Neil Patrick Talks Relationships in Glamour September 2014: "Honeymoon Phases End"

Posted Tuesday August 12, 2014 5:03 AM GMT

He's had an epic year after winning a Tony for his role in "Hedwig and the Angry Inch" and saying goodbye to his character on "How I Met Your Mother," and now Neil Patrick Harris is dishing out some advice to Glamour magazine readers.

In the mag's September 2014 issue, the "Gone Girl" star shares his secrets of work, love, and living by your own rules.

Check out highlights from Neil's interview below!

Be with the person you’re attracted to.
"In high school all my friends were sleeping with girls, and it just seemed like that’s what one did. So therefore that’s what I did, but it left me feeling unsettled, as if I had somehow done it wrong. That’s not a good feeling. But now I think it’s easier to avoid that fate. Today, it’s cool to see a happy lesbian couple who are high school juniors. Better that than have those two girls marry people they’re not attracted to, have three kids, and then come out when they’re 50."

If you want relationships to last, live by “for better or worse.”
"Honeymoon phases end. They just do. We’re animals, and animals aren’t inclined to copulate with just each other for the rest of their lives. So here’s a challenge: How do you keep redefining your relationship? I think you have to find new elements that turn you on, and not only sexually. Having kids was one of those great moments for me. Watching David become another level of person, mastering this other domain, made me look at him with a whole other set of appreciative eyes. That sort of made me re-fall in love with him. That’s another important thing to realize. Everyone falls out of love with everything. You fall out of love with your house. You fall out of love with your job. You just have to figure out ways to keep [the love] alive."

Let people be who they are.
"When Harper was one or two years old and barely talking, she would put on Disney princess outfits (which she still does, by the way). Everyone would coo and take pictures. Gideon felt left out, so he put on a dress too. We all cooed and aww-ed and there was no weirdness. But after about four minutes, you could see it: He just didn’t like it. It was too girly, too frilly, and he just took it off, like, Nah, this is not my thing. Lately he’s been wearing construction vests and hard hats, and he asks construction people if he can work with them. He couldn’t be happier."

Wear crazy heels for a month.
"I wasn’t a very sexual being at a young age. I went through puberty much later than my classmates, so I always glorified the masculine ideal. I thought that masculinity equated confidence, and I was struggling to feel confident. Hedwig was a great active departure from that [mentality] because everything that I had known about confidence had to be thrown out the window. Now, all of a sudden, those masculine postures and inflections were tells that I wasn’t doing the job right. I had to be overtly feminine, and it felt totally weird. Initially, walking around in heels is a very challenging thing for a guy to do. But once you’ve done it six or seven times, it’s weirdly empowering. I had to move my hips and legs in a way that guys don’t get to do so boldly—it was fun! It’s actually kind of righted my pendulum a little. If you’re not an actor, it might be hard to recommend being super ridiculous for a month. So why don’t you try a hip-hop class to see how that feels?"

When you see someone do something great, be inspired.
"When you’re working with [director] David Fincher, the level of acting, process, and seriousness is ratcheted way up. Everyone in Gone Girl had to bring it every single take. We once did a scene 40 times, in succession, without stopping. [Fincher’s style] can be maddening to some. But to me, watching him hone and refine—not just on the actor level but even simply rotating a plant in the background of a shot just a little bit—was awe-inspiring. Sometimes I’d just watch him sit in a chair and be completely gobsmacked and think, I can’t believe I’m on a David Fincher set."

Photo Credit: Mark Seliger for Glamour