On How I Met Your Mother, Marshall Eriksen and Lily Aldrin were beloved characters. They were often couple goals on the well-liked TV program that lasted from 2005 to 2014. They were portrayed by actors Jason Segel and legendary Buffy the Vampire Slayer actress Alyson Hannigan. But since Segel smoked cigarettes, Hannigan was never excited about their on-screen kissing.
“I cannot stand cigarette smoke. It’s like kissing an ashtray and he’s trying to be polite by having gum or mints, but it doesn’t help,” the former member of Buffy the Vampire Slayer told Digital Spy. She said that despite her efforts, Segel was unable to break the habit.
“When we started the pilot [for the show] he was like, ‘Get me to stop smoking, I’ll be your best friend.’ So we did this bet where he would owe me $10 every time he had a cigarette. After the first day, he owed me $200,” she recalled. “So he said, ‘I’m just quitting,’ and he quit cold turkey for about a year. It was fantastic but then … he got stressed out and he started smoking again.”
The smoking focused episode of HIMYM may have been influenced by Segel. In “Last Cigarette Ever,” the eleventh episode of How I Met Your Mother season five, Marshall resumes his former smoking habit in an effort to connect with his employer.
Lily, Ted, Robin, and Barney all begin smoking cigarettes at some point. After Marshall’s employer suffers a heart attack, everyone makes a permanent commitment to give it up. The group decides to have one final cigarette while they enjoy the sunrise, but future Ted (voiced by Bob Saget) explains that it really took them all considerably longer to stop.
In March 2014, How I Met Your Mother came to an end. Hannigan often answered questions about what she will miss most about working with Segel on their last press tour. She sobbed during an interview with The Talk.
Hannigan said, “He’s such a wonderful guy,” and she stopped to fight back tears. She joked, “I’m not going to miss him.”
“I’m not good at answering this question at all.” When Segel put his hand on her shoulder and said, “Aww, babe,” Hannigan began crying harder, telling the audience, “I’m on a daytime talk show crying, this isn’t how it was supposed to go!”
She sobbed once again at Segel’s sweet remarks when the panel asked him what he’d miss most about the show and working with Hannigan.
“Aly taught me a lot about how to be a man, I gotta say. I was 25 when I took the show. think we’ve all been through a lot personally,” he said (via Us Weekly). “Aly and I have a lot of scenes together, spend a lot of time together, and she’s always been there to listen to me and give me advice, saw me through hard times and good times.” He continued, “I learned a lot from being around Alyson by the kind of person that I wanted to be,” as he stroked her shoulder as she cried.
Hannigan discussed her audition for How I Met Your Mother on an episode of the Off the Beat podcast with Brian Baumgartner from The Office. The Buffy actress said, “I’m not a great auditioner — it’s such a different skill set.”
“I get too in my head and I leave my body and start judging myself,” she stated. Whatever the case, Hannigan did well in her first audition. Hannigan said that when they invited her back to work with Segel for a chemistry read, she “totally jumped on one of [Segel’s] jokes.”
“I was like [gasps], ‘[I’m] such a jerk, I just ruined his chances,’” Hannigan remembered. “But we both played it off and the chemistry was clearly there.”
She revealed to Baumgartner during their talk that Hannigan and Segel had previously collaborated on the film Dead Man on Campus. Fortunately, there was some residual chemistry from that project. She concluded: “I was so concerned that I blew it for him because I screwed up one of his punchlines. Thank God he got it.”