Dove Shore/contour by getty images
After eight seasons on How I Met Your Mother, Cobie Smulders is cementing her spot on the big screen.

Cobie Smulders wants you to know she’s not a grump, despite the fact that her character on the CBS hit show How I Met Your Mother is not always a ray of sunshine. “Robin is constantly yelling at people, but that’s not me,” she says. “They borrow a few elements [from my real life] — like the whole Canadian thing — but I’m a lot nicer, I promise.”

The 30-year-old Vancouver native is happy to show off a softer side in her new film, Safe ­Haven, which is based on a Nicholas Sparks novel. “Of course it’s romantic,” says Smulders, who plays the friendly neighbor to Julianne Hough’s character. “But it’s a bit different [than other Sparks films].”

Smulders knows all about storybook romances, recently having tied the knot with longtime love and Saturday Night Live star Taran Killam, with whom she has a 3-year-old daughter, Shaelyn. But the downside to having simultaneously skyrocketing careers is being forced to spend a lot of time apart: Killam films SNL in New York, while Smulders is based in L.A. One of the keys to their bicoastal union? Laughter. “I don’t think we’d have walked down the aisle if he wasn’t funny,” she says.

Though next fall’s ninth season of How I Met Your Mother could be its last, fans of Smulders needn’t worry: She’s set to appear alongside Vince Vaughn in the big-screen comedy The Delivery Man this fall, followed by next spring’s superhero sequel ­Captain America:­ The Winter Soldier, in which she’ll reprise her role from the 2012 film The Avengers. While her character, agent Maria Hill, will still be a mere mortal, it doesn’t keep Smulders from pondering which superpower she’d most like to possess. “It changes every time I’m asked,” she says. “Sometimes it’s breathing underwater, because I wanted to be a mermaid when I was little, and then it was to fly. But these days, given my schedule, I’d like to be able to just not have to sleep.”