As it turned out, you probably enjoyed watching him on the show way more than he enjoyed acting on it.
While appearing as part of The Hollywood Reporter’s Comedy Actor Roundtable series, Jason revealed that at the peak of HIMYM‘s success, he was actually “really unhappy.”
“There was a period in my life and career around the last couple of years of How I Met Your Mother where things were firing in both movies and TV, and everyone was telling me how well it was going,” he explained.
“I then had to grapple with why? What’s off about this equation? I think the thing that I was confronted with is that it’s really great to make the decision of ‘Fuck it, I do what I want,’ but unfortunately, there’s a system of permission in place where people will go, ‘We don’t give a shit.’ Like, ‘Good for you, man.'”
Jason also said that after HIMYM ended in 2014, he “didn’t know what I wanted to do next.” “I really wondered if I was actually good enough to do drama,” he admitted.
He pointed to his portrayal of late writer David Foster Wallace in the 2014 film The End of the Tour as an example of a challenging role that found him operating outside his comfort zone.
“You prep differently for comedy,” he explained. “There was a lot of improv in how we came up, and these were big chunks of dialogue. I literally just played in my head, ‘What would Edward Norton do?'”
“I got a dialect coach and I did all these things that I heard you do if you’re a real actor. But man, I was scared.”