Neil Patrick Harris Chat in Oldsmobile Celebrity Circle - Neil Patrick Harris Chats On AOL

OnlineHost: One of the most prolific and consistently impressive young actors, NEIL PATRICK HARRIS returns to feature film making starring for director Paul Verhoeven in the mega sci-fi "Starship Troopers" this Spring. Harris also recently wrapped up production on "The Animal Room," an independent film for writer/director Craig Singer. Welcome!

AOLiveMC4: Good evening and welcome to Center Stage Neil Patrick Harris!

NeilPHarrs: Happy Friday everyone!

AOLiveMC4: Our first audience question comes from JoInTheG

Question: Mr. Harris, in "The Animal Room" you played a chronic drug abusing teen living in a community of delinquent students, did you find it hard to assume this role?

NeilPHarrs: Not particularly, I am always interested in playing roles that have more than 2 dimensions!! This character was very interesting with all the acid tripping.

AOLiveMC4: Our next question comes from UCLAdy.

Question: How old were you when you started in the "biz" and was "Purple People Eater" your first TV movie?

NeilPHarrs: Ha ha ha ha!!!!!! I started acting at 14 professionally in the film Clara's Heart. Purple People Eaters was unfortunately my second film, it lasted a week ... I wish it lasted shorter than that!!!!

AOLiveMC4: RandyW197 asks this question.

Question: What are you doing now? Any new series or movies in the near future?

NeilPHarrs: Well, I'm getting set to co-star in Paul Verhoeven's new film Starship Troopers, I go out to Wyoming next week. No TV Movies now, I have had my "fill".

AOLiveMC4: KeepltUp has this question.

Question: Mr. Harris, what was it like to work with such veteran actors like Faye Dunaway and Richard Widmark?

NeilPHarrs: Faye was quite professional and very low-key. She was executive producing our movie, so she had no one to fight to, so she kept quiet. Richard was a delight, an actor's actor, filled with quips and stories a delight.

AOLiveMC4: This question comes from RyanJMcNK.

Question: Do you think playing "Doggie Howser" limited your offers in terms of roles?

NeilPHarrs: In terms of Features YES!!! Absolutely. Feature casting people are reluctant to cast TV actors so... I am very excited about Starship Troopers!!! My first big feature since I was younger.

AOLiveMC4: HeyDudman asks.

Question: Neil I really enjoy your acting work. I'm a full time magician and heard you are into magic also. Is this true?

NeilPHarrs: Oh very much so. Magic is my main hobby. As a matter of fact, today I just bought Daryl's Video on Card sleights. It is an awesome hobby.

AOLiveMC4: Legend82 wants to know.

Question: Neil, how old are you and when is your birthday?

NeilPHarrs: I am 22. Born to Ron and Sheila Harris, June 15th 1973.

AOLiveMC4: MLCPNE has this question.

Question: Hi, Neil? What would you say is your greatest acting achievement to date?

NeilPHarrs: Gosh..... I would say being nominated for a Golden Globe Award... You find yourself in a room with the biggest celebrities you have ever seen just being there alone was the biggest thing ever.

AOLiveMC4: This question comes from LARRB5245.

Question: Are any of your family members involved in acting?

NeilPHarrs: My parents are both attorneys and my brother is in law school..... So I would have to say YES ha ha ha.

AOLiveMC4: CBrown111 has this question.

Question: Neil, I read once you are from Portales, NM. True?

NeilPHarrs: No. My mother lived there but I grew up in Ruidoso.

AOLiveMC4: Another question from UCLAdy.

Question: Have you read the book "Starship Troopers" and do you like science fiction in general?

NeilPHarrs: I am reading it right now for the first time, I am about a third finished. I like it a lot, I'm reading it from a research point of view...I'm not a big science fiction fan, although I love the creativity.

AOLiveMC4: Mssharaz asks.

Question: Do you still keep in contact with anyone from "Doogie"?

NeilPHarrs: Still with Larry Pressman and Jim Sikking. I still talk to Robin a lot ..., that's Robin Lively... Still hoping she'll break up with her boyfriend, I haven't heard from Max in a while but that's about it.

AOLiveMC4: LOC037 has this question.

Question: Was it hard finishing high school in six weeks?

