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OTRC: Neil Patrick Harris poses naked for Rolling Stone (Photo)

Neil Patrick Harris appears on the cover of Rolling Stone in May 2014. Neil Patrick Harris appears at the 2014 Met Ball on May 5, 2014. (Rolling Stone / Marion Curtis / startraksphoto.com)

Neil Patrick Harris is ditching his "How I Met Your Mother" suits in favor of nudity for the latest cover of Rolling Stone magazine.

Harris, 40, shows off his toned abs and wears nothing more than a black bow tie and a strategically placed top hat on the cover, which hits newsstands on May 9. Check out a full version of the Rolling Stone cover here (Warning: NSFW).

In the magazine, the actor talks about his current role in the Broadway rock musical "Hedwig and the Angry Inch," where he plays a transgender German rock star. The role is a drastic change for the actor, who recently spent nine years playing hyper masculine Barney Stinson on "How I Met Your Mother" and before that, three and a half years portraying a heterosexual teen doctor on the medical drama series "Doogie Howser M.D."

"I have always been highly aware of how I was presenting myself," Harris said. "Which now that I'm playing overtly feminine and loving it, is kind of a stupid concern."

His fiance, David Burtka, told Rolling Stone he was unsure if Harris could take on the more flamboyant role.

"I didn't think he could pull off the femininity of [the role]," Burtka said. "This is such a stretch for him. In his day-to-day, he's not a very feminine guy."

Harris also talks about being an openly gay actor in Hollywood, something he feels helped his career in sharing his truth rather than having the opposite effect.

"Once all the cards were on the table, I got more opportunities than ever," he said. "Some actors don't get hired because you can't look into their soul and see what they're like, because they're kept guarded."

Harris can be seen in "Hedwig and the Angry Inch" on Broadway in New York City through August 2014. Check out PHOTOS from the play here.

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