Pop music sensation and actress Jennifer Lopez appeared as Anita in the season 5 episode “Of Course” of How I Met Your Mother. Anita is the author of a self-help book aimed at empowering women to reject self-gratifying men. In an attempt to teach her ex a lesson, Robin asks Anita to break the willpower of womanizer Barney. However, as the episode progresses, the tables turn and it is Barney who rejects the confident Anita.
“Of Course” was well received upon its release in 2010, with IGN giving the episode a near-perfect score for challenging Barney and expanding on Robin’s character and emotional circumstances. During a behind-the-scenes interview, Lopez praised the show’s writing, calling it easy and fun to step into the role of Anita. “Believe it or not, I don’t often get to play ‘sexy’ in my films. I do romantic comedy and drama and it’s not like that,” Lopez said. “I didn’t actually play that ‘femme fatale’ role, so it’s fun to play it here.”
One can only hope that Anita will return to lead Hilary Duff’s character Sophie in season 2 of the How I Met Your Father spin-off.