Neil Patrick Harris Backtracks After Twitter Rant About 'HIMYM' Guest
By Christine Fenno Posted Dec 18th 2010 12:34PM
After soap opera star Eric Braeden ('The Young and the Restless') canceled his returning guest appearance on 'How I Met Your Mother' on short notice, Harris took to Twitter on Friday to blast the 69-year-old TV veteran with this blunt message: "Eric Braeden is a D-Bag. The actor, (Robin's dad) agreed to a cameo, then last night bailed, saying the part wasn't 'substantial' enough."
NPH soon added that Braeden was replaced with "fantastic" Ray Wise, and tweeted welcoming words to Wise about the cast change.
A few hours later, Harris tweeted his regrets ("Now I feel bad for the D-bag comment. Don't know the guy personally. I'm just fiercely protective of our show."), but the damage had been done.
When contacted for a response to Harris' slam, Braeden didn't hesitate to tell his side of the story.
"I really don't know who that fellow is," Braeden told EW.com. "He's a guy who stars in that series....It's very unfortunate. First of all, I came back from hip surgery. I was off for three weeks. I've doubled my work, 30 to 50 pages a day for me, alone. Everyone knows that I'm exhausted. I was not about to appear on a show for two lines, because that's what it amounted to."
Braeden says he accepted the invitation to return because his first guest spot in November 2008 (as father to Robin, played by Cobie Smulders) was such a pleasure. "I truly enjoyed working there last time," Braeden said. "The cast and crew and producers couldn't have been nicer."
But this time around, Braeden claims he learned only this week (one day before the taping, in fact) just how tiny the role was in the script, which he says he should have been given weeks in advance.
"His choice of words bothered me," Braeden said, about Harris' insulting tweet. "It seems to me like a young whippersnapper, having seen himself on a few covers, who's received a few awards, is now suddenly suffering from the first signs of hubris. I've been in the business for 50 years. I've seen people come and go and I'm still here."
"If he is a worthy adversary, he'd better not cross my path," he said, laughing. But he added, "I will let bygones be bygones."
Even if 'forgive and forget' is his New Year's resolution, Braeden will almost certainly be grilled more about the 'HIMYM' brouhaha when he appears CBS' chatfest 'The Talk' on Jan. 14.
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