Neil Patrick Harris, Jayma Mays and Hank Azaria Spill Smurfy Secrets

ALTThe reason why the latest ’80s-cartoon-to-live-action adaptation The Smurfs works so well is that, even with all the kooky antics of its pint-sized blue creatures, the movie is founded in something real. Besides being a New York movie through and through, stars Neil Patrick Harris, Jayma Mays and Hank Azaria go all out in their respective roles and breathe life into what could have easily been a corny kids movie. Instead, we get a movie that delivers actual laughs and a lot of heart, even to cynical chump like myself.

I sat down with Harris, Mays and Azaria to pick their brains about the painstaking aspects of starring in a Smurfs movie (arguably not the easiest job on the planet), running around New York chasing cartoon characters and why “smurf” is the funniest word ever invented:

Neil Patrick Harris & Jayma Mays

After a few years of working behind the scenes on movies and TV shows (and earning an IMDb page for bragging rights), Movies Editor Matt Patches made a hard right into the world of entertainment journalism. In 2009, Patches became the Associate Movies Editor of, departing in 2010 to go rogue as a writer-for-hire. Patches covered movies and festivals for a number of outlets, including Movieline, MTV NextMovie, CinemaBlend, and Film School Rejects, before joining as Movies Editor in 2011. He proudly names "Groundhog Day" as his favorite movie of all time.