Jim Parsons Says Ending ‘Young Sheldon’ Was ‘More Emotional Than I Thought It Would Be’

Parsons prepares to say goodbye to the character that has been a part of his life since 2007
Jim Parsons Says Ending ‘Young Sheldon’ Was ‘More Emotional Than I Thought It Would Be’

After seven seasons, Jim Parsons is finally ready to say goodbye to his young self — which means we can’t be more than a couple of years from Chuck Lorre’s next project, Old Sheldon.

Since 2017, the Big Bang Theory prequel Young Sheldon has captivated CBS audiences and kept Parsons close to his most decorated and recognizable role for years after the original series ended its historically successful run. Parsons’ decision not to return for another season of The Big Bang Theory precipitated the original show’s ending, but, apparently, the 51-year-old, four-time Emmy-winner found the work schedule of being the narrator and executive producer of his character’s prequel series much more amenable to his calendar. As such, Parsons continued his participation in the extended Lorre-verse for five years after the Big Bang Theory finale. 

Now, as Parsons prepares to (possibly) finally say goodbye to the role of socially awkward, eccentric genius Sheldon Cooper, PhD with back-to-back finale episodes of Young Sheldon on May 16th, he says that the reality is finally setting in that this chapter of his life is coming to a close. In the final episodes of Young Sheldon, Parsons will appear on screen as fully-grown Sheldon for the first time since the Big Bang Theory finale in 2019, and during last night’s Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon, Parsons told his host that the process of reprising his old character was “more emotional than I thought it would be.” 

Tearful Bazinga.

“Part of it was because, you know, Big Bang was done in front of a live studio audience, not unlike this,” Parsons explained of the unusual experience filming the Young Sheldon finale as he gestured to the Tonight Show crowd that treats Fallon’s jokes with a similar generosity as the Big Bang ones did with Parsons’ catchphrases. “The energy is very different, because they’re a single cam,” Parsons said of Young Sheldon, “So it’s more intimate. It’s just different.”

Parsons revealed that he reprised his role alongside his on-screen wife Mayim Bialik, who played Amy Farrah Fowler in The Big Bang Theory, saying, “It was really sweet to get to revisit those characters in a situation that was sort of similar, but very different. The only thing that was weird was, the first time she and I got on set, we did our first rehearsal, and it was like, ‘Huh.’” Parsons recalled Bialik telling him, “I really thought I’d feel more confident.”

“That nails it!” Parsons exclaimed of his partner’s reaction to the return, saying that returning to a role he hadn’t played in five years was completely unlike riding a bike — as if either Sheldon, young or middle-aged, has ever been comfortable on a bike.


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