Neil Patrick Harris cites Real World’s Danny as “a role model”; Anderson Cooper watches Project Runway, hates Living Lohan

If there’s still a need to prove reality television’s pervasiveness and influence, an interview with a TV star and a segment from a TV show should provide sufficient evidence.

In an interview with Out magazine, Neil Patrick Harris, star of How I Met Your Mother and, previously, Doogie Howser, M.D., said that when he was coming to terms with his own sexual orientation, he found a role model in gay Real World New Orleans cast member Danny Roberts.

“The first face that empowered me was Danny Roberts from The Real World: New Orleans. I think before him I’d never seen anyone wear [homosexuality] so comfortably. He was around my age. I could look to him as a role model — if you could say that, even though he was on a reality show. He represented a way that I could behave and stand tall comfortably without being an overt advocate and without being someone hiding in the shadows. I liked that,” Harris said.

Neil Patrick Harris also says he watches American Idol and So You Think You Can Dance with his boyfriend David Burtka, and separately admits says that he watched the first season of The Mole and has a crush on Anderson Cooper: “Mmmmmmmm. Anderson. He’s dreamy. Just dreamy. I’ve been a fan of his since season 1 of The Mole. I just thought he was so cool when he talked in this cool, low, secret-agent voice — ‘If you can accomplish this task…'”

Speaking of Anderson Cooper, he co-hosted Live with Regis and Kelly yesterday, and while the CNN anchor may have left reality TV behind when he quit The Mole, he admitted to watching at least two reality series. His in-depth discussion about this season of Project Runway proved that he’s a fan.

But he isn’t a fan of another show he’s watched, E!’s docudrama Living Lohan, which he called “atrocious” and said is cast with “horrific people.” His scathing criticism prompted Dina Lohan to respond, “People are just cruel! This is bad karma for him.”

A Man’s Man [Out]
OK! Exclusive: Dina Lohan Fires Back at Anderson Cooper [OK! Magazine]

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about the writer

Andy Dehnart is a journalist who has covered reality television for more than 15 years and created reality blurred in 2000. A member of the Television Critics Association, his writing and criticism about television, culture, and media has appeared on NPR and in Playboy, Buzzfeed, and many other publications. Andy, 36, also directs the journalism program at Stetson University in Florida, where he teaches creative nonfiction and journalism. He has an M.F.A. in nonfiction writing and literature from Bennington College. More about reality blurred and Andy.