'Harold & Kumar' Star and Magician Neil Patrick Harris Says Hollywood's Magic Castle Will Reopen 'Relatively Soon'

1:25 AM PST 11/05/2011 by Borys Kit
Art Streiber

The "How I Met Your Mother" actor, who is also the president of the Magic Castle, spoke to THR about Monday's shocking fire at the Hollywood landmark.

Neil Patrick Harris says that Hollywood's Magic Castle dodged a bullet Monday when a fire broke out at the famed institution, and that the landmark, which is also a performance space and restaurant for magicians, will reopen soon.

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Harris, who is president of the Magic Castle, co-stars with Kal Penn and John Cho in this weekend’s A Very Harold & Kumar 3D Christmas. THR caught up with him while he was sipping a cocktail at the afterparty for the Hollywood premiere on Wednesday, where he said he was shocked when he learned a fire broke out in the attic of the Hollywood mansion. Twelve fire trucks called to the scene.

“We dodged a lot of bullets,” Harris told THR. “It could’ve been much, much worse. It was minutes, floorboards away from being a huge, huge disaster. 

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He added: “I think we’ll be able to open relatively soon again and get back to business."

Harris, a lifelong magician (in his Doogie Howser days he did a funny trick on The Tonight Show With Johnny Carson), said the club has started what it is calling the "Inferno Fund," to which anyone can contribute. He’s been impressed by the many magicians who have reached out wanting to help, even if it means grabbing a bucket and mob.

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“It’s inspiring when you’re dealing with a private club of members, to have those members that have been members for 45 years, wanting to help in any way they can,” he said. “That makes you feel good.”

In the latest Harold & Kumar movie, Harris once again plays “N.P.H.,” a cocaine-addicted heterosexual letch pretending to be gay. Harris, who reignited his career by poking fun at himself in the first H&K movie, said it’s become incredibly easy for him to slip into the character because of his trust of writers Jon Hurwitz and Hayden Schlossberg.

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“I got to have dinner with Jon and Hayden, and they sort of pitched me the idea they had for my part in the movie; I was laughing as soon as they said ‘Christmas movie,’” Harris said. “They have this weird idea of what they think my life is like and even though they know it’s not like that, they like to pretend that that’s what it’s like, and its very specific. And I like the specificity of what they come up with.”

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