Neil Patrick Harris is all set to portray Count Olaf in Netflix’s upcoming adaptation of “Lemony Snicket’s A Series of Unfortunate Events,” and he seems like the perfect fit.

The series creator, Lemony Snicket, whose real name is Daniel Handler, told Entertainment Weekly that casting Harris was actually his idea. His lightbulb moment came in 2011 when Harris hosted the 65th Tony Awards on Broadway and opened the ceremony with a musical number.

“I saw him do that big song, ‘It’s Not Just for Gays Anymore,’ and I just immediately saw someone who could pull off a million things at once,” said Handler. “Now, just to watch him work, I feel like it’s visiting an amazing factory. When Count Olaf’s in disguise, he’s playing a guy who’s playing a guy and Neil plans out everything. How he’s going to open a door, how he’s going to gesture. It’s really funny and it’s just an amazing machine.”

The series will cover the first four books in Snicket’s books. The story revolves around three orphans trying constantly to escape the scheming manipulations of Olaf.

Meanwhile, Harris earlier told the Sydney Morning Herald that he thoroughly enjoyed this role because he got to play one ugly guy, and it felt quite liberating. “I was intentionally horrible-looking,” he said. “Being really ugly was actually really refreshing.”

Despite his insistence that looks did not matter to him for the role, Harris still brought his personal trainer to work with him on the set. He trained excessively and dieted as well. According to Harris, he wanted to work some physicality into his Olaf. “There was no weights, more using the body and not getting lethargic,” he explained. “I still wanted to be vibrant in my ugliness.”

“A Series of Unfortunate Events” will premiere on Jan. 13 on Netflix.

Neil Patrick Harris
Neil Patrick Harris sported a shaved head for his role as the villainous Count Olaf in “A Series of Unfortunate Events.” In this photo, the actor arrives at the American Theatre Wing's 70th annual Tony Awards in New York on June 12, 2016. Reuters/Andrew Kelly