Homerk saidJoseph Gordon Levitt is in many Hollywood movies, and I enjoy his acting style. But, to my surprise, Neil Patrick Harris is quite good in "Gone Girl". I wonder why he isn't in more movies. Anyone know?
NPH fell out of fashion after his successful run on Dougie Howser, M.D. When he came back into fashion, he signed onto How I Met Your Mother (HIMYM).
HIMYM is like "Friends," those actors make MORE on those shows than they would in Hollywood. In addition, filming for HIMYM takes an 8 month commitment, the contracts typically states an actor during that time CANNOT work on another project (or do risky activities like camping, bungee jumping, or horseback riding). With such little down-time, a movie would, literally, almost have to be filmed around his schedule and limited window of availability.
In short, you don't throw away a HIMYM contract to splash around as a B list move "star." $$$ talks and NPH is getting plenty of it as "Barney." He reportedly gets $210,000 per episode. There are 24 episodes in most seasons. That's $5M per year. After taxes his bank account sees $3M annually. That's not chump-change. And while he's a great actor, Hollywood goes by box office appeal and how many tickets your name/face sells, not ability--which he admittedly is not short on.
By way of comparison, this is the reason the phenomenal Jessica Lange said she won't do a fifth season of American Horror Story because it requires a time commitment a majority of the year and forecloses her ability, contractually, to work on anything else (broadway, movies, commercials). She was allowed to be the face of Marc Jacobs new line, but they had to add a rider to her contract that otherwise prohibitied that.