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Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Sitcom star doesn't have a single spoiler to spill

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Barney  (Neil Patrick  Harris, left) and Robin  (Cobie Smulders) are supposed to wed on this season of How I Met Your Mother.

RON P. JAFFE/CBS Enlarge Image

Barney (Neil Patrick Harris, left) and Robin (Cobie Smulders) are supposed to wed on this season of How I Met Your Mother.

TORONTO -- Canadian actress Cobie Smulders is spotlighted in two franchises with intensely passionate fan bases -- the rom-sitcom How I Met Your Mother and superhero blockbuster The Avengers -- but when it comes to the details of either project, she insists she's kept firmly in the dark.

We're about a third of the way through the final 24 episodes of How I Met Your Mother, and the ninth-season story arc of the twisty comedy revolves around the supposedly inevitable nuptials between Smulders' Robin Scherbatsky and serial Lothario Barney Stinson (Neil Patrick Harris). Meanwhile, the series' central character -- Josh Radnor's moon-eyed romantic Ted -- is spending the season seemingly growing closer to the titular mother.

But even with only 10 episodes left to shoot, Smulders admitted Friday she has no clue how the show will wrap up its dense mythology.

"Our show, it's kind of mysterious," said the friendly Vancouver native, clad in a form-fitting blue dress. "I really don't know how it's going to end. I really don't. I really don't. My hope is that Robin gets married to Barney and that they live happily ever after, but I don't know.

"I know minor plot points, but that's it. We're getting to the final slap next week," she added, referring to an in-joke that dates back to the show's second season. "That's what I'm excited about. It's a really bizarre episode."

Smulders also plays Maria Hill in the popular Avengers franchise. Her character is an agent in the mysterious inter-planetary intelligence service S.H.I.E.L.D. and the 31-year-old actress has thus appeared in several different Marvel properties, including the recent pilot of the ABC series Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.

She can confirm she'll appear in next summer's sequel Captain America: The Winter Soldier, which she shot last summer in Cleveland and New York. She said the film picks up in the chaotic aftermath of the highly destructive Battle of New York depicted in the first Avengers.

"They're scrambling. I really like it because it shows some of the inner workings of S.H.I.E.L.D. and the hierarchy that's involved. I think it's an interesting perspective that we haven't seen on screen yet," said Smulders, who will next appear opposite Vince Vaughan in the light-hearted comedy Delivery Man, from Canadian director Ken Scott.

"I think it's going to be really good," she said of the film, about an affable guy who discovers his donations to a sperm bank have resulted in 533 children.

When it comes to the highly anticipated sequel to the first record-setting Avengers film, however, Smulders had less detail to offer.

"I think I'm doing it. I don't know. I haven't read a script yet. I think they're shooting it next year, but I don't know," she said of the film, reportedly due out in 2015.

"I mean, I'm involved in these things and you don't really know what's going on until you're on set because of people like YOU, who try to get the scoop," she added playfully.

"So it's very much on lockdown. But we'll see. Hopefully. I love playing Maria Hill, and I love working with (director) Joss (Whedon), so we'll see."

-- The Canadian Press

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition November 12, 2013 D10

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