Cobie Smulders Communes With Sharks

A white shark nudged nearer, gliding simply above the actress Cobie Smulders, like a fan asking for a selfie. Ms. Smulders welcomed the intrusion. “That is cool,” she stated, rapt, because the shark slid previous within the waters of the New York Aquarium.

Ms. Smulders, adored for her 9 seasons on the sitcom “How I Met Your Mother,” has beloved aquariums for so long as she will be able to keep in mind. As a mermaid-obsessed baby in British Columbia, she visited the Vancouver aquarium usually and spent weekends on her father’s sailboat, questioning in regards to the life beneath the water’s floor. The College of Victoria accepted her to its marine biology program.

However a couple of months earlier than faculty started, she fell in with some theater actors and deferred for a 12 months. After which one other 12 months. After which one other.

An avid scuba diver and an envoy for Oceana, a nonprofit devoted to defending and restoring the world’s oceans, Ms. Smulders by no means gave up on the water. She participates in seaside cleanups close to the Los Angeles dwelling she shares together with her husband, the actor Taran Killam, and their two daughters. And she or he campaigns towards the single-use plastics that clog waterways.

“It’s a human dialog that must be talked about extra loudly,” she stated.

She nonetheless has mermaid fantasies. “I nonetheless suppose it could possibly be a chance,” she stated. And she or he nonetheless loves aquariums, although solely those who favor conservation.

On a latest journey to New York Metropolis to advertise the FX restricted sequence “Impeachment: American Crime Story,” she took a automobile to Coney Island to go to the aquarium’s shark exhibit.

She breezed in from the boardwalk simply earlier than midday, exhibiting her vaccine card to a giddy worker. “I believed I acknowledged you!” the girl stated as she checked Ms. Smulders’s ID. Fairly than dressing for the seaside, Ms. Smulders had chosen a monochrome look: belted black Chanel blazer, black denims and black boots with stamped steel buckles that shone within the October daylight. Pearls plucked from some very gifted oysters hugged her neck.

Within the first constructing, she cooed over yellow snappers and identified some angelfish, then admired the stripes on some zebrafish. “Mom Nature is aware of what’s up,” she stated approvingly.

A cow nostril ray caught her eye, as did a yellow rose goby. “I need to be the one that will get to call these,” she stated. “You’ll be able to have a whole lot of enjoyable with that job.”

Ms. Smulders, 39, appears to have enjoyable with most jobs. On “Impeachment,” which revisits the impeachment of Invoice Clinton, she performs the right-wing pundit Ann Coulter, a member of the Elves, a bunch of conservative attorneys who suggested Paula Jones’s crew.

With hair like a Westminster-winning Afghan hound, legs just like the Eiffel Tower and a voice as clipped and polished as a high-end manicure, her model of Ms. Coulter finds pleasure in all places she goes, often as a result of she brings a number of bottles of wine alongside. And but she stays as coldblooded because the aquarium’s sharks.

“You’re all too good,” her Ms. Coulter says of her fellow Elves throughout a late-night technique scene.

Initially, Ms. Smulders had resisted the function. The “Impeachment” producers had approached her a couple of weeks earlier than the 2020 presidential election, the primary during which Ms. Smulders, a proud Canadian who lately turned an American citizen, may vote. Ms. Smulders votes a liberal ticket, so sharing head area with Ms. Coulter, who has written books corresponding to “Treason: Liberal Treachery from the Chilly Battle to the Battle on Terrorism,” didn’t appear wholesome or enjoyable.

However Mr. Killam was already hooked up to the sequence as Steve Jones, Paula Jones’s husband. And “Stumptown,” the moody procedural on ABC during which Ms. Smulders starred, was canceled due to the pandemic, liberating up her schedule.

So after Donald Trump misplaced the election, Ms. Smulders taped an audition. Enjoying an ultraconservative — particularly an ultraconservative with a miniskirt wardrobe and a champagne behavior — now not felt so darkish to her.

“She’s the one one who can even have any enjoyable,” Ms. Smulders stated of her character. “This confidence that this girl has, to have the ability to stroll right into a room and suppose you’re the neatest individual within the room, that you just’re probably the most highly effective individual within the room, that’s the polar reverse of me and my life.”

Within the shark constructing, which Ms. Smulders had entered after passing a harbor seal (“Hello, pal!”) and a waddling penguin (“You are able to do it, buddy!”), it was clear the place the ability lay. Crawling right into a tunnel simply previous the coral reef part, she marveled on the zebra sharks and bamboo sharks swimming simply inches away. “I need to arrange somewhat cot in there,” she stated when she emerged. “Waking as much as that? Heaven! Heaven!”

Not everybody enjoys intimate encounters with fish that may discover you scrumptious, however Ms. Smulders does. On a latest household journey to Oahu, she went for a cage dive with large Galápagos sharks. “That was a loopy factor,” she stated. She enjoys humbler marine life, too. Polyps are an obsession, as is algae, which has a mutualistic relationship with reefs.

Additional into the shark exhibit, previous a re-creation of a shipwreck, Ms. Smulders stopped at Hudson Canyon’s Edge, a dramatic wall of water. She admired the rays, floating previous like cheerful ghosts, and a whiskered fish that swam beneath them. “I really like somewhat mustache on a fish,” she stated. A loggerhead cruised by, pausing to admire her Tod’s bag. Sharks surrounded her, a few of them grinning toothily. Ms. Smulders smiled at every predator.

“Isn’t it simply so peaceable right here?” she stated. | Cobie Smulders Communes With Sharks


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