Neil Patrick Harris Talks Holiday Style, Being a Late-Night Host in Old Navy Ad

NEW -Old-Navy_Sara-Tollefson-Mally - Publicity -H 2019
Courtesy of Old Navy

The 'How I Met Your Mother' alum breaks down his holiday traditions and sense of style.

Neil Patrick Harris is quite into festive holiday clothes — be it matching pajama sets or silly socks. "We really live it up," he tells The Hollywood Reporter. "The fourth quarter is very exciting in the Burtka-Harris household. ... I'm excited by the holiday sweaters, because usually we buy new ones every year just so we're not having to dig out mothball-ridden things from the past."

The actor and comedian is channeling that energy into his Old Navy holiday ads, acting as a late-night host while Gillian Jacobs (Ibiza) portrays a band leader in the retailer's Black Friday bit, out Wednesday, which plays on Oprah's "you get a car" moment.

He says of the Old Navy Tonight theme, "A lot of their campaigns operate on a heightened ether, an odd reality that's sort of adjacent to the norm, so I think doing a bit of a parody of the talk show circuit is fun to do. ... We've been doing very caffeinated, enthusiastic takes on the tropes of the talk show." 

And while "it's fun to live my Fallon finest" while portraying the late-night host, Harris says it's not a gig he'd want permanently. 

"I would be so overwhelmed with the repetition, the groundhog element of doing the same 'show' everyday. I'd become delirious probably very quickly. My attention span is pretty — what was the question?" he joked. Instead, the Series of Unfortunate Events star pulled inspiration from a variety of comedians: "We want to be respectful enough so it doesn't feel like we're mocking, but there's a lot to take from Jimmy and Jimmy and Ellen and James." 

As for his non-holiday sense of style, Harris says he's mainly a T-shirt and jeans kind of guy. "I tend to wear grey a lot. It's my favorite color so I have all kinds of grey pants, grey v-neck T-shirts. I'm like the grey Simon Cowell in my own mind," he says. "My husband is much more Mr Porter — much classier. And so we've just gone from T-shirts to Gucci, which is lovely."

He's also a fan of pants that stretch a bit — "not in the waist like it's the day after Thanksgiving, but in the leg, because I jump around a lot. So the four-way stretch is always nice. Otherwise, if I'm dressing up, I like to dress a little bit timeless, so if God forbid I see a picture of myself five years in the past, I don't cringe."

The festivities don't just stop at clothes. Harris explains that they've started using a fake Christmas tree as a more environmentally-friendly approach to the holidays. "Living in New York City, we don't need to be cutting down trees. I realize they're farms specifically for Christmas trees, so it's not like we're destroying the environment by doing so but [there's] a lot of sad, brittle trees like January 7th out on the streets," Harris says (as for what goes under the tree, son Gideon is "very into" Dungeons & Dragons at the moment). "It's a great time of commerce and gifting, but it's also nice to also appreciate the people you're gifting for and try and not overdo it, so spend wisely."