'How I Met Your Mother': A behind-the-scenes peek at Joe Manganiello seducing a jury of 12 horny women

HIMYM-MANGANIELLO

Image Credit: Richard Cartwright/Fox

It’s a mid-October morning on the Los Angeles set of How I Met Your Mother, and director Pamela Fryman and writer Stephen Lloyd are deep in conversation about a pivotal moment of tonight’s episode.

“What makes sense is if he doesn’t pump as much,” Fryman says.

“He can grind his hips a little,” adds Lloyd, demonstrating with a small swivel of his own hips.

“Just not bend the knees as much,” Fryman concludes.

Then Fryman turns her attention again to what she tells EW is “a true perk” of her job helming nearly every episode of How I Met Your Mother: directing Joe Manganiello on how to show off his backside.

The True Blood star returned to the CBS comedy as Brad for a two-episode arc that began last week. Brad, Marshall’s law school buddy, has tricked his way into stealing Marshall’s strategy for his firm’s case against Gruber Pharmaceuticals. On top of that, Brad  (who, it turns out, is on Gruber’s legal team) uses what Manganiello calls “questionable tactics” before a jury not of a dozen irate men but of twelve horny women. That’s where Brad taking his sweet time – with strategically positioned buttocks – to pick up a dropped pen comes in.

“I probably did that scene a few more times than I needed to. Not gonna lie,” Fryman admitted.

It’s a change of character for Brad, Marshall’s one-time bromigo. Manganiello explained his take on Brad’s sudden determination to take down his friend:

“I’m kind of playing evil Brad,” he told EW while on a break from shooting the courtroom scene. “It’s like there’s good Brad and evil Brad. And he’s definitely evil Brad right now. Much like in South Park when evil Cartman had his goatee, and it’s kind of like evil Brad has a beard.”

While Marshall is trying to defeat his friend-turned-steamy-foe, the rest of the HIMYM gang is right behind him in the first row of the gallery. Ted has them all call in sick to work, so they are at the trial to support Marshall – and, Cobie Smulders adds, in the case of Lily and Robin, “to drool over Brad.”

The episode also features a brush with some juvenile criminals, spurring Ted, Barney, Robin and Lily to debate which of them was toughest in high school.

“Of course we’re all pretty much lying [about how tough we were] but maybe not everyone,” Josh Radnor teased.

Last week’s episode promised that the trial “would change the course of Marshall’s career,” as future-Ted declares. The stakes are high for Marshall – his boss assures him he’ll be fired if he doesn’t win the case – but Jason Segel says its outcome will ultimately impact more than just the career of one man.

“Last season we alluded to the fact that Marshall saves the world, and so I think this is the start of that arc,” Segel said. “It’s going to be a long, interesting, twisty, turny path for Marshall.”

But does that path begin with a win or a loss in tonight’s trial against Gruber Pharmaceuticals? Segel’s not about to spill the beans on that one: He was tight-lipped about whether Marshall finds his own way to win over the jury.

“I can’t give too much away,” Segel said. “Maybe Marshall loses. Who knows? You’ll have to tune in to see.”

“Twelve Horny Women,” episode 8 of How I Met Your Mother’s eighth season, airs tonight at 8 p.m. on CBS.

Follow Emily on Twitter: @EmilyNRome

Read more on EW.com:
‘How I Met Your Mother’ stars talk about the return of Joe Manganiello
‘HIMYM’ star Josh Radnor: Don’t stunt cast the mother!
Josh Radnor revisits his college years — and his college campus — in new film ‘Liberal Arts’

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