Robin Sparkles was in the house! Yup, the Canadian sensation and alter ego of How I Met Your Mother‘s Robin Scherbatsky, was in the D for her first Motor City Comic Con. And judging by the fan reaction, it was a hit! MC3 2024 wasn’t her first visit to Michigan, though, that occurred when she starred as agent Maria Hill in Captain America: The Winter Soldier.

The Canadian-born actress spoke about her big break at just 22 years old on the CBS hit series HIMYM. The first comedy she ever auditioned for, Smulders shared how fortunate she was to star in a TV series that was on the air for nine years – something you just don’t see anymore. Smulders also discussed how an appearance by Britney Spears likely led to that longevity as the pop star helped gain more eyeballs on the young sitcom when she starred in a two-episode arc.

While Smulders owes her big break to HIMYM her role as Agent Hill took her fandom to another level as being a part of the Marvel Universe tends to do. And, as Smulders shared during her panel, it’s all due to Smulder’s HIMYM co-star, Alyson Hannigan who introduced Smulders to Joss Whedon. Whedon, of course, created the Buffy the Vampire Slayer series in which Hannigan starred as Willow and he eventually went on to write and direct the original Avengers film. Smulders, like other actors auditioning for a Marvel film, also spoke about how she didn’t know what role she was auditioning for. But it clearly worked out well for her as she has since gone on to star in six Marvel films (including all of The Avengers movies) and two TV series.

Smulders drew giggles when speaking about meeting her childhood crush, Mark-Paul Gosselaar. As she told fans, “She and Zach Morris were very much in love.” Of the first time she met him she stated, “it was bad” and that she went right back to being that 10-year old girl. A number of fans agreed as they were having similar reactions to meeting their idols during the busy convention weekend. Smulders’ fondness for the Saturday morning star didn’t end there though as she also shared how she was starstruck, or more like intimidated, by megastars Robert Downey Jr. and Tom Cruise, her co-stars in The Avengers films and Jack Reacher: Never Go Back, respectively.

Like her HIMYM character and just about every Canadian, Smulders appeared to be a genuine, down-to-earth actress that you can’t help but root for continued success.

Movie Reelist Contributor: Mark Eaton
Mark is an entertainment junkie, spending much of his leisure time watching movies, TV, or listening to any and all genres of music. Most evenings, after finishing a day of work and hanging with his wife and kids, Mark can be found in an eternal battle with his DVR, trying to clear it before another 5-6 hours of shows are recorded the next day. Still reeling from his unpaid gig for the Detroit News where he was fired for being too cruel with his American Idol recaps, Mark is thrilled to be sharing his wicked sense of humor with Movie Reelists.

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