So, that just happened. Tony nominee Cristin Milioti was the cause of thousands of gasps, screams and cheers Monday night when it was revealed that the former Once leading lady was the titular matriarch on CBS’s long-running sitcom How I Met Your Mother. After eight seasons of waiting, audiences were finally treated to their first introduction to the mysterious mother…but we bet that you don’t know her like you think you do! Since this adorable actress is about to blow up, we thought we’d dig up some of her best soundbites on Broadway.com and give Hollywood a little primer on the tremendous talent that is Cristin Milioti.
1. She’s got a thing for birds.
“Like that episode of Portlandia, I’m slightly obsessed with things that have birds on them. I am 90% more likely to buy something if it has a bird on it. But that stems from my larger obsession, which is with pigeons. They’re the athletes of the bird world.”
2. RuPaul’s Drag Race is at the top of her TV obsessions list.
“I love everything about this show—the glamour, the intrigue, the glitter, the TALENT, the songs, the fights, the tears, the lip-syncing, the gowns, Latrice Royale, the eyelashes.”
3. Once helped her adjust to Hollywood.
During filming of her upcoming feature The Wolf of Wall Street (opposite Leonardo DiCaprio), Milioti confessed that the Once cast album comforted her during long night shoots. “I was very scared, and it felt like the first day of school. I would always listen to 'The Moon' on repeat on the way there, and it would just calm me down.”
4. She can’t pick favorites when it comes to music.
“Beyonce, Jeff Buckley, Regina Spektor, Rihanna, Adele, Eddie Vedder and Mumford & Sons. I can’t choose just one. It would be like trying to decide which kitten to save in a situation where multiple kittens need assistance.”
5. Her last celebrity autograph was John Waters.
“The last person I asked for an autograph was John Waters when I was 10 years old," Milioti recalled. "My dad let me see a lot of inappropriate films growing up, and I think the movie Pecker had just come out and we read in the paper that John Waters was going to be at our video store in Philadelphia, so my dad drove me and then I met him and he wrote me a really sweet message on his 8x10 and I had it on my bedroom wall for years.”
6. She learned to play the piano from Cinderella star Santino Fontana.
In preparation for her Once audition, Milioti took piano lessons from her friend, newly minted Tony nominee Santino Fontana of Cinderella. After landing the role, Milioti thanked Fontana by indulging his one request: two tickets to opening night!
7. She’s shared snacks with Tina Fey and jumped on a trampoline with Alec Baldwin.
Milioti’s favorite memories of her guest stint on 30 Rock include killing time with Fey (“I was sitting there alone with my idol just quietly sharing a bag of pretzels”) and goofing off with Baldwin (“I was jumping on a trampoline and Alec Baldwin was like, ‘Can I get on there with her?’ Then we just jumped up and down on the trampoline for what seemed like forever.”).
8. Keeping it all natural is important to her.
“I’m a stickler about chemicals in beauty products. Most of the stuff I use is made from, like, oatmeal, dirt and elf tears.”
9. She’s a master of (limited) celebrity impressions.
Milioti’s hidden talent used to be singing, but now it’s her secret ability to do impressions. “I can do voices. I can do Kermit and Bjork. And Dina Lohan.”
10. She’s a Grammy-winning singer.
Remember when Once won the 2013 Grammy for Best Musical Theater Album? Milioti is officially a Grammy winner, and now that her TV and film career is taking off, she’ll be on her way to being an EGOT in no time.
11. She sympathizes with Angry Birds.
“It was the first app I bought. Although, I’ve noticed that I’m easily upset by it because the premise is that those weird green pigs have stolen the eggs of the Angry Birds (formerly known as the Well-Adjusted Birds, I imagine) and I feel a really intense need to help them.”
BONUS FUN FACTS:
She knows almost nothing about sports, she sometimes goes sailing, she has terrible hand-eye coordination, she’s not really interested in Hamlet, she’ll read anything by John Irving and she once saw a jellyfish.