Harris plays an exaggerated, drug-addicted version of himself in Harold & Kumar and reprised his role throughout the series. However, Harris was a relatively unknown actor at the time the script was being written for the first movie. Before his role on How I Met Your Mother, Harris had little acting credits to his name, but, thanks to Harold & Kumar, that was about to change.
During an interview with GQ discussing his most beloved characters, Neil Patrick Harris reveals the strange way he found out he had been cast in Harold & Kumar. Harris learned about his part in the film through a phone call with a friend. The friend revealed that Harris had been written into the script of Harold & Kumar Go To White Castle. To his dismay, Harris accepted the offer to star in the film, on the stipulation that they do not change the way his character was originally written. Check out the full story on what went down on this phone call below:
"Harold and Kumar was very strange. I was living in Los Angeles and I got a phone call from a friend that said 'I'm auditing for this movie that you're in', and I had no idea what he was talking about. I was not in any movie. And he said yeah, this 'Harold and Kumar Get The Munchies' or something it was called at the time I think, and that made no sense. And, so I said, 'are you being serious or are you joking?' and he said 'are you not aware you've been written into a movie like a crazy version of you', and so then I kinda panicked because I didn't want to be the ass of a joke.. like who's going to play me? So I called my agent...so they sent me the script and it was really funny I was flattered to be honest...my only demand was that I would sign up and they wouldn't rewrite it and change it."
Written by Jon Hurwitz and Hayden Schlossberg, it's almost impossible to imagine Harold & Kumar without Harris. Thankfully, Harris accepted the role and went on to have a lucrative career in both film and TV. It's important to note that most actors must reach peak critical success before they are allowed a cameo in a film or show, but Harris proved his self-awareness and comedic chops early on in his career, so much so to star as himself in a feature film. His work in the early 2000's continued to build upon his success.
Loyal fans of the Harold & Kumar franchise want a fourth sequel, and so do the actors themselves. With John Cho and Kal Pen on board to make a new installment of Harold & Kumar, perhaps in space, it's hard to see Harris not wanting to be a part of that, if it happened. Harris was an integral part to Harold & Kumar's success, and even if the franchise ended on three movies, it will live on forever through many, many memes, and White Castle jokes.