After nine seasons and 184 episodes worth of tangential clues, including a yellow umbrella, a bass guitar, and a copy of The Unicorns’ Who Will Cut Our Hair When We’re Gone?, How I Met Your Mother has finally revealed “The Girl With The Yellow Umbrella,” better known as The Mother: Cristin Milioti.
As Alan Sepinwall pointed out last night, it’s an interesting casting choice for several reasons: She’s unknown compared to Sarah Chalke, Rachel Bilson, Jennifer Morrison, and other various contenders through the years, which removes any preconceived notions carried over from previous roles. But though Milioti isn’t a known quantity as a television actress, she’s had a number of notable roles that demonstrate her range.
Most familiar to television viewers would be Milioti’s guest role on 30 Rock as Abby Flynn, the new female cast member who's hiding from her psychopathic ex-boyfriend in the fifth-season episode “TGS Hates Women.” Her best scene from that episode also features Chicago comedian Hannibal Buress as a homeless man.
She’s an accomplished stage actress, garnering a Tony nomination for originating “The Girl” in the Broadway musical adaptation of John Carney’s Once with music and lyrics by Glen Hansard and Marketa Irglova. Though matching Irglova’s singularly fascinating performance is a tough task, Milioti’s versions of Irglova’s songs “If You Want Me” and “The Hill” are appropriately gorgeous, making her a fine choice for a bass player in a wedding band.
Milioti even coincidentally had a role in a national Ford commercial staring out of a panorama roof, admiring various buildings along a drive, something she’ll definitely have to do again with an obsessive and easily excited architect like Ted.