During a TCA panel and set visit with CBS’ Young Sheldon, an uncanny synergy was apparent between Jim Parsons, who plays adult Sheldon Cooper on The Big Bang Theory, and Iain Armitage, who plays the young version of Cooper on the rookie comedy.
Parsons and Armitage were joined on set today by Young Sheldon co-stars Lance Barber, Montana Jordan, Raegan Revord, Annie Potts and Zoe Perry as well as co-creators/executive producers Chuck Lorre and Steve Molaro to talk about the comedy, which was recently picked up for a second season.
When the conversation put the spotlight on the main character, it became clear why Armitage was the right choice to pull of the same-but-different portrayal in order to not make his Sheldon a predictable mini-me version of Parsons’ Sheldon.
When asked about playing the character, Armitage said, “He’s not exactly hard to play — but he isn’t easy either.” He adds, “I have to think differently because he is this incredibly smart kid and I’m not.” He turns to Parsons and said, “This guy helps with a lot of it.”
“Not anymore!” Parsons said.
Armitage responded, “You’re smart!”
Chimed in Revord: “Don’t be so modest!”
“Thank you!” said Parsons as the crowd of press laughed. After a beat he continued, “But you nailed it on the head. It’s not that it’s difficult to play — it’s interesting. It has its challenges, but they’re really fun.”
“It’s kind of like going through a maze that you know how to get to the end, but it all kind of looks the same so you still have to navigate it even though you know what you’re doing,” Armitage said.
“We didn’t want to just do ‘little Sheldon’,” said Lorre. “He’s a work in progress. He’s 9 years old — we want to go slowly and enjoy the ride.”
When Armitage was asked whether he would be friends with Sheldon in real life, he pondered a moment then answered, “Not exactly a buddy — that’s not the term I would use.” His answer was met with laughs, but he concluded, “He would be a very interesting friend — but I can see myself being with him.”
As far as Big Bang cameos are concerned, we likely won’t see any unless time travel gets involved. But fans may be treated to a different kind of cameo.
“There are young people in Young Sheldon’s life that we might someday meet on Big Bang Theory as adults,” Lorre teased.