Fans of the Harold and Kumar movies undoubtedly know that Neil Patrick Harris has had a recurring role in the films. His role in Harold and Kumar is as Neil Patrick Harris. He plays himself, or does he?
Celebrities appearing as themselves in movies and television shows is not a new idea. It does happen from time to time, and the end result is that they usually behave as they would in the real world. There’s very little acting on their own behalf.
If you watch one of his performances in the Harold and Kumar movies, Neil Patrick Harris behaves rather outlandishly. He takes drugs, sleeps with prostitutes, is sleazy, and somehow managed to survive being shot by the madam of a house of ill repute. It makes the viewer begin actually wonder if this is the real NPH, or just an act. That’s exactly what it is however, an act. He even made sure that he wasn’t credited as himself, instead requesting he be credited as Neil Patrick Harris playing Neil Patrick Harris. He did this to make sure people understood he was playing a fictional character in Harold and Kumar, and that it wasn’t his real behaviour.
Many of us would have first been acquainted with Neil Patrick Harris as a child actor in Doogie Howser, MD. Unlike many child actors, NPH managed to keep himself clean and avoided any major public break downs. He has also managed, unlike many of his childhood actor contemporaries, to make the transition from a child actor to an accomplished adult acting career.