Monday, September 14, 2009

Neil Patrick Harris covers New York Mag

Neil Patrick Harris covers New York Magazine (I hate the lipstick shot), accompained by an indepth profile, Neil Patrick Harris: High-Wire Act. In it, Harris talks about transitioning from child actor on the hit TV series, Doogie Howser, to being a gay man in Hollywood's glass closet and the rumours that he and his partner, David Burtka, are going to marry and adopt a child. Below is an excerpt:

New York Magazine:
Neil Patrick Harris used to be an underage doctor on TV. Now he’s another Hollywood first: an out gay actor who can host award shows, play a womanizer, walk the red carpet with his boyfriend, and then get cast in movies as a straight dad. Neat trick.

Coming out is its own kind of theatrical performance: It’s a reveal. For most of show-business history, it’s been more like an exposure—often in the aftermath of a scandal, as with George Michael. But then there was Ellen DeGeneres, whose famous “Yep, I’m Gay” on the cover of Time seemed to presage a new era of openness, an end to the double life. Instead, it hobbled her career until she returned, years later, as a talk-show host.

For several years, Harris was out privately but in the press maintained the “glass closet” situation common these days among young gay actors. There were no fake girlfriends, but he didn’t mind answering a People-magazine question about his “dream date,” leaving out a pronoun.

He also wasn’t precisely out when he was cast as Barney Stinson on How I Met Your Mother in 2005, although he brought [his partner] David Burtka to the first cast barbecue. But as Harris’s star rose, it became inevitable that his life—however open to those who knew him—might become a tabloid story. The blogger Perez Hilton was on the attack [ effectively 'outed' the couple]. And Harris and his team met to strategize, striving to make their statement succinct and positive. With his mild New Age streak, Harris expresses faith that intentions are what matter: “So long as you’re representing yourself well, you’re making good choices for good reasons, all of the circumstantial things will vanish.” Now Harris and Burtka walk the red carpets together. They wear rings, although they are not legally married. Despite rumors of a surrogate, they are not having a child yet, he tells me, but he believes “we’d make very good parents.” (When they spend time with Burtka’s twins, Harris says he gets to “be the fun guy who takes them to Disneyland.”)

In his late twenties, shortly after he starred in Rent, Harris was inspired by Danny Roberts, a gay cast member on The Real World: New Orleans. “He was a unique entity at that time, as someone who was seemingly so confident in their own skin that they didn’t need to wear their sexuality, uh—” He begins to stumble slightly, realizing he’s about to cross into a minefield of rhetorical missteps. “Or to flaunt their sexuality? To be more of one thing or another.” He pauses to rethink. “And I—it’s a personal thing, I suppose, but I personally responded to his lack of overt grandstanding. Again, tricky waters, because if I say something like ‘He didn’t wave flags,’ it sounds like I’m disrespecting people that do, who I think are tremendously important, but there’s more than one way to get into people’s psyches.” Danny was also distinctly masculine, I point out: the first gay cast member who could easily pass as straight.
Read full article at New York Magazine.

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