Neil Patrick Harris has become one of the most recognizable gay men in Hollywood. Since his near-decade run on How I Met Your Mother, he’s graced the big screen in films like Gone Girl and the TheSmurfs. He made his mark on Broadway, reviving the titular role in Hedwig and the Angry Inch. He’ll soon take on the role of Count Olaf in Netflix’s A Series of Unfortunate Events.
He and husband, David Burtka have become America’s gay sweethearts Now, they’re offering an evening on the town to a couple of lucky fans, raising money for (RED) and their goal of an AIDS-free generation. The winners will win a trip to New York where they’ll get to see the city with their celebrity hosts and join them for dinner and a Broadway show.
We caught up with Neil Patrick Harris to get some of his personal recommendations for a night out in the city.
Tell me about your partnership with Coca Cola and Red.
Coke and Red both reached out because they’re doing this experience with Omaze which seemed like a really fun opportunity. I’ve been involved with them for a while, doing private functions with them to help raise money. I’m a big fan of what they do and what they’ve done. I was educated in what Coke had been doing and had been able to do in these small towns and townships in Africa, getting medicine to the people there. I thought it wouldn’t be anything to offer up a night with David and I, to have some dinner, see a show, to hopefully raise some money for the cause.
So what do you have in store for that?
We’re going to fly two people up to New York, put them up in a nice hotel. Then we’re going to have dinner and go see a Broadway show. I’m not sure which one. I’m probably going to tailor it to the desires of the winners. And I hope that they’re not vegans who love Chicago. (LAUGHS)
What are some of your favorite restaurants in New York?
I love all the new New Yorky hotspots. You know, my husband’s a chef and we’re both foodies. I love Butter, I go there and it’s always good. The food’s always delicious. There’s really good sushi there now. I wonder how much money they’re willing to spend because we could go to Per Se. We could go to Bocca. They probably don’t want to do that.
Are there any shows you’re wanting to see?
I haven’t seen a lot. I’d see On Your Feet. That looks great. By that time, I think Charlie and the Chocolate Factory will be open. It really depends on the winner though.
Can we expect you to return to Broadway soon?
You know, every time I see a show, I miss it and I yearn to be back. But the commitment is just so rigorous. It’s physically just so grueling in the commitment. And also the time you have to commit, six months or a year to do a show. And I’ve got so many irons in so many fires. I’m doing a Netflix show, A Series of Unfortunate Events in Vancouver for the better part of a year. I won’t be on stage anytime super soon given those factors.
How do your kids feel about you as Count Olaf?
Harper loves dark, horror, scary. She’s very into the Pirates of the Caribbean movies right now. So yes, they’re liking the dark tone of the show. They’re looking at it from very unique eyes because they were onset for some of the filming, and we would FaceTime while I was getting the prosthetics on so it wasn’t so jarring to see that I’d turned into a different person. But it was fun to sort of play with the different voices when they saw me on daddy’s iPhone.
You and your family moved to New York a few years ago. Is there anything in particular you miss about the west coast?
I miss the laidback, temperate, seafood-heavy lifestyle.
You seem to travel a lot. What’s been your favorite destination this year?
I’m super into Canada. We filmed Series of Unfortunate Events in Vancouver so I spent five months there this year. I’ve been to Toronto. I’ve been to Edmonton, Montreal, and Vancouver. The people are so nice, and they have respect for they’re environment. It’s inspiring. There’s just a good vibe there. So I’m kind of loving the north.
Plus, all the guys look like they play hockey and lacrosse. That’s an added bonus. They’re all strapping, Canadians. They’re fun to look at.
Do you have any destinations coming up that you’re looking forward to?
Well I’m talking to you from Orlando, Florida where the family takes our yearly trip to Disney World. And I’m a super hardcore theme park, Disney geek. So I’m loving it. And my kids are 6 now, so they’re loving it and looking forward to it. They’re having on uniquely impressive experience after another. I have a little bit of travel coming up but that’s more promotional. I’m going to Brazil for a few days, then London and Berlin. But it’s hard to appreciate an environment when you’re stuck in a hotel room.
Since you’re in Orlando, are you planning to go to the Pulse memorial?
I haven’t really given it much thought. I’ve just been focused more internally on the family and the show I’m doing. Thank you for reminding me.
Your family has kind of become a poster family for the LGBT community. Is that a role you embrace or just something you’ve learned to accept?
I’ve learned not to embrace any nomenclature or title, even in your fare magazine. When you attract one type of persona, you get kind of swatted for saying it. So I’m really appreciative that I live in a time when I can be married to my husband and have two kids that are ours, and we can raise them with positivity and not a lot of ramifications of the negative. So I will let people think of that what they will.
To donate to (RED) and enter for a chance to win a trip to New York, as well as dinner and a Broadway show with Neil Patrick Harris and David Burtka, visit Omaze. Coca-Cola will match every dollar raised, up to $2 million.