NeilPHarrs: O LOCO< you crazy cat...That was a show - dammit a show!!!! Get out of the Chat room and get into reality!!!!

AOLiveMC4: D Romano would like to know.

Question: Do you have any advise for people wanting to pursue acting as a career?

NeilPHarrs: Hmmmm.... That's a hard one. If you haven't acted before, jump into community theater. If you are serious enough to commit to the rejection, try to get an agent. If you are doing it for the $$$ or fame, don't do it.

AOLiveMC4: JoJoagan asks.

Question: Mr. Harris, as young actors go, you seem to have faired well, how were you able to avoid the problems of other young actors like Drew Barrymore, how do you handle the fame?

NeilPHarrs: HMMMM>>>> Good question. Hold on let me set my heroin down... I think how one deals with fame comes from who he is in a personal context. Most of my family and friends don't live in LA and aren't inebriated by Hollywood circles... so being grounded has mostly worked for me.

AOLiveMC4: Our next question comes from BaryHugab.

Question: Have you ever been offered more socially controversial roles?

NeilPHarrs: Well in the animal Room I play a pot smoking acid-head. Not exactly your boy-next-door. But I haven't turned down roles simply because they are controversial those are the most interesting ones.

AOLiveMC4: Yonder Ho has this question/comment for you, Neil.

Question: Would you like to do a strong character in a Broadway play...originate a role that would always be thought of as the way, as a writer/director, I applaud your choice of roles thus far. Variety is the spice of life and you don't allow yourself to be caught in one particular corner. Keep up the great work.

NeilPHarrs: Well thanks Yonder.. Starring in a live theatrical show is a life long dream of mine. I would love to originate a role someday soon.

AOLiveMC4: MidnteMood has this question.

Question: Neil, it's a pleasure to meet you. How did you enjoy working with Whoopie in Clara's Heart?

NeilPHarrs: Whoopie is the absolute best!!! The absolute best!!!! She is just as she is on screen, Ballsy, Opinionated, Loving, Wonderful!!! We are hoping to marry next month.

AOLiveMC4: This question comes from JoJoagain.

Question: Mr. Harris, do you think you'd ever like to move to the other side of the camera? Directing or Producing?

NeilPHarrs: Yes Jo absolutely, directing is where I am headed. I am in production for a short film to hit festivals next year. It's my first love, I hope to become legitimate soon!

AOLiveMC4: Alarion wants to know.

Question: Do you ever plan to do another series?

NeilPHarrs: I would only do it if: a) Was an hour long drama and, b) had exceptional writers (ie., Bochco). I find the half-hour thing too short, it is too hard to delve into a plot or character too deeply and the executives don't want them to be too deep. If something superb like "Murder One" were to come along I would certainly consider it.

AOLiveMC4: MythRose has this question.

Question: Who do you admire the most in Hollywood?

NeilPHarrs: Hmmm..... I would say, Ron Howard or Tom Hanks, they seem to carry integrity with their work. You have to admire Johnny Depp and his choices. My idols are both deceased, Jim Henson and Walt Disney.

AOLiveMC4: RBlacks26 asks.

Question: How far have you taken your education?

NeilPHarrs: I graduated from High school in 1991. I have not gone to college and often debate if I should. I haven't found the time yet but I definitely hope to continue my education either formally or informally, for as long as I can. I think it is important for us as a society to learn as much about as many things as we can and not pigeon hole our minds, I have yet to accomplish that... I still have histories and literature to learn, maybe some science, Psychology classes... I think school is really important.

AOLiveMC4: Jgluvsrr wants to know.

Question: Does it still make you nervous to be around older, seasoned actors?

NeilPHarrs: No , not at all. They have many more stories to tell and experiences from which to grasp. Jason Robards was one of the nicest actors ever, to work with. I suppose I would be nervous working with big "Movie Stars" only because of the pressure and excitement of their current fame.

AOLiveMC4: MythRose wants to know.

Question: What would you like to be if you do not act again?

NeilPHarrs: A director, or a florist, or a contortionist.

AOLiveMC4: HzIGmFil asks.

Question: How did you like the Simpsons episode you were in?

