What Role Did ‘The Big Bang Theory Star’, Jim Parsons, Try Out for on ‘The Office’?

Jim Parsons is best known for his role on The Big Bang Theory. For 12 seasons, he portrayed Sheldon Cooper, and fans can’t imagine anyone else in the part. Before The Big Bang Theory, though, Parsons was working his way through the audition process for several other shows. In fact, he auditioned for The Office. He didn’t land a part on the series that would go on to popularize mockumentaries, but that’s probably a good thing, considering his thoughts on the series.

What was Jim Parsons in before landing his role on The Big Bang Theory?

The Big Bang Theory is considered to be Parson’s breakout role. The series, which ran for 12 seasons, became so wildly popular that it’s hard to think of Parsons as anyone other than Sheldon Cooper. That doesn’t mean he wasn’t working before the series, though. Before landing the part, Parsons regularly worked in Hollywood.

The cast of 'The Big Bang Theory'
The cast of ‘The Big Bang Theory’ | Sonja Flemming/CBS via Getty Images

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His first on-screen credit came in 2002, several years before The Big Bang Theory premiered. He appeared in Ed for a single episode. According to IMDb, he landed a recurring role in Judging Amy in 2004, before taking on a movie role in 10 Items or Less10 Items or Less was released the same year that The Big Bang Theory premiered.

Jim Parsons had some thoughts about his audition for The Office

Before becoming Sheldon, Parsons had a near-miss with another popular television series. He auditioned for a role in The Office. The audition didn’t end with a job offer, and that’s probably for the best. He wasn’t sold on the idea for the show, anyway.

The cast of 'The Office'
Rainn Wilson as Dwight Schrute, Ed Helms as Andy Bernard, Jenna Fischer as Pam Beesly Halpert, John Krasinski as Jim Halpert and Ellie Kemper as Erin Hannon | Chris Haston/NBCU Photo Bank/NBCUniversal via Getty Images

According to Deadline, Parsons revealed that he auditioned for the series and his thoughts on the concept during a panel for his upcoming show, Call Me Kat. His views on the show’s concept were mostly negative. He said, “I was like ‘how stupid, it’s about an office. If America wanted their own office show, they would have already made it by now.”

What role did Jim Parsons audition for on The Office?

Parsons was honest that he auditioned for a role on The Office, but he refused to share with fans which role he went out for. Reddit users have taken to making their own assumptions, and there are a few good possibilities. 

On fan suggested Parsons may have initially been considered for the role of Dwight Schrute. Sure, Dwight’s character ended up being much older than Parsons, but the character on the British version of the series seemed closer to Parsons than Rainn Wilson, the actor who ultimately took on the role.  

Jim Parsons attends the 2019 Creative Arts Emmy Awards
Jim Parsons | Paul Archuleta/FilmMagic

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It’s equally possible that he was considered for the role of Ryan Howard, a temp who appeared in more than 100 episodes of the show. Finally, it’s possible that he could have been considered for the role of Jim Halpert. Before the part ultimately went to John Krasinski, several actors reportedly auditioned for the job. Both Adam Scott and Ed Helm are believed to have been considered. Scott, Helm, and Parsons all share a similar, general look and are around the same age.