Harris: It was much more difficult to execute than I had originally thought, but I love playing with structure and challenging myself with different types of experiences. I love directing theater that doesn’t necessarily take place on a stage. I love movies that start where you think they’re a movie about one thing (and) end up being about something else. … We made a lot of small stories and tried to then make pathways from one to the other and have one story dead end that sends you back to a different spot you haven’t read before or you have to start over. It became its own bit of a puzzle.
AP: Is it possible to read the book straight through?
Harris: We tried to make it a bit linear so you can pretty much follow a main path but you can take side road trips as it goes along. Almost like a good variety show. You can see some serious conversations about educational things, my childhood or how (a) specific event was accomplished … and then if you’re bored … you can learn how to make pasta Bolognese sauce and then you can hop right back in and read about the ‘Doogie Howser’ years and then when you feel like your head is spinning you can go make yourself a great cocktail.
AP: You’ve been so busy jumping from television’s “How I Met Your Mother” to Broadway to promoting your book and the movie “Gone Girl.” Is there time off in your future?
Harris: The rest of the year is actively dedicated to doing less. … We just moved to New York full-time and we’re still in renovation. … I’m a big nester. I enjoy organizing things. This has been a lovely respite from entertainment chaos.
AP: How do you find the next thing to keep you challenged?
Harris: I’m not really sure. It speaks a little bit to the way my life is working these days. The structure of my book is similar to the structure of my professional life at the moment … dabbling in all sorts of different disciplines. … I don’t feel like I have to choose one right now.
Alicia Rancilio covers entertainment for The Associated Press. Follow her online at http://www.twitter.com/aliciar