Neil Patrick Harris Relishes Family Guy Role in "The Smurfs 2" (Opens Aug 07)
The lovable Smurfs once again enlist the help of Neil Patrick Harris in Columbia Pictures/Sony Pictures Animation’s highly awaited sequel, “The Smurfs 2.”
Three years have passed since Patrick Winslow (Harris) last saw his blue buddies. But when the Naughties kidnap Smurfette and bring her to Paris, the Winslows get a visit from Papa, Clumsy, Grouchy and Vanity as the Smurfs will need their human friends to save Smurfette from their arch-nemesis.
You’d think with Patrick having a few years ago become a father to a son, Blue, he’d calm down, go with the flow a little bit more. Well, he might have, had he resolved his issues with his own stepfather, Victor Doyle (Brendan Gleeson). The two have butted heads for decades – while Patrick remembers his childhood one way, it’s never crossed his mind that Victor might have a distinctly different perspective. However, once the Smurfs recruit the Winslows (and Victor!) to take part in the rescue mission, all of those feelings are exposed when their attention should be on saving Smurfette.
As a father in his own right, Harris identifies with his character, Patrick Winslow. Being a part of the Smurfs franchise gives Harris the opportunity to share the experience with his family. “I’m a dad,” says Harris. “I really enjoyed making the first Smurfs and I was really proud of the end result. Now that I’m a family guy myself, I think it’s good to have roles in movies that are age appropriate for them to see, so it’s nice to be a part of The Smurfs.”
Harris sees Patrick’s and Smurfette’s story as a parallel journey towards family. “The story goes right to the history of Smurfette’s existence. It makes her question who her family is, who to trust, and where she’s from,” explains Harris. “That becomes the overriding question for all of us in our various ways within the movie.”
In “The Smurfs 2,” as Smurfette deals with her unresolved feelings toward her origins, so too will Patrick Winslow have to address his own relationship with Victor Doyle, the man who raised him. “Patrick’s father had left when he was very young, four or five, and his stepfather, Victor, moved in with him and his mother.
They never got along, for a number of reasons,” says Harris. “And so, when Victor comes and joins the adventure, Patrick is having the same kind of internal struggle. He doesn’t feel like he’s Victor’s son, and he doesn’t really want Victor to be around. But Patrick learns through the process of this adventure with the Smurfs that your family is more about who you love and who loves you, and less about where you actually come from. That’s a great lesson for everyone to remember, if not learn for the first time.”
Patrick’s and Victor’s relationship may be like oil and water, but Harris had great chemistry with Brendan Gleeson. “He was just a terrific choice, because he’s able to be over the top, and yet very grounded in a sense of reality,” says Harris. “What could be a buffoon of a role, he makes it an actual person. Acting against him is terrific.”
In Jayma Mays, Harris could not have asked for a more perfect choice to portray his screen wife, Grace. “I’m a big, big fan of Jayma Mays. She’s just a bright light of adorableness, she’s smart, she’s so sharp, she’s beautiful, she’s funny, she’s just the perfect choice for the heroine in this type of movie,” says Harris. “We can have banter in the movie that seems like we’ve been a couple for a long time.”
Opening across the Philippines on August 07 in 3D, 2D and regular theaters, “The Smurfs 2” is distributed by Columbia Pictures, local office of Sony Pictures Releasing International. Visit http://www.columbiapictures.com.ph for trailers, exclusive content and free downloads. Like us at www.Facebook.com/ColumbiaPicturesPH and join our fan contests.