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Getting stuck in Los Angeles traffic led Cobie Smulders to fall in love with audiobooks and podcasts.Handout

For Vancouver native Cobie Smulders, it was getting stuck in Los Angeles traffic that drove her to fall in love with audiobooks and podcasts. The storytelling medium catapulted her into another world – and into her latest venture, the new Canadian Audible Original series Mistletoe Murders. The How I Met Your Mother and Marvel actress not only voices the lead character, Emily Lane, but also serves as the narrator.

The story follows Emily, who runs a Christmas-themed store in the quaint tourist town of Fletcher’s Grove. When she is compelled to investigate a string of murders, Detective Constable Sam Wilner wonders whether there’s more to Emily than meets the eye.

We caught up with Smulders to discuss her career – past, present and future.

What drew you to this audio format?

I think there’s something kind of historic about it. Before television, the family would gather around the radio and listen to radio plays. Your imagination kind of acts in a different way when you’re just listening to a story you’re not able to see.

How much of yourself do you see or imagine in Emily?

Not much. I live a very busy life. I think Emily’s life – or the one that she’s trying to create for herself, which is living in a small town with a couple of tasks and quiet – is enticing. And I’m certainly not as stubborn. Emily is the type of woman who needs to get to the bottom of things, and I kind of let things go pretty easily.

Would you be able to solve a murder mystery if one came your way?

No, I would never get it right. [Laughs]

Smulders not only voices the lead character, Emily Lane, but also serves as the narrator in the new Canadian Audible Original series, Mistletoe Murders.VALERIE MACON/Getty Images

What was it like revisiting How I Met Your Mother in 2022 with How I Met Your Father on Disney+?

I was so happy to be a part of such a great show that had such a wonderful cast. The creators of How I Met Your Mother, Carter Bays and Craig Thomas, reached out to me to do something, and I would do anything for them. And I want the audiences to continue to be entertained by a version of our story. It was very trippy to be there on the MacLaren’s set again. It felt like nothing had changed except for me. But it was wonderful.

You’ve appeared in eight movies and shows in the Marvel Cinematic Universe over the course of 10 years. What has it meant to you to occupy this role and space in the MCU?

I’m just grateful that they asked me to keep doing these Marvel projects, because I get to work with some of the most talented, most creative, kindest people. Not just the actors, but the writers and the crew and everybody who has been so kind and so fun.

Is there anything you haven’t done that you’d like to explore in the future?

I did Broadway a few years ago now, and that was such an amazing experience. So I would love to do more theatre. It’s the one place that you get the opportunity to try everything out for any scene. There’s no second take when you’re on stage, so there is an energy that can’t be mistaken.

This interview has been edited and condensed.

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