These days, our knowledge of celebrities too often originates with paparazzi images and snarky quotes by anonymous "insiders." After a while, it's easy to forget that stars are real people. That's why HuffPost Celebrity decided to launch its all-new #nofilter quick-fire question-and-answer series. Because how well do you know someone until they've shared their guiltiest pleasures?
You'd think Alyson Hannigan would be tired of hearing the word "mother" after filming nine seasons of "How I Met Your Mother," as viewers waited to meet Ted Mosby's future wife. But this real-life mom is anything but tired; she's teaming up with Tylenol for a new campaign to help children less fortunate than her two daughters receive the best health care possible, becoming a universal mother to all children without proper medical care.
Hannigan chatted with HuffPost Celebrity about her role with Smiling It Forward, her guiltiest pleasure and which "How I Met Your Mother" cast member she would want with her on a desert island.
Can you tell us a bit about the new campaign you're involved with?
I’m thrilled to be partnered with Tylenol for the Smiling It Forward campaign! It’s a wonderful way to raise money for a great charity, Children’s Health Fund, which is basically this doctor’s office on wheels. It helps underprivileged children get the same sort of health care that my kids would get. It sends these amazing trucks/vans/doctor’s offices on wheels to less fortunate neighborhoods where the children aren’t getting the health care they need, and now they do get the care they need. Basically, if people go to smilingitforward.com and they share a photo that makes them smile, then Tylenol will donate a dollar to Children’s Health Fund.
What inspired you to become involved with this cause?
I am very much one of the stories that inspired Tylenol to start the campaign. My story is like one of many moms: When I was a new mom with my first daughter Satyana, of course I was panicked at every little peep, thinking “was something wrong?” and calling the pediatrician. When she started teething, she was miserable and crying all the time, so we took her into the doctor’s office ... and the doctor just looked at me and said, “Alyson, if she’s in pain, you just give her Tylenol.” And I thought, “Oh, that’s so logical! It’s that easy?” It was such a profound relief and it made me smile because you want to do anything you can to make your kids feel better and take away their pain. When her little "feel better" smile came back, it just made my heart burst. Stories like that inspired Tylenol to do this whole campaign because they were seeing all of these moms on social media talk about the "feel better" smile and start posting their pictures of their kids feeling better.
What's your guiltiest pleasure?
I’m being really good right now. I’m trying to be healthy, so my guilty pleasures are no longer sugar and candy, which they used to be. So I’d say my guilty pleasure would be bad television, crappy reality television, like "Real Housewives." Not all of the "Housewives," but a couple of them, I have to confess. It’s shameful to admit.
What’s something from your daughters' wardrobes that you wish you could wear today?
If it’s not bright and shiny for my 4-year-old, she won’t wear it. I just love how she puts her outfits together. She picks everything and I wish I had that sort of freedom of expression. Like “I don’t care, I’m going to do ruffles and stripes and polka dots and hearts all together and rock it!” I wish I had that sense of freedom.
What's the No. 1 quality you look for in a mate?
It’s been so long since I’ve had to look, thank God! We’re [she and husband Alexis Denisof] about to celebrate our 10th wedding anniversary but we were together four years before that and knew each other a year before that. Just friendship. You have to be best friends. If you’re spending that much time together, you want to like the person.
If you could give advice to a younger version of yourself, what would it be?
Really just focus on the positive and see things half full. For a lot of my life I didn’t and the day that I did switch over, everything got better. I decided I was sick of being negative and there was a moment where I was like “I’m going to stop this,” and my life got better from that moment on.
There's been talk of a potential "HIMYM" spinoff ... would you be interested in participating?
I made a joke with Entertainment Weekly and I keep saying that we should do a spinoff, but it was in jest. I would absolutely do another show with Jason [Segel] just because ... I love everybody on the show but I adore working with [Jason]. He and I do joke, and he says in 10 years he’ll do one with me. In the meantime, I’ll do my own thing and in 10 years perhaps I’ll do something with him.
If you were on a deserted island with one of your "HIMYM" cast mates, whom would you want it to be and why? Now we're assuming it's Jason Segel ...
I don’t know if it would be Jason. I don’t think it would. He smokes and I don’t want the island to burn down. Probably Cobie [Smulders]. Definitely Cobie.
What's next for you? More TV? Movies? Time with your family?
Always spending time with my kids. I’m in the process of developing another sitcom. We just started the steps for that, so I’m meeting writers and figuring stuff out.