Actor and writer Josh Radnor came to The University of Rhode Island on December 3 to discuss his views on life and reality to the students, giving them a new perspective on getting older.
Known for playing Ted Mosby on CBS’s TV sitcom How I Met Your Mother, Radnor addressed URI students, prompting topical discussions about the misunderstood fear of growing up. He provided insightful thoughts about what it is really like to get older, and discussed the strange feelings that arise when you realize you are no longer a twenty year old.
“Internally I feel like I’m nineteen because I’m confused that I’m not nineteen,” Radnor explained. “I feel good, but I’m not trying to be as obsessive about youth. I found aging to be mellower than I thought it would be, and it’s nice to not be the beginner all the time. It’s nice to be a veteran a little bit more.”
Describing how he was able to achieve his life-long goals of acting, Radnor admitted that his journey was not always easy. He talked with students about the steps he had to take to reach the point of success in his life, and expressed how was able to overcome instances of rejection and self-doubt.
“My life has been filled with people at very pivotal moments pulling me aside and saying ‘you can do this’, and acting along with many other professions,” Radnor said. “Anytime you are going to be creative or want to be a storyteller, it feels like there is this secret club that you have to know the password for, and I have people at really beautiful moments in my life tell me that I can do this. It was so important because a lot of times when I didn’t believe in myself, I could almost remember ‘so and so believes in me and I believe in them’ so it was really powerful for me.
Throughout the talk, Radnor addressed his film, Liberal Arts, and discussed how it was almost like an exaggerated self-portrait, demonstrating how there are ways to find the joy in aging.
“It’s the journey and about getting you to where you want, even though some days you are going to think ‘that was a really terrible day and my life is off track’,” he said. “But you find your way. I think getting older is strange and it’s weird to not be the young people, but it’s also cool to be at a different stage so I am trying to enjoy it as I go.”
He continued to explain that he aimed to take a different perspective upon writing his movie, and expressed that he wanted it to have a plot that could continue to be relatable for years to come.
“I’m trying to engineer my movies so that they feel timeless, so you can watch it in twenty years and not feel like some weird dated period piece. I want it to feel like it has legs… I think creativity at its best is a generous act,” Radnor stated.
Radnor is set to appear as a lead character in an upcoming television series, Mercy Street, which portrays the lives of nurses working during the Civil War. In addition, Radnor is continuing to write scripts with hopes to get behind the camera in the near future.