How I Met Your Mother Casts a Pretty Little Love For [Spoiler]! Plus: Rachel Bilson Returning?

Get More: Casting News

Ashley Benson How I Met Your MotherHas How I Met Your Mother found Barney a pretty little new sweetheart?

Pretty Little Liars starlet Ashley Benson has lined up a Season 8 guest spot on the hit CBS comedy, TVLine has confirmed.

PHOTOS | How I Met Your Mother: Barney’s New Romance Heats Up, Plus a Buffy Reunion!

Benson will play an unconventional love interest for one member of the gang in the Jan. 21 episode. Which member? In announcing the casting news Wednesday night, CBS tweeted that she will be… “Barney’s ????” Hmm… 

Meanwhile, a rep for the show would neither confirm or deny buzz that Rachel Bilson is poised to return as Cindy, the roommate of Ted’s future bride — but consider this: Earlier this week, HIMYM co-creator Carter Bays told TVGuide.com that Ted will run into someone from his past who will have a “big influence on his search for the mother.”

The Hart of Dixie star last appeared in a Season 6 installment during which she revealed — after a brief flirtation with Ted — that she’s a lesbian.



Comments (60)

  • I was going to say Barney’s sister, they did say unconventional love interest, could this be the mysterious mother, maybe. happy to hear Rachael Bilson is coming back, since she for certain knows the mother. I’m still hoping we see Stella one more time though, even if its just so Ted can get mad at her for The Wedding bride.

    Comment by Tina – December 13, 2012 10:38 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • But Barney and Robin are engaged? Don’t break them up again!

      Comment by renee – December 19, 2012 04:16 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • She could be the sister we never met,

    Comment by Mac19 – December 13, 2012 10:38 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Jeez! She’s obviously Barney’s sister and I bet she’ll be a love interest for Ted.

    Comment by irishgirl29 – December 13, 2012 10:39 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • This is all kinds of exciting!

    Comment by Leena – December 13, 2012 10:42 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Deffo his sister!!

    Comment by katy917 – December 13, 2012 10:44 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Kinda funny if she plays Barney’s sister, esp since Lucy Hale played Robin’s sister

    Comment by S – December 13, 2012 10:45 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • Wow, didn’t even put that together when I read the news. Awesome!

      Comment by lefty – December 13, 2012 11:01 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • :)

      Comment by Jenny – December 13, 2012 11:44 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • Didn’t notice! That would be so great to have both of them in the wedding episode!

      Comment by Azerty – December 15, 2012 06:57 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Ashley Benson = Barney’s sister. All lines up with Rachel Bilson (the mother’s roommate) coming back into the picture!

    Comment by Steph – December 13, 2012 10:46 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • YES YES YES! My theory is holding up thus far.

      Comment by Clifford Alverez – December 14, 2012 09:18 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Barney’s sister and Cindy’s girlfriend?

    Comment by hello – December 13, 2012 10:48 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • no she married and had a kid with the girl she meet in the bar on the last ep she was in

      Comment by ollie – December 13, 2012 11:02 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Sarah Michelle Gellar was on the set of HIMYM today…

    Comment by Toby – December 13, 2012 10:58 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • really? how do you know that? (i’m not doubting you, I’m just curious…)

      Comment by dee – December 13, 2012 11:11 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • She’s good friends with Alyson though, could have just been visiting.

      Comment by Emily – December 13, 2012 12:26 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • she probably was just visiting.. would love to see a pic of her with alyson hannigan though.. for obvious reasons :p

      Comment by phill – December 13, 2012 12:46 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
      • She is NOT good friends with Alyson Hannigan. It’s largely known those two were NOT friendly.

        Comment by Josh – December 13, 2012 02:08 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
        • My thoughts exactly. I’d always heard that SMG wasn’t as chummy with the rest of the Buffy cast off-camera.

          Comment by Summer – December 13, 2012 05:38 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
          • But ted’s wife can’t be blonde. He made that clear when he was with Stella

            Comment by paula – December 13, 2012 06:48 PM PDT  
    • That would be awesome.. When TV Line does it make a poll about who will be the mother? a familiar face?? or just a random actress?? Sarah Michelle will be great, but i don’t think Ali Hannigan would like that idea.. my bets.. a familiar face like Reese Whiterspoon, or Emma Stone, or even a grown up Lindsay Fonseca

      Comment by Fernanda – December 13, 2012 02:41 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
      • Reese is a blonde so noo. The resemblance is too close to Lindsey

        Comment by renee – December 19, 2012 04:18 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Definitely Barney’s sister.
    All makes sense. She’ll be a love interest for Ted (possibly the mom???)

