After getting just a glimpse of her in last season’s finale, viewers will finally get to know The Mother, when “How I Met Your Mother” returns for a ninth and final season Monday at 8/7c on CBS.
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Cristin Milioti was cast in the long-awaited title role after a Skype conversation and a secretive audition with “Mother” creators and executive producers Carter Bays and Craig Thomas. While she didn’t know what part she was trying out for, Milioti began to get suspicious. “I signed a Russian novel of confidentiality agreements. Neil Patrick Harris congratulated me by accident,” Milioti said in a conference call with reporters Thursday.
For now, she is still being referred to as The Mother. The character currently has no first name. "I totally don't know The Mother's name," she said. "I don't even know what's happening as the season progresses."
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While she’s new to “Mother,” Milioti is already well-practiced in keeping the show’s secrets and was very tight-lipped about how The Mother’s relationship with Ted (Josh Radnor) will unfold. “We just shot some stuff that’s going to be really, really exciting and wonderful for fans of the show. I don’t want to give it away because I think it will just be a wonderful reveal. But it’s very, very, very, very exciting,” she said. That episode will air November 4.
Having never seen the show before she was cast, Milioti had the distinction of catching up on the comedy knowing that she was the mother. And, while that comes with a lot of pressure (fans have been waiting and waiting and waiting for her), the New Jersey native is confident that Bay and Thomas will not let her let anyone down. "They are incredible. They run an incredible show," she said.
Tony nominated for her role on "Once," Milioti said she would love to sing on the series. "It's like being asked if I would like the ability to fly," she said and laughed. And she's working on learning the bass, which fans of the show know The Mother plays. "I'm learning enough to make it look like I know what I'm doing but I shouldn't jump up with the Red Hot Chili Peppers anytime soon. I would embarrass myself," she said.
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"Mother" fans have been approaching her since May. "Every interaction I've had has been so lovely. People often ask to hug me or say, 'It's so amazing to meet you after all this time. Welcome to the family,'" she said. But she's still getting used to being a familiar face. She was recently with a friend at a bar dancing and, by her own admission, making a complete idiot of herself when someone walked up to her and asked her if she was The Mother. "I felt so stupid. But then that quickly evaporated."
While Milioti was evasive about any upcoming plot points, at the end of the call, the CBS publicist said viewers should have some Kleenex ready for the last moments of Monday night’s one-hour premiere.
“How I Met Your Mother” premieres Monday, Sept. 23 at 8/7c on CBS.