Cobie Smulders Communicates With Sharks
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A white shark has come closer, hovering right over actress Cobie Smulders, like a fan asking for a selfie. Ms Smulders welcomed the intrusion. “It’s cool,” she said, delighted, as the shark glided through the waters of the New York Aquarium.
Ms. Smulders, adored for her nine seasons on the “How I Met Your Mother” sitcom, has loved aquariums for as long as she can remember. As a mermaid-obsessed child in British Columbia, she often visited the Vancouver Aquarium and spent weekends on her father’s sailboat, wondering about life below the water’s surface. The University of Victoria accepted her into its marine biology program.
But a few months before the start of school, she fell out with stage actors and deferred for a year. And then another year. And then another.
Passionate scuba diver and ambassador for Oceana, a non-profit organization dedicated to protecting and restoring the world’s oceans, Ms. Smulders has never given up on the water. She helps clean the beach near the Los Angeles home she shares with her actor husband Taran Killam, and their two daughters. And she campaigns against single-use plastics that clog waterways.
“It’s a human conversation that needs to be talked about louder,” she said.
She still has mermaid fantasies. “I still think that could be a possibility,” she said. And she still loves aquariums, but only those that promote conservation.
On a recent trip to New York City to promote the FX limited series “Impeachment: American Crime Story,” she took a car to Coney Island to visit the aquarium shark exhibit.
She stormed off the promenade just before noon, showing her vaccination card to a dazed employee. “I thought I recognized you!” The woman said, checking Ms Smulders’ ID card. Rather than dressing for the beach, Ms Smulders had chosen a monochrome look: black belted Chanel blazer, black jeans and black boots with stamped metal buckles that glistened in the October sun. Pearls plucked from very talented oysters squeezed his neck.
In the first building, she cooed over yellow snappers and pointed to angelfish, then admired the stripes of some zebrafish. “Mother Nature knows what’s going on,” she said approvingly.
A cow’s nose streak caught his eye, as did a pink-yellow goby. “I want to be the person who appoints them,” she said. “You can have a lot of fun with this job.”
Ms Smulders, 39, seems to be having fun with most of the jobs. In “Impeachment,” which revisits Bill Clinton’s impeachment, she plays right-wing expert Ann Coulter, a member of the Elves, a group of conservative lawyers who advised Paula Jones’ team.
With hair like a Westminster-winning Afghan Hound, legs like the Eiffel Tower, and a voice as cut and polished as a high-end manicure, her version of Mrs. Coulter finds pleasure wherever she goes, usually because she bring several bottles of wine. . And yet, she stays as cold as the sharks in the aquarium.
“You’re all too nice,” Mrs. Coulter says of her fellow elves during a late-night strategy scene.
Initially, Ms Smulders had resisted the role. The producers of “Impeachment” had approached her a few weeks before the 2020 presidential election, the first in which Ms. Smulders, a proud Canadian who recently became a U.S. citizen, could vote. Ms Smulders votes a liberal ticket, so sharing the open space with Ms Coulter, who has written books such as “Betrayal: Liberal Betrayal from the Cold War to the War on Terror”, seemed neither healthy nor fun.
But Mr. Killam was already attached to the show as Steve Jones, Paula Jones’ husband. And “Stumptown,” the brooding ABC procedure Ms Smulders starred in, has been called off due to the pandemic, freeing up her schedule.
So after Donald Trump lost the election, Ms Smulders recorded a hearing. Playing an ultra-conservative – especially an ultra-conservative with a wardrobe of miniskirts and a champagne habit – didn’t seem so dark to her anymore.
“She’s the only one who can actually have fun,” Ms. Smulders said of her character. “This confidence that this woman has, to be able to walk into a room and think that you are the smartest person in the room, that you are the most powerful person in the room, is the opposite of me and my life . “
In the shark building, which Ms Smulders had entered after passing a harbor seal (“Hi, my friend!”) While crawling through a tunnel just past the coral reef section, she marveled at the zebra sharks and bamboo sharks swim a few inches away. “I want to put a little cot there,” she said as she emerged. “Wake up to this? Paradise! Paradise!”
Not everyone likes intimate encounters with fish that you might find delicious, but Ms. Smulders does. On a recent family trip to Oahu, she went cage diving with huge Galapagos sharks. “It was a crazy thing,” she said. She also enjoys more humble marine life. Polyps are an obsession, as are algae, which have a mutualistic relationship with reefs.
Further in the shark exhibit, after a recreation of a shipwreck, Ms Smulders stopped at Hudson Canyon’s Edge, a spectacular wall of water. She admired the stingrays that floated like happy ghosts, and a whiskered fish that swam beneath them. “I love a little mustache on a fish,” she said. A loggerhead passed, stopping to admire Tod’s bag. Sharks surrounded him, some of them grinning. Mrs. Smulders smiled at every predator.
“Isn’t it so peaceful here?” ” she said.
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