Heart throb Radnor at Union
Josh Radnor cements his fan base in Cambridge
Josh Radnor probably has the longest business card ever.
It doesn’t take long for the American actor, director, producer, and screenwriter to charm the Union audience into indulgent laughter. He’s witty and appears interested even when asked some of the most mundane questions by the audience which he has probably been asked a million times before.
Josh is best known for his role as Ted Mosby in “How I Met Your Mother”. The series was a huge success, rivalling “Friends” in its popularity. Radnor thinks that the show is loved universally (even in Iran, much to his surprise) because of its ability to make you “laugh and cry in the same episode”. He argues, “people want to feel emotion” and if a show can provide that, the audience “feels invested”. He continues, “a series is judged by how the audience feel with the people on screen”.
Josh Radnor sometimes feels concern about the level of investment fans have in the show. He tells the chamber that “people tweet me saying ‘I’ve finished the Fourth series for the 3rd time in a row. What do I do now?!'” To which he responds in exasperated tones, “Go outside! Get some air! See people!”
Previous to the show, “no one knew who I was”. He was free to act any role without preconceptions as to who he was. But his affliation with the character, which became stronger as “I gave Ted some of my mannerisms”, it became harder to be as creatively flexible as previously.
Radnor says light-heartedly, “of all the problems to have in the world, it’s a great one to have. It’s like saying ‘My diamond shows are too tight'”.
Someone in the audience asks Josh to clarify whether in the show Ted was still in love with Robin when he was dating Tracy. To which Josh bemusedly replies, “I don’t mean this to be rude at all. But it’s fake! I didn’t play it like ‘Oh I’m thinking about Robin’ whilst dating Tracy. It’s like asking authors, ‘What happens after the last page?’ NOTHING. IT ENDS!”
For all that he distances himself from the show in terms of new projects, Radnor always has a soft spot for Ted, not least because they “look a lot alike”. He laments, “Ted was raw and vulnerable.”
Part of Ted’s appeal was his moppy “sad guy” game. Does he have better game than Radnor? “That’s a ridiculous question” Josh replies, smiling wryly. He refuses to answer the question beyond saying “I’m older than him.”
Did Radnor ever find him annoyingly nice? “Oh my God. Totally. I described him as my annoying younger brother. He is this great guy but at times I’m also like ‘why are you doing that’. He was a very lost character when it came to love and romance but he was one of Television’s great friends.”
The doughy eyed Radnor fans were laughing throughout the duration of his talk, cracking up as his consternation of the stewards wearing offensively bright jackets: “Watch out, the fire warden is coming.”
When he left the chamber, there was a veritable scramble as people rushed to get a selfie with the actor. Let’s hope to hear more from Radnor soon.