March 10, 2008 12:00 PM

No more writers’ strike! The star of How I Met Your Mother (which returns to CBS on March 17) talks about getting back to the set—and why he’s dreading a hot tub scene

THE STRIKE’S OVER! I am—how do the kids today say it?—wicked psyched. It was months of a holding pattern, just circling, waiting to be able to land.

HAVE YOU READ NEW SCRIPTS YET? I have no idea what’s going on. The only thing I asked them was to try to keep me with a shirt on for at least an episode or two so I can go back to the gym. I didn’t want to read on page one, “Barney in a hot tub.” To [go from] Thanksgiving into Christmas into not working—I could afford to lose a couple.

YOU PIGGED OUT? I’ve been going to lots of fancy restaurants. I’m becoming a foodie. I’m a big fan of fresh, homemade foods prepared well.

DO YOU COOK? I make a mean guacamole. And [during the strike] I worked on my wine collection. Went to Napa for a few days—dangerous. I stopped [buying] based on cost and started going on types of wine I like. Little boy’s growing up!

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