As an actor, it seems that Jim Parsons can do no wrong. Not only has he won two Outstanding Actor in a Comedy Emmys – he’s also was nominated once before winning and is currently nominated yet again – and a Golden Globe for his portrayal of THE BIG BANG THEORY’s fussy geek genius Sheldon Cooper but he won a Drama Desk Award and a Theatre World Award for his performance as Tommy Boatwright in the 2011 Broadway debut of the play THE NORMAL HEART (the show originally premiered off-Broadway in 1985), about the early days of the AIDS epidemic; according to IMDB, Parsons is scheduled to reprise the role in a 2014 film adaptation. He just wrapped his second Broadway gig earlier this month, playing Elwood P. Dowd in the revival of HARVEY, about a man whose best friend is a giant rabbit that only he can see. As if this weren’t enough, Parsons also had a show-stopping duet with Jason Segel in last year’s hit film THE MUPPETS.
Parsons is, in short, a success by any measure – and yet the actor from Houston, Texas, remains as cordial and courteous in person as if he doesn’t spend a good portion of his non performing time talking to interviewers. In the past two years of THE BIG BANG THEORY, Sheldon’s character has been greatly impacted by his so-far platonic girlfriend Amy Farrah Fowler, played by Mayim Bialik (also an Emmy nominee this year for her work on the series). It seemed at the outset that romance might be antithetical to the Sheldon audiences had come to know and love in the first three years of the show, but Parsons says he wasn’t worried by the prospect of love – or anything else, for that matter.
“I [thought] it would be fun,” the actors said. “I trust them implicitly, the writers, that is. I’m never frightened of where they’re going to take the character, because they always manage to keep it interesting. I’m always surprised by it, and it’s always a challenge in a good way to play what they decide upon.”
Sheldon’s early interactions with Penny, played by Kaley Cuoco, also had a big effect on the character, Parsons adds. “I feel like Sheldon being exposed to Penny has changed him in some small ways. There’s been an attempt to communicate with her, there’s been an attempt to find out.” At the time the friendship started, Parsons continues, “I think that Penny in his life [was] the biggest change he had so far from the outside world, during the show, at least.”
Sheldon Cooper is a fan of many TV shows, films and comic book characters. The actor who plays him says that he tends not to be excited about Sheldon’s favorites in the same way. “I have no overlap,” Parsons relates. “I was a huge HARRY POTTER fan – the books – and that’s apparently not in these. These guys,” that is, the BIG BANG THEORYcharacters, “don’t seem to care about HARRY POTTER at all. So the only thing that I was a geek about, they were like, ‘Nah, not so much.’”
Might this be a copyright issue? After all, HARRY POTTER is made by Warner Bros., whereasTHE BIG BANG THEORY is done by CBS and Paramount. STAR TREK, a favorite topic on BIG BANG, is owned by Paramount, butHARRY POTTER is not in-house.
Parsons thinks about the suggestion, then says, “That could be, too. Because why wouldn’t they like HARRY POTTER?”
In real life, Parsons has had a few travel experiences that Sheldon would likely enjoy. “I’ve been to the Observatory,” Parsons says, referring to the recently-refurbished installation devoted to astronomy and space exploration, sitting high atop a hill in Griffith Park in Los Angles, California. “I went and watched the presentation that they do. It was amazing. And it reminded me of the show in a way, just traveling through [space] history like that, and the discovery of this, the discovery of that and the making of the telescope. I just loved that.”
THE BIG BANG THEORY is co-created and executive-produced by Chuck Lorre, who rather famously went through some major production hiccups on another of his productions last year,TWO AND A HALF MEN. Parsons says there are no trace of those kind of problems on BIG BANG THEORY.
“We’ve been very lucky – as a cast, we’ve always gotten along so well. We have a very good energy on our set and I’m very excited to get back to work on this season.”
Parsons rejects the notion that Sheldon is a “standout” character. “I think everything seems very healthy on our show. None of the characters stand on their own very well. Aspects of each of these characters are so carefully highlighted by the way they reflect off of the others that, speaking for Sheldon, I feel like a character like Sheldon is palatable sometimes to an audience because of the way he is viewed through Leonard’s [Johnny Galecki] eyes or through Penny’s eyes. And when you view him through that way, it gives you a little bit of understanding, as opposed to maybe wanting to slap him sometimes,” Parsons laughs.
Then there is that fourth Emmy nomination. “I was surprised again,” Parsons says. “Because it’s such a crapshoot. I mean, it’s so fleeting.” When he was nominated for his first Emmy, Parsons continues, “That’s what I tried to tell myself, and I’m telling myself again this year with more ease actually about it is, ‘Enjoy this, because these moments go – they’re here and then they’re gone.’”
Taken from http://buzzymag.com