Neil Patrick Harris Naked on Rolling Stone Cover, Talks Embracing His Feminine Side

Truth rating: 10
(Terry Richardson for Rolling Stone)

By Shari Weiss


Neil Patrick Harris Rolling Stone

(Terry Richardson for Rolling Stone)

Neil Patrick Harris gets naked for the cover of Rolling Stone, opening up about everything from his sexuality to his career resurgence. Though many stars are reluctant to be openly gay in Hollywood out of it fear it’ll hurt their career, Harris believes coming out actually helped his showbiz status tremendously.

“Once all the cards were on the table, I got more opportunities than ever,” he tells the magazine, pointing out, “Some actors don’t get hired because you can’t look into their soul and see what they’re like, because they’re kept guarded.”

Harris came out to his family in three stages, with his brother Brian revealing to the mag, “First he goes, ‘I just don’t think I’m going to date, really, for a while.’ And he had some bad luck with the girls he dated early on. Probably because he was gay! And then we had a different conversation about how he likes girls, but he kind of likes guys too. And we had another conversation after that: He likes guys.”

That fact didn’t stop Harris from convincingly playing the ultimate ladies’ man on “How I Met Your Mother,” and he tells Rolling Stone that straight men regularly approach him celebrating his character Barney’s “Bro Code.”

Observes Harris’ longtime partner David Burtka, “So many frat guys. It doesn’t seem right, in a way. But it’s very exciting at the same time.” And the star, best known for his TV roles, actually credits his wild appearance in Harold and Kumar: Go to White Castle, alongside topless women, as being the true turning point in his career. “Who knew that three days on a funny stoner comedy would alter my track record the way it did?” he admits.

But now Harris has transformed himself yet again, this time to play a transsexual rocker in Broadway’s Hedwig and the Angry Inch. Harris lost a lot of weight for the role, and had to focus on embracing his femininity after years of playing the uber-masculine Barney. “He’s so skinny, and I think that really gives him power,” notes Burtka. “His body is crazy right now.”

Harris’ fiancé goes on, “I didn’t think he could pull off the femininity of [the role]. This is such a stretch for him. In his day-to-day, he’s not a very feminine guy.” But the actor says intensely focusing on how he comes off is really nothing new, dating back to days on “Doogie Howser, M.D.” “I have always been highly aware of how I was presenting myself,” admits Harris, adding, “Now that I’m playing overtly feminine and loving it, is kind of a stupid concern.”

Check out a larger version of the cover below!

(Terry Richardson for Rolling Stone)

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