    Comment by Pickles – December 13, 2012 11:04 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • I’m so happy that Rachel Bilson is returning.. I aways thought that the mother’s roommate should have had a bigger part…

    Comment by dou – December 13, 2012 11:18 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Oh I hope she’s not Barney’s sister! I so wanted his sister to be the mother.

    Comment by Sarah – December 13, 2012 11:21 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • if she is barney’s sister then she better not meet ted during this episode because she has to be the mother, its the only logical reason for all this barney-robin drama taking over the show

    Comment by Alan – December 13, 2012 11:29 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • I think it’d be great if she’s Barney’s sister but for some reason or another Ted never ends up meeting her, even though the rest of the group does. Then they meet at the train station and at McLarens he tells his friends about the great cool girl he met, and how he invited her to come meet them. And then the truth comes out.

      Comment by madhatter360 – December 13, 2012 12:04 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
      • Doesn’t he meet the mother at Barney’s wedding? That could definitely work.

        Comment by 23553 – December 14, 2012 03:05 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • Amen, brother.

      Seriously, if I had to suffer through all this Barney/Robin horribleness only for Barney’s sister to be a red herring, I’ll be greatly annoyed.

      Comment by Jo – December 13, 2012 04:28 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • I know it’s the founding premise of the show but….. meh. I like Rachel and I’d be interested to see some post-marriage Ted plus One but all the detours have worn me out.

    Comment by John – December 13, 2012 12:28 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • I have a hard time seeing her as the mother. I love Ashley Benson but I can’t really see that.

    Comment by RobMF – December 13, 2012 12:29 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • Agreed. Love Ashley but would find her as the mother hugely disappointing. It needs to be someone big like Anne Hathaway or something to leave a big impression.

      Comment by dude – December 13, 2012 01:38 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
      • Hell no! I want the mother to be either unknown or relatively less famous star a la Ashley Benson maybe, te mother is not supposed to be important because of what she looks like but for who she is. So I am 100% against them casting an A lister for the mother.

        Comment by Mike – December 13, 2012 02:29 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
        • got to agree. i think we’ve had more than enough pointless stunt casting on the show (*cough*britney Spears cant act*cough*), they should just cast who ever they think is best for the role rather than trying to grab headlines

          Comment by Alan – December 13, 2012 02:31 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • She could be Rachel Bilson’s roommate and Barney’s sister who is at college.

    Comment by Greg – December 13, 2012 01:02 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • I firmly believe that Barney’s sister ends up being the mother due to all the different story lines and hints coming together, so if Ashley Benson ends up being Barney’s sister, I hope they dye her hair brown. Remember in the almost-wedding to Stella episode, during a scene with future Ted and the kids, their hair color changes to blonde when Ted jokes that Stella was the mother reveal.

    Comment by Brittany – December 13, 2012 01:10 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • I really hope this is Barney’s half sister Carly, that way, they can put this “Carly’s the mother!” Theory to rest. It was an awesome theory when it first came out, but I think the writers are too tricky to settle for the easiest solution. She can’t be a love interest for Barney either because I think it’s safe to say Robin and Barney will be engaged next week! Can’t wait!

    Comment by justsomegirl – December 13, 2012 01:37 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • There’s no way Barney’s sister is the mother. This is clearly the way it’s going down here: Ashley is playing Carly, Barney’s half-sister (his Dad’s daughter). This is completely unconnected to the Mother, who Ted meets at Barney & Robin’s wedding – probably because she’s in the band. And Cindy, who we know was the mother’s roommate at the time Ted met Cindy, probably comes back into the picture and recommends the Mother’s band to Barney and then she and Ted meet for the first time at Farhampton station.

    Ashley’s not playing the mother here, guys.

    Comment by Priya – December 13, 2012 01:39 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • If it’s Barney’s sister and the sister ends up being the roommate of Cindy(Rachel Bilson) then it would make even more sense that Ted refers to Barney & Robin as Aunt & Uncle.

    Comment by shaun – December 13, 2012 02:30 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • When Ted refers to Barney & Robin as Aunt & Uncle when telling the story to the kids

      Comment by shaun – December 13, 2012 02:32 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • The aunt and Uncle thing in the end is irrelevant to Barney sister theory because he also refers to Marshall and Lily as Aunt and Uncle.

      Comment by Tina – December 13, 2012 03:11 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • But…if he meets the mother in January, that just seems anticlimactic. It should be in the season finale. But it seems like she’ll be the sister and I’m attached to the idea of the sister as the mother.

    Comment by Gilda – December 13, 2012 02:39 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • If Ashley benson even ends up being the mother she and Ted won’t necessarily meet in her first episode or until the finale.

