of maybe half the episodes and maybe we'll hit the target with three or four of them where there is a good cry or a good "Aww!" Knock on wood, I just feel every episode this season is going to be one of those. Setting aside the built in emotion that we all have because as much as this season is about a wedding (which is kind of the end of a chapter in two peoples' lives and the end of a chapter in our lives), there is a lot of great stuff still to see that we have been putting off getting to until we knew we have this many pages left in our book and we have to fit all the stuff in.
Craig: There was stuff that we were never, ever going to do unless it continued to season nine, which was the cool part. We're doing stuff as early as the season nine premiere that I never thought that we would do. There is stuff involving Ted and the mother and the mother coming into the world of our gang that I never thought we would do. Now we get to, only through season nine.
Q) Talk about the first person who gets to interact with the mother.
Craig: We don't want to say who, but can we say someone does. It's kind of a surprise. It taught us Cristin Milloti has chemistry with everyone! She just has immediate chemistry and that's also something I would say about Josh [Radnor]. Josh has amazing chemistry with people. When they finally do get together it's going to be amazing. She's just instantly charming! She's just perfect. It is zero percent second guessing and zero percent regret.
Q) Now that we've met Cristin, will be seeing more flash-fowards with her this season?
Craig: I think season nine is going to have more flash-forwards than a lot of other seasons. We can't say how or what they are, but it's more of a flash-forward season than any before.
Carter: Without giving the context or how it happens, we're going to get to see happily ever after. We'll see that and there will be more tears.
Q) In the past you talked about a possible spinoff or miniseries "How I Met Your Father." Is that still something that's a possibility?
Craig: Anything is possible! I don't want to confirm or deny that. You never know. There is "CSI: Miami." Maybe it's "How I Met Your Father: Miami."
Q) Will we get flashbacks for the mom?
Carter: We don't want to give too much away of what you'll see. All the stuff that you are excited to see, we're excited to see, too. Now that we have a face, an actress, a voice and a person playing this part there is a lot of fun stuff that we get to do that we haven't been able to do.
Q) The final season takes place over a wedding weekend. You've gotten to play with time in the past. What has that done to the process of writing this season?
Craig: It turns these episodes into really suspenseful episodes. Some episodes are more set in that wedding weekend than others. We're "How I Met Your Mother." We have the escape hatch of lots of flashing back, flashing forward and crazy storytelling the way we do so we're not in some little box of this. You will see the bar. You will see the apartment. You will see the world of our show, but it's been invigorating. The worst thing for year nine would be for people feeling, "Oh, they're just running the same plays," or "What's this year's Thanksgiving episode or Christmas episode?" There is something really exciting about figuring out a new way to tell the story, but it's still a union. It's still going to fell like "How I Met Your Mother." It's exciting so far. We came in the most ahead we've ever been. Coming into this season, even starting a month early, we had the most ideas we've had ahead of time.
Q) You still have to reveal the two last slaps. When can we expect those?
Carter: Those are coming! As we said earlier, there is going to be an episode where it is "Slaps-giving 3." The title is "Slap-pointment in Slap-marra." It's a reference to the Middle Eastern fable called Appointment in Samarra. It's a little fable about the inevitability of fate and how you can't ran. It's about a man who tries to run from death and he learns you can't outrun death just as Barney can't outrun these slaps.
Craig: There are two certainties in life: death and slaps.
Q) What are some of your current favorite television shows?
Carter: I think "Game of Thrones." I've never fallen off my couch as hard as when I watched The Red Wedding.
Craig: We watch a lot of hour dramas. We regard "How I Met Your Mother" as not purely a sitcom. There is a lot of drama in our show. We both love "Mad Men." We both love "Game of Thrones." We love "Downton Abbey." Obviously, we love "Freaks and Geeks" and "Buffy The Vampire Slayer," or else Aly [Hannigan] and Jason [Segel] wouldn't be on the show. That's good comfort viewing to go back to those sometimes. The "How I Met Your Mother" writers room are big "Game of Throne" fans. There is a "Game of Thrones" reference in the "How I Met Your Mother" season premiere that I hope stays in the cut. We reveal it in the same way that Barney is a big fan of Billy Zabka in The Karate Kid. He thinks that he is, in fact, The Karate Kid.
Carter: He always roots for the wrong people.
Craig: Barney roots for the blonde bad guy in movies. So, Barney may or may not be a big fan of King Joffrey.