Every so often, Hollywood produces an actor who has that “it” factor; put them in any role and watch them electrify the screen. In the 1950s, it was thespians like Clark Gable, Cary Grant, James Dean and Gary Cooper that impressed audiences with their charismatic swagger.
These days, watching Jim Parsons perform, you get a whiff of that classic Hollywood charm; it’s no wonder the Emmy, Critics Choice and Golden Globe Award-winning actor has been so successful.
Parsons is that rare dude who blends authenticity with likability, evident in any role he takes on. And he’s non-stop busy, co-starring in the Broadway revival of “The Boys in the Band,” which also features Zachary Quinto, Andrew Rannells, and Matt Bomer.
The veteran actor stars as Sheldon Cooper in CBS’ hit series, “The Big Bang Theory” and executive produces the prequel, “Young Sheldon.”
In the series, he also voices the adult Sheldon, as the story is told through the eyes of Sheldon at the age of 9, and follows him as he enters high school in east Texas.
“I’ve never done anything like this,” he said during a set visit at the Television Critics Press Tour. “It’s very fun when we do put them together, though.”
Parsons loves the process during the narration.
“I love when they’re almost finished episodes. I’m going in and giving the reel tracks for them, because then we can really time it to the scenes, right as it’s happening. It makes me laugh a lot of the time,” Parsons said.
If you have been a fan of “Big Bang,” you might have been surprised how nice young Sheldon is to his family, given how quirky adult Sheldon is.
“I think the biggest thing is that, until this show, we’ve only gotten to hear about him through Sheldon’s point of view, which, as we all know, is obviously who knows the reason why he’s taking that point of view,” he said.
Parsons felt his adult character may be “slightly protective,” like some of the things that go on in “Young Sheldon” could be viewed through the lens of his “intimate diary, something he wouldn’t say, and you wouldn’t have heard on the show.”
“And it’s like this is really how it happened, even though, for whatever reason, he’s couching it in certain terms,” he noted.
“This is the first time anyone has really gotten to explore him as a real fleshed out human. And so he’s revealing himself not to be such an ass, after all. I don’t know….I love what’s happening with it, though,” Parsons added.
Veteran executive producer Chuck Lorre has loved working with Parsons.
“It’s a magical ability to play as difficult a character as Jim plays and make him beloved,” said Lorre. “It’s a beloved character, you know, in the world of Archie Bunker and Danny DeVito, on ‘Taxi.’ There has been a handful of people who had that incredible ability of an actor to make an abhorrent human being beloved. But it’s very difficult to do. And, Jim, obviously, just has perfected it.”
Parsons also has a new family drama out, “A Kid Like Jake,” with his production company, That’s Wonderful Productions. In the film, he and his wife try to figure out the competitive world of NYC kindergarten admissions while trying to care for their gender non-conforming son.
Trans director Silas Howard loves Parsons’ sense of humor.
“He’s no slacker when it comes to comic timing. But I love how he was so committed and never winking at the camera. I feel like it’s really grounded in character. So even though Jim comes from comedy, he’s never sacrificing any bit of his character for a joke,” Howard said.
Parsons’ next project with his production company is adapting Michael Ausiello’s beautifully written memoir, “Spoiler Alert: The Hero Dies,” to the big screen.
“It’s an incredible story of love and loss and it touched my heart,” Parsons told the Los Angeles Blade.
If you are headed to New York check Parsons out in “The Boys in the Band,” which is being directed by two-time Tony winner Joe Mantello and produced by Ryan Murphy and David Stone. “Boys” will play the Booth Theatre through August 12, 2018.