Jim Parsons may look fresh-faced and youthful, but this comedic actor is 38 years old and already pondering life after his stint as neurotic Sheldon Cooper in The Big Bang Theory.
“Well, 50, for me, is roughly 11 years away and I can tell you, I am not jumping up and down at the idea of still playing Sheldon 11 years from now,” the Texan-born actor reveals to TV WEEK. “Look, I can’t imagine the show going that long, but if it did, maybe I’d feel differently. It’s just hard for me to imagine going through ‘midlife-crisis Sheldon’. What the hell would that be? Horrible!”
As a youngster, Jim performed in school plays and later scored small TV roles, but his world changed when he landed the iconic nerdy role that catapulted him to stardom. Here, Jim tells us about the future of the show, his Emmy wins and life in the Hollywood fast lane.
Your co-star Kaley Cuoco (Penny) still sees herself being on the show in five years’ time. If you don’t want to be Sheldon at 50, how long do you plan to stay?
I feel very good about the future. It’s a very fortuitous position we’re in. To stay on the air now — we’re in the fifth year — and syndication started this year here in America, I don’t know that it guarantees anything, but I know that it does tend to trend towards getting to do a few more years of the show. I’m thrilled by the prospect, I really am.
What makes you want to keep playing Sheldon?
The writers have always done such a wonderful job of maintaining interest for us as actors. There seems to be slow and steady development going on for these characters all the time. It keeps work interesting and I have to admit, as an actor, I still feel so fortunate to have this job. I’ve been asked that question a couple of times — if I would stay with the show if it went for however many years — and I’ve always thought, “Yes, of course I would.” But I can never tell what the future holds. Maybe that opinion changes as you get older and time goes on, but as I stand right now, I see myself riding this thing out to the bitter end. [laughs]
Have the cast made a pact to leave at the same time?
No. That’s never come up.
Does winning two Emmys put any added pressure on you?
No, no pressure. But I was so surprised [with the second win]. It was just such an honour. I was really taken aback. Who knows the reasons — I guess if you’re nominated there’s always a chance you could win, but it just seemed like it wasn’t going to happen. It really caught me off guard and frankly, it was all the sweeter because of it.