'How I Met Your Father' Stars Talk 'Responsibility' of Taking on 'How I Met Your Mother' Legacy (Exclusive)

The stars of How I Met Your Father fully felt the pressure of taking on a sequel series to the beloved sitcom How I Met Your Mother. Ahead of the Tuesday, Jan. 18 premiere of the Hilary Duff-led Hulu series, Francia Raisa, Tom Ainsley and Suraj Sharma opened up to PopCulture.com about taking on the legacy of How I Met Your Mother and making it their own for a modern audience.

"It definitely felt like a lot of responsibility to live up to the original," said Raisa, who plays Valentina, the roommate of Duff's character Sophie. "But also, it was very exciting because it's its own show." Sharma, who plays bar owner Sid, added, "Everybody came into this knowing that it is a responsibility. It is something we really have to work towards. So just the vibes that we inculcated amongst each other – it's fantastic. We're friends, so that's all you really need."

Tom Ainsley, who plays aspiring model Charlie, admitted, "I think we were all equally terrified, but that's definitely what brought us together, I'd say. ...I think as soon as we all looked at each other and went, 'Oh, oh, you're nervous as well? OK, alright.' Then we started to I'd say, work together, but pick each other up. And yeah, it definitely helped."

How I Met Your Father is truly a sequel to its predecessor, bringing in a new set of characters to explore the New York City of 2022, but with nods towards fans of the original. "It has certain tonal aspects that are similar," Sharma explained. "So for someone like me who's watched the original, I don't feel like I'm outside of that world. But I feel like there are new people. I feel like it's new people, new stories."

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Raisa agreed there was "a lot of expectation" from fans going into the premiere of How I Met Your Father, but she's confident they'll love what they see based on early reactions. "Anyone we've talked to today, the first thing they say is, 'We loved it,'" she said. "And that's a breath of fresh air for each and every one of us because we worked so hard on this." How I Met Your Father premieres Jan. 18 on Hulu with a new episode released weekly.