‘Big Bang Theory’ Star Jim Parsons Reveals the Best Part About Not Playing Sheldon Anymore

Jim Parsons has moved on from The Big Bang Theory. While he always took roles like The Normal Heart and did both stage and screen, he’s no longer playing Sheldon Cooper. At least, not on camera. He still narrates Young Sheldon. Since The Big Bang Theory ended in its 12th season, Parsons has had roles on Netflix’s Hollywood and the film adaptation of The Boys in the Band

Jim Parsons
Jim Parsons | Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images

Parsons was a guest on the HFPA In Conversation podcast on Sept. 23 to discuss The Boys In the Band. While reflecting upon The Big Bang Theory, he discussed the great pleasures of seeing Sheldon live on without him. 

‘The Big Bang Theory’ doesn’t need Jim Parsons anymore

Parsons won many Emmys for playing Sheldon Cooper on The Big Bang Theory. However, the 12 seasons of the show continue to air. Parsons is witnessing the fans take over Sheldon. 

Big Bang Theory
L-R: Kunal Nayyar, Simon Helberg, Johnny Galecki and Jim Parsons | Sonja Flemming/CBS via Getty Images

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He really has his own life in a weird way. That was something I felt for many years, not just about my character but about the show in general. All of us who worked on the show no longer had the claim on it, in a weird way, that the audience did, and the people who loved it and watched it did. Part of it was that we could never have that vantage point because we were making the sausage. But, some of it has to do with the fact that when a show goes on that long and is successful and connects with people, it sort of becomes their property.

Jim Parsons, The HFPA In Conversation podcast, 9/23/2020

Jim Parsons will always have ‘The Big Bang Theory’

Parsons feels secure in his role in establishing the character of Sheldon Cooper. He doesn’t need to hold onto it forever.

L-R: Kaley Cuoco, Melissa Rauch and Jim Parsons | Michael Yarish/CBS via Getty Images

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“This I feel very strongly, especially over a year now away from playing it,” Parsons said. “The character of Sheldon is their property. I have a very unique relationship with that character, obviously. Everybody else has a unique relationship with that character that I can’t fully see, that I can’t fully understand. It’s a beautiful thing. I don’t know that I would have it any other way, to be honest with you. I wouldn’t want the responsibility. Let him carry on in reruns without my having to help him along anymore.”

It was time for Jim Parsons to move on anyway 

12 seasons is a long time. Many people don’t stay at the same job for more than a decade. So, Parsons was ready to at least stop making new episodes of The Big Bang Theory.

“I don’t mean this in a bad way, because I loved every episode we did,” Parsons said. “I really did, but I didn’t get a jolt out of playing the part anymore. Look, it was a wonderful job. I’m sure plenty of people hear that and they’re like, ‘I don’t get a jolt out of my job either.’ I completely get that. It’s just a different situation in that way.”

Big Bang Theory
L-R: Kunal Nayyar, Simon Helberg, Melissa Rauch and Jim Parsons | Monty Brinton/CBS via Getty Images

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CBS and creator Chuck Lorre seemed to agree. The way Parsons tells it, everything worked out to end The Big Bang Theory in season 12. Had there been a plan, he might have still made season 13.

“I believe fully they would have done more seasons of Big Bang if we had agreed to as a group,” Parsons said. “The fact was we really never got an offer. So there was never a moment that I actually said no to an amount of money or a contract. There was nothing.”