Magic man Neil Patrick Harris explains why he only performs tricks for his kids 'here and there'

You might think that having the multitalented Neil Patrick Harris as a dad means constant entertainment. He acts! He sings! He does magic!

But Harris revealed Monday in a Build Series NYC interview that he only puts on his magician’s hat — so to speak — for Harper and Gideon, the 7-year-old twins he shares with husband David Burtka, “here and there.” It’s certainly not a constant magic show or anything.

“I found that performing magic to younger kids is a bit of an opiate. That if you make something vanish, then they just keep grabbing other things and putting them in front of you and telling you to make them vanish,” Harris said while promoting his new movie, Downsizing, and his new children’s book, The Magic Misfits. “Or if you produce a coin behind the ear, then they don’t think you have done a clever thing. They think that they can make money off you behind your ears, and so I’ve been there when that same gleeful child is crying because there’s no more coins coming out of their ears. And so you have to be a little … cautious with the magic with the youngsters.”

There’s another reason, which is more about making NPH’s life easier.

“They think I’m magical right now, which is fantastic,” he explained. “And so I will just let them know that if they don’t go to bed soon, they never know what’s going to happen. There could be magical ramifications. If they’re not careful, that Beyblade [toy] that they’re arguing over may very well vanish forever. You know what I mean? I can use these ideas for now.”

Currently, he said, his kids’ favorite trick is when he makes money appear.

“That’s going to come back to haunt me,” he deadpanned.

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