If Jason Segel sounds a bit restless in this GQ interview, it’s understandable: He’s contractually obligated to stick around his CBS sitcom How I Met Your Mother through an eighth season even though he’s got Muppets movies to make and substantial supporting roles in films with Steve Carell, Jack Black, and Cameron Diaz on the agenda. And seriously, when is that guy gonna meet his kids’ mother already? So yeah, it’s hard to blame Segel for sounding as though he’s bowing out, even if his aspirations to be the next Peter Sellers seem a bit overreaching for a guy who's been playing the same loveably blunt slacker-type for years now:
“…When your idol is Peter Sellers, playing one character for eight years isn’t what you’re trying to do. I don’t really feel like I have that much more to offer with this character. Maybe if we got divorced or something — but that’s not gonna happen. It’s gonna be some iteration of, like, my TV wife opens the fridge, and she’s like, “What happened to the birthday cake?” And I walk in with a little frosting here [points to corner of mouth] like, “What birthday cake?”
But lest you think Segel has completely checked out, he’s still committed to doing his damndest to bring HIMYM to a satisfying conclusion—even if the writers don’t necessarily want to hear it:
Interviewer: You want to know my theory? We're going to find out at some point that the mother's dead. And adult Ted has been telling them all these stories about the mother they never knew. It'll retroactively cast the entire show in this dark-comic light.
Segel: [without missing a beat] I suggested that also.
How was that received?
Scoffing. They don't care about what I say. [laughs] I had two other suggestions, too. One is that they're dead. The two kids and their father — they're dead, and they're in purgatory, and he's telling the story for eternity.
It's the worst punishment ever! They have to spend eternity listening to their dad's boring stories.
And then my other suggestion, which they never used, which I think would be so funny, is — it's the future, right? I think in one of those scenes, they should open the window, and it should be, like, a postapocalyptic wasteland outside. It should be like I Am Legend. Horrible mutants.
As much as that would probably be read as a “betrayal” of the fans who have spent so much time emotionally investing in its characters (you’ve been doing that, right?), it’s hard to argue with the idea that that ending would completely obliterate the Newhart finale. [GQ via Movieline]