Cobie Smulders may not have played “the mother” on “How I Met Your Mother,” but in reality, she is one. Though it’s a tough job being a parent, the actress recently found something that’s equally, if not more, challenging: being in a Tom Cruise movie.
“It was the most physically demanding thing I ever had to do in my life, and I’ve given birth twice if that’s saying anything,” said Smulders when talking about training for “Jack Reacher: Never Go Back.”
Smulders plays Major Susan Turner in the film, and she wanted to live up to what actual women have to do to earn that position.
“It’s one of those things I look back on, and I trained so hard for that because it’s really important to me to portray this woman in a realistic way. The real women who decide to enlist to work their way up in the ranks to become a Major in the United States Army are some freakin’ tough broads.”
Smulders knows something about being a “tough broad” herself. She prepared for the movie while also caring for her children.
“I was also there with my 8-month-old baby, so it was just a very intense period for me, but I did it, I freakin’ did it,” the actress, who also has a 7-year-old daughter with husband Taran Killam, said.
The job had its perks too, though — perks that working mothers know how to appreciate.
“I said to everybody involved, ‘Tom, you should only hire mothers to work with you because we are so grateful that you provide [these things],’” Smulders said of Cruise’s kindness. “I would show up every day, and there was this cooler of my breakfast, snacks and lunch and dinner, and I don’t have to go shopping and think of what to [make]. I can just show up and eat what’s in my cooler, and you tell me where to go and what to do. It’s so the opposite of my life being a mom of two and trying to work. I’m constantly making decisions and having to coordinate when you do that kind of thing. It’s like, ‘Just tell me where to go, how to do it and I’ll just train and I’ll eat this stuff and eventually we’ll shoot this movie.’”
Smulders also reflected on the fact that, at the same time they decided to make her character a graduate of the Army Rangers in the film, the first two women graduated from the Ranger School in real life.
“It’s a type of thing that’s happening in the world where this should just be normal,” said the actress.
Portraying a strong female character on screen, especially nowadays, means “everything” to Smulders. Though, she adds that she’s played a variety of characters and powerful women can be found anywhere.
“Sometimes I feel like women of the world who are single moms and are working in Walmart are the strongest women out there, and that’s what’s really exciting to me is being all these different types of women.”
Smulders plays another strong character, Maria Hill, in the “Avengers” movies. She — along with many of her “Avengers” castmates, such as Chris Evans and Mark Ruffalo — has been supportive of the recent Women’s Marches and protests happening around the country.
“It gives me hope to go out to protest, to do something, and I think people choose to do that in different ways, whether that’s through Twitter, whether that’s through speeches,” she said. “We’re lucky to live in a country where we have freedom of speech, and I don’t know what the other Avengers are up to, personally, but I know they’re all really good people. They’re inherently good people, every single person that I’ve ever worked with on an ‘Avengers’ film. I think they want to do good, and they want people to be happy, and they want to speak what they believe.”
If you didn’t think Smulders was a superhero in real life, you don’t know Jack ... Reacher.
”Jack Reacher: Never Go Back” is now available on 4K Ultra HD, Blu-ray Combo Pack, DVD and On Demand.