Alyson Hannigan stepped in front of the camera at the age of four, and got noticed with sex comedy “American Pie” — but it was as Lily Aldrin in the long-running show “How I Met Your Mother” that she etched an everlasting impression on the minds of viewers. The American actress says she hasn’t forgotten any of her struggles as they make her appreciate her success more.
“I always wanted to be an actress… ever since I can remember. So (I)… did commercials at an age of four in Atlanta in Georgia. It was a kind of hobby… I was playing soccer and I was doing commercials. It was a recreational activity as a kid,” Hannigan told IANS over phone from Los Angeles.
Looking back at the time she shifted to Hollywood, the actress said: “Eventually, we moved to California, but again I mostly did commercials, a movie here and there, but I wasn’t ever successful as a kid… So, I have an appreciation of the success that I have as an adult because I remember all those auditions (where) I didn’t get and the job I wanted.”
After her stint as a child artiste in commercials, she went on to do occasional acting jobs from 1985. The game changed when she joined the cast of “American Pie” in 1999. She followed her act with “Buffy the Vampire Slayer”.
But her big ticket came with the show “How I Met Your Mother”, which ran from 2005 to 2014. The actress is married to actor Alexis Denisof, with whom she shares two daughters. The show will be back on the Indian small screen from Tuesday on Star World.
Hannigan started her tryst with showbiz as a child, and is glad that social media was not so big during her time. “It is very different now as everybody has a cellphone which has a camera. When I was growing up, it was different. People used to stop for autographs rather than a picture with you which will go on social media. I can’t imagine what it must be like for kids nowadays.
“Because the image is out there for ever. It adds a lot more pressure. I am so glad that the whole social media thing wasn’t around when I was in my twenties because God knows what kind of awful pictures would have been posted, or pictures that I would have posted thinking ‘Oh, this is funny’…
“And as a mom, I would be embarrassed thinking that one day somebody is going to show them to my kids. I still have those pictures… They are the images that you don’t want your kids to see. Everything is permanent now. It is a lot more daunting now.”
But even now there are some parts of fame that were difficult to cope with for her.
The 43-year-old said people’s curiosity to take a photograph with her was initially difficult to explain to her children, but it is getting easier with time.
“Especially when we go to a mall and people want to take a picture and stuff… What helps is that I do a show ‘Penn & Teller: Fool Us’. It is the first thing (which she did) that they can watch, so now they understand, ‘Oh okay, you are on TV and people want to take pictures with you’.
“They get it more now than earlier. When my eldest daughter (Satyana Marie Denisof) was younger, she was like ‘Why do they all take pictures with you? This is our time, why do we have to go and suffer because of that stranger?’
“But they get it now. Now she kind of likes it.”
On the work front, Hannigan says she is busy with an “interesting project” – but does not reveal details.