      Comment by Mike – December 13, 2012 03:38 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • Except having it be Barney’s sister is one of the only ways she could be introduced to the audience long before she meets Ted (I don’t really care about getting to know her, but A LOT of people do). It would be very easy to have her interact with Barney many times and not meet Ted until much later. How they wouldn’t actually meet until they were on the train platform after the wedding reception is over is a bit more tricky.

      Comment by Kendall – December 13, 2012 04:37 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • She can’t be the mother, Ted made it clear when she was dating Stella that the mother is not blonde. So not SMG or Ashley Benson. And also Ted meets the mother after Robin is married so he can move on

    Comment by paula – December 13, 2012 06:52 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • SMG is a natural brunette

      Comment by Kyle – February 5, 2013 12:01 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • I hope Ashley Benson is JUST Barney’s sister. I want Lizzy Caplan to be The Mother!

    Comment by Mich – December 13, 2012 07:15 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • oh that would be just fantastic. you have now ruined anyone else in the role for me

      Comment by Alan – December 14, 2012 11:35 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • I think Mila Kunis should play the mother. The daughter in the show has some resemblence to her. Also the mother can have blonde hair because whose to say thats her natural colour. I do like the idea of barneys sister being the mother but if they don’t meet till the train platform then it wouldn’t really work I don’t think. Def like the idea that she is in the band at the wedding. That way they wouldn’t interact together and bumping into her at the train station he would recognise her and have a reason to speak to her.

    Comment by Chez – December 14, 2012 01:40 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • And Lily said in an episode that Mila Kunis is one of her sex dreams or something like this

      Comment by simone – January 4, 2013 11:38 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • The mother is Cindy’s roommate in college. If the roommate happened to be Barney’s sister, the show has just shot off it’s foot.

    Comment by Dw Dunphy – December 14, 2012 02:04 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • If she is playing Barney’s sister I hope we will see John Ligthow aka Barney’s father again! Ashley Benson could be great as Barney’s sister but then I hope she won’t be the mother, for me she is way too young for Ted. (but maybe that’s because I picture her as the 17 yo in Pretty Little Liars). The return of Rachel Bilson makes sense if we consider the theory that the mother is in the wedding band. Especially since one episode in February is called “Band or DJ?”. I like the theory that Cindy recommends her roomate’s band during that episode.

    Comment by Azerty – December 14, 2012 02:42 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • While I would normally say it’s too “neat” for Barney’s sister to end up being the mother, there are certain events that led to Barney meeting his father (which would also lead to him meeting his sister). If he hadn’t been goofing off with Robin in the museum, he never would have found out that his Uncle Jerry was really his father. And they were all only at the museum because all the guys worked at GNB. Ted wouldn’t have accepted the GNB job if he been working somewhere other than the university as a professor, and we know he wouldn’t have gotten the job without knowing Stella, who he only met because of the butterfly tattoo, that he only got because he broke up with Robin, who he met in the first episode. It’s a little bit of a stretch to connect it all, but it works. Also, meeting Robin at the bar in the first episode is important not only because Ted dated her and set off the chain of events, but also because Barney was the one that introduced them that night, and we know he ends up marrying her. Even so, it’s probably better that the mother end up being someone else, to make the love story seem even more epic since they only would have met through a particular series of events.

    Comment by Little Scarf Girl – December 14, 2012 06:46 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • this is exactly why the mother has to be barney’s sister, it actually seems like they had it all planned when you lay it out like that, otherwise it will just seem like they pulled it out of their ass and most of the shows run will just seem pointless

      Comment by Alan – December 14, 2012 11:41 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Am I missing something??? When did Barney ever say he had a sister? Confused lol… Plus not to burst any bubbles, but in no way is Ashley Benson the mother… huge age difference and I don’t see it !

    Comment by Jo – December 14, 2012 07:21 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • Barney’s dad offhandedly mentioned his daughter that was away at college when he showed Barney a family photo. We’ve met his son (JJ), but the daughter (Carly) has never been introduced.

      Comment by Little Scarf Girl – December 14, 2012 10:12 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • I hope Ashley Benson isn’t barney’s half sister if the half sister theory is correct. If she was a former love interest for barney, i feel like it would be weird that barney had an “unconventional” (meaning “out of the ordinary”) love for his half sister. If she is Barney’s half sister, maybe the word unconventional could have a different meaning. The word unconventional, meaning “out of the ordinary”, could suggest that barney’s unconventional love for his half sister means that his love for her was “out of the ordinary” because even though barney may/may not have met her yet, he truly loves her without even knowing much about her. That could be the conventional love part that barney has for Ashley Benson. This is one reason why I can see Ashley Benson actually be barney’s half sister who Ted ends up marrying though. Thoughts??

    Comment by Shutupsluts – December 15, 2012 06:17 PM PDT  Reply To This Post

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