Alyson Hannigan is getting a jump on Halloween.
The former star of “How I Met Your Mother” is hosting “Outrageous Pumpkins,” a new four-part Food Network series in which seven expert pumpkin carvers will show off their skills and compete for a $25,000 grand prize.
Hannigan, 46, answered a few questions about her new show.
Do pumpkins hold a special place in your heart, or was this more about the competitive element?
Halloween holds a special place in my heart! So this was so much for me. The competitive aspect is always fun because it creates such an energy and motivates people, but for me, seeing all the creative ways the pumpkins were carved was the most exciting part.
Can you carve a pumpkin?
My [pumpkin] carving skills aren’t the best part of my Halloween décor because I haven’t focused on it enough, but this show has inspired me to up my game and has taught me so many great new tricks. Who knew you could use crazy glue, or shave the skin of a pumpkin before carving it?! This year I’ll have a lot more time to really focus on my carving skills because I won’t be able to host my annual Halloween party.
Did you do this activity as a kid?
I remember carving pumpkins because I remember loving that feeling when you stick your hands into the gooey brains of the pumpkins. I think, as a kid, pumpkin carving was my main Halloween activity. That’s how you knew people were celebrating Halloween — there was a pumpkin outside!
Did you need to learn about the art of carving, or is your job here being an observer?
I definitely learned about the craft and the skill required, but my main role was to try to keep my mouth from staying open the whole time as I looked on with amazement. I learned and I watched in awe.
When and where did you shoot the series?
In Long Island last November — we had to shoot it in pumpkin season! It was icy cold. I couldn’t even feel my fingers and meanwhile the contestants were doing this incredibly detailed work with their hands. Their dexterity was definitely put to the test having to carve in that cold weather. I don’t know how they did it, yet they still did such an incredible job with so much intricate detail.
It’s been almost six years since “How I Met Your Mother” ended. Would you consider starring in another network sitcom?
I’ve loved television since I was a little kid. Devouring reruns of “I Love Lucy” and “The Brady Bunch” and those kinds of shows are what made me realize I wanted to be an actor, especially sitcoms. “How I Met Your Mother” never filmed in front of a live audience so to be part of a series that did — where you’re getting that energy and instant feedback from the audience — would be so incredible.
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