The Big Bang Theory is a show that celebrates the wonderful uniqueness of nerds, so it couldn’t have found a more welcoming audience than that at the 2011 Comic-Con convention.
The entire cast was on hand to celebrate the fact that the series received three Emmy nominations in its fourth season: Outstanding Comedy Series and Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy for both Jim Parsons and Johnny Galecki. Parsons won the award in 2010.
We caught up with Parsons, who plays Sheldon, at the convention to get his feelings about going head-to-head with his co-star, how his life has changed since landing the role and to get a sneak peek at the upcoming season.
The Big Bang Theory returns with two back-to-back episodes on Thursday, September 22nd at 8 p.m. on CBS.
Congratulations on your Emmy nominations. So you and Johnny Galecki are going head to head. Do you guys have a bet?
Jim Parsons: Yes, head to head. No bet. That was the most exciting morning. I am not even sure if that is the right word for it. It was such a sweet thing to hear that much good news for that many people you know and love and work with. I was surprised at the celebratory feeling of it. It always feels exciting and what have you, but there were so many of us going to celebrate together. The show nomination specifically includes so many people. It includes the writers, the crew and anybody who works on the show. I am looking forward to going to this Emmys more than any than I have gone to before because of that. I said this early on, but I didn’t think about it until it happened: Parties are more fun when you know more people.
How has your life changed since landing The Big Bang Theory?
Jim Parsons: It has been several years since I have had to cash an unemployment check to be blunt about it. I know that sounds mundane, but it is so true. I still feel so fortunate to have locked in consistent work as an actor. It has been really rewarding to spend the last few years without the hatchet over my head wondering, “My God, what is next?”
Then, there are places you go to now where you get recognized. That has been different, too. I still am sorting out that. Some days you don’t want to be seen by anybody and some days that is harder to do than others, but I play that case by case. It is all good. There is nothing scary or bad about that. Just sometimes being a human, you don’t want to talk to anybody and sometimes people talk.
Have you learned anything about science or technology since being on the series?
Jim Parsons: Scaredly little. Honestly, I feel like any science or technology that I get, I learn as much as I need to to understand what I am saying, or how to work a certain object and then you are on to the next script, so there is no absorption. I am no smarter. I may even be dumber, because I haven’t had time to do anything else.
It has to be some kind of mind blowing thing to walk around here and see your face on T-shirts.
Jim Parsons: That is very odd.
How many times did you get asked to say “bazinga” today?
Jim Parsons: Too many. A couple of them I turned down flat. I did say it at the talkback at the panel. It was an Iraq war veteran, so I felt it was the least I could do in return for his service to our country was to give him a bazinga. I don’t feel that I have done my patriotic part still, though.
In terms of next season, how is Sheldon going to play into Penny and Raj and the fallout?
Jim Parsons: I don’t know, but I imagine he will have some major things to say about how it affects this new-found relationship he has with Raj as a roommate. That really worked out well for him. He told Leonard at some point, “Raj and I have a good thing going on. You are not going to ruin it.” If Sheldon gets involved at all, it has to be that way. Honestly, he could give a damn about Penny and Leonard and if they have any troubles.
What can we expect from Sheldon and Amy? Are you guys going to move on?
Jim Parsons: The only reason I say I hope so is because I have enjoyed working with Mayim [Bialik] and I love the Sheldon and Amy thing. It feels like it has so much possible depth. It seems like every time we have another scene, it grows in some way. Frankly, as actors, I feel the more we work together, the more comfortable we get. So if we progress, whether that is getting physical or just spending more time together, I do hope we get to do more work together.
You mentioned with Raj as your new roommate, are you ever going to pick up a cue where you become this wannabe ladies man?
No. Sheldon doesn’t care.