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The Slammin’ Salmon’s Cobie Smulders on Joining the Broken Lizard Crew and Banging Out Motherhood

We assumed that Cobie Smulders spent her free time during the writers’ strike searching for a Canadian expat bar. In fact, the model turned actress — best known as teen pop star turned news reporter Robin Scherbatsky on How I Met Your Mother — said good-bye to the booth at MacLaren’s and installed herself in the fictional Slammin’ Salmon restaurant, the setting for, well, The Slammin’ Salmon. The film is the latest from the Broken Lizard comedy group (Super Troopers, Beerfest); it plays tonight as part of Slamdance. Smulders spoke to us about seeing too much of Jay Chandrasekhar and the sexual tension between Barney and Robin.

So the premise of the movie is there’s this contest and the winner gets $10,000 and the loser gets punched by Michael Clarke Duncan.
We thought it was much more complicated than that, but no, that is definitely it.

Tell us about your character, Tara.
She sort of has an attraction toward the new busboy, who’s played by Paul Soter — Paul Soter plays twins in the movie. But there’s not a lot of depth to the character, other than she’s a medical student and she’s a little bit maternal. She’s levelheaded, and everyone around her sort of falls apart. I was actually upset about that. I thought, if I’m going to do Broken Lizard, I want to be something crazy.

Do you have any good stories from the set?
I remember just seeing Jay Chandrasekhar’s ass way too many times because he has like no pants on in one of the scenes. And April and I kept looking over and it was just this bare ass constantly.

Can you tell us anything about what’s coming up on How I Met Your Mother?
We’re shooting the finale right now because both Alyson [Hannigan] and I are pregnant, so we’re going to be bigger and bigger — we like doing things together. But I think there’s going to be a lot of Barney and Robin stuff coming up, like a bit of a flirtation game with that. I think there’s definitely going to be a lot of sexual tension that’ll manifest itself, however. And I think all of us are sort of in this weird place of employment and figuring out what we really want to do. In terms of Robin, I think she’s probably going to get another job and go back to reporting in some sense of the word. I hope they keep these really fake newscasts, because they’re kind of my favorite thing to do.

And do you have any other projects coming up?
Just the baby for now! I’m working on creating life at the moment, with my body. So I’m gonna, you know, bang that out this hiatus and raise it for a couple months and then get back to work.

Photo: WireImage