NeilPHarrs: It was fun sharing the mike with Phil Hartman and Dan Castenella. They are brilliant comedic minds and they improv a lot which I didn't expect. I think I am the ONLY other person who has played Bart on the Simpsons.

AOLiveMC4: LLeaMac asks.

Question: Do you use computers as much as you did in Doogie Howser?

NeilPHarrs: Not as much as Doogie, but a fair amount. I am halfway through the Eleventh Hour, I love High graphic adventure games. By the way, I am starting filming on my new project a feature film directed by Paul Verhoeven called Starship Troopers to be out next summer... Going up against Jurassic park 2.

AOLiveMC4: OnDaLine asks this question.

Question: Mr. Harris, how different was it working in theater as opposed to your work on television and in films?

NeilPHarrs: So buy your tickets early!!!

NeilPHarrs: I enjoy theater much more than TV. The dynamic of the live audience is utterly unique. It's a much more fulfilling experience to so something all the way through with no stops in between and to vary your performance based on the audience... if they are bored you have to change a bit, that's a rush. TV is more sporadic and repetitive. And features are, I would assume, still sporadic but you can focus more on subtleties so you are more in your own head working on realism.

AOLiveMC4: Shepo1 has this question about the Internet.

Question: Do you ever surf the net, and if so, what's your favorite website?

NeilPHarrs: I mostly log on for immediate news like, the Oscar results or sports scores, although Entertainment chat rooms are a hoot.

AOLiveMC4: MythRose has another question.

Question: Was that your idea to be in show business or your parents?

NeilPHarrs: My parents made me do......No MOMMY NO>>>OUCH STOP.....No it was my idea...I love acting I simply love it!!!!!

AOLiveMC4: This question comes from MistrLuvr.

Question: Did you see Sgt. Bilko yet and did you enjoy your ex-cast member in it?

NeilPHarrs: Saw it, not my favorite movie, good to see Maxie working, I enjoyed him in Ed Wood more.

AOLiveMC4: HOMERBART wants to know.

Question: I know you've been on the Simpsons, but have you ever had your voice on any other cartoons???

NeilPHarrs: YES!!! HOMER BART YESSSS!!!! I played Max the Midwestern mouse on the short-lived ABC Prime Time show Capitol Critters. It was supposed tobe a biting political satire about Rats in the White House (PUN INTENDED). The network softened it into a Saturday morning cartoon, and it was promptly canceled... you gotta love those networks and their creative spirit!

AOLiveMC4: Voyager07 asks.

Question: I have watched " My Antonia" 3 times now. Any plans on doing projects similar to this exquisite adaptation?

NeilPHarrs: WOW, Thank you very very much. I would love to do something similar but rarely do you find that consistent yearning for quality on TV. Often Epic Movies are too expensive, so I was thrilled that TNT made it.

AOLiveMC4: Sibir would like to know.

Question: What kind of music do you like Neil?

NeilPHarrs: Very eclectic taste. Dave Matthews, Itzhak Perlman, Les Miserables, Stone Temple Pilots, Miles Davis are all on my shelf currently.

AOLiveMC4: Our time is running short. This will be our last question for this evening. It comes from MythRose.

Question: What do you want to be remembered for when you get older?

NeilPHarrs: Marrying Winona Ryder. I would say, I have a yearning to direct films that create an authentic sense of wonder in it's audience. Like The City of Lost Children. To really be pulled into a movie and learn something without being force fed it, is the stamp of a quality director and I hope my career has that kind of integrity.

AOLiveMC4: Neil Patrick Harris, it's been a pleasure to have you here this evening. Any closing comments?

NeilPHarrs: Be creative, be authentic, watch Starship Troopers. .Don't watch Boy Meets World! Thank you.

AOLiveMC4: Thanks again for joining us tonight, Neil! And thanks to our audience for the great questions! Goodnight!

OnlineHost: Thanks for joining us in the Oldsmobile Celebrity Circle this evening. Remember, Oldsmobile brings an exciting guest online every Monday through Friday, and transcripts from the events can be downloaded using keywords: "Oldsmobile" or "CenterStage" within 24 hours after the event has ended.

OnlineHost: Copyright 1996 Oldsmobile; licensed to America Online, Inc.

Transmitted: 07/18/96 13:18

Thanks to Katie for this article.