As one of the stars of Hulu's new comedy "How I Met Your Father," Francia Raisa is excited to be working side by side with fellow cast member Hilary Duff.
The two actors had previously met just once — and to hear Raisa tell it, their conversation quickly took an "awkward" turn. "I did meet Hilary about 10 years ago, and I asked something so awkward and potentially inappropriate, but she was very, very sweet about it," Raisa, 33, told TODAY.
"(Duff) was pregnant with her first child. And I asked her if she had lost her mucus plug yet. Yep, I did that. She did that," she continued. "So seeing her 10 years later, and having the opportunity to work with her, and you know, get to become genuine friends on and off screen has been fun."
The "Grown-ish" star joins Duff and co-stars Kim Cattrall, Chris Lowell, Suraj Sharma, Tien Tran, Tom Ainsley and Brandon Micheal Hall in the new series, which is a spinoff of the hit CBS sitcom "How I Met Your Mother."
The series, which premiered on Hulu this week, focuses on Sophie (Duff), a mom who tells her son the story of how she met and fell in love with his dad. Cattrall plays the future version of Sophie.
Raisa plays Valentina, a "fun" and "flirty" member of Sophie's close-knit group of friends, who bring laughs as they, too, try to navigate the tricky dating scene of modern-day New York City.
Emphasis on modern-day. "2005 and 2022 are two different worlds, you know, especially when it comes to dating," said Raisa. Indeed, with the advent of of social media, dating apps and "Netflix and chill," the rituals of romance have changed since "How I Met Your Mother" debuted more than 16 years ago.
"How I Met Your Father" is packed with pop culture references to make millennials feel nostalgic about their younger years.
"One of the things that I love about it, you know, growing up in the era that I did is we make a lot of references, like in the birthday episode when Sid drops a keg and he goes, 'We’re gonna take this to the grave!'" You know, "I Know What You Did Last Summer"-style. That was so funny to me, because I grew up in that era," said Raisa.
"And there’s more nuggets like that, that we say throughout the series that I think a lot of millennials will appreciate."
The show, so filled with stories of fun and friendship, is also a welcome "escape" from the pressures of real life, said Raisa.
“You know, you meet a group of people, a group of friends who meet each other for the first time and instantly click and you see them navigating their life in friendship, in love and in career. And I think it’s a nice, necessary escape for a lot of viewers,” she said. “And even as you know, being a part of it, it was a nice escape for myself to be playing Valentina.”