Big-bang millionaire: Jim Parsons: I’m a nerd and I make money off of it!
His role as Dr. Sheldon Cooper was like a big bang in Hollywood for him. Jim Parsons (42) has achieved worldwide fame thanks to his part as a brilliant and know-it-all scientist in the cult TV series “Big Bang Theory”.
We met the nerd who became a star.
How hard is it to play a sociopath who doesn’t understand interpersonal rules?
Surprisingly easy. Sheldon is a part of me. I understand what it feels like to be an outsider.
Didn’t you have any friends as a child?
Yes. Still, I never really fit in. I was more into arts as a kid, but I wasn’t into sports. And when you grow up in Texas, that’s what makes you different from other boys. I didn’t always have a say in it. So I never felt like an insider – like one of the boys. It shaped me… and today I use those experiences and make money (laughs).
A lot of money. You and your co-stars Kailey Cuoco and Johnny Galecki are the highest paid TV series stars in the world with 1 million dollars an episode.
And the best part is, that way I’m able to help others. I donate to organizations that are important to me. But it’s not just about money. I’m also involved in just causes, like gay rights. Or I perform for free at a community theater, like in Houston in April. I grew up on stages like this. Now I’m paying you back.
The show is by far the most successful in America. Why?
I always say there are more people watching “Big Bang” than believe in the “Big Bang”. I think many people can identify with us. Because we are different and not “mainstream”. And who is not for the underdog?
They’ve managed to make nerds cool.
Oh, God, I hope not forever. The nerd culture was actually always a marginal culture and happy with it (grins).
Sheldon is a pure head case…
…but not heartless. Otherwise he wouldn’t be so popular with the fans and would be able to take so much pleasure from his roommates.
They’ve been in a committed relationship for 12 years with their friend Todd. Did you also decide from the gut to come out as gay in public?
It was rather inevitable. Before I got my role in “Big Bang Theory”, only my closest friends knew who I really was. But then I stood in the spotlight and decided that I didn’t want to hide my real life.
Were you afraid of how people would react?
A little. I remember the first time I showed up with my partner openly at a Hollywood event. I imagined all the fuss and the reactions that would rain down on us afterwards. And what happened? Nothing! Nobody asked me about it then or later.
Did your life not change at all with the fame?
Not for me in my own life. I am as I always was. Of course, I’m much more often recognized and approached on the street.
Aren’t you getting tired of playing the same character over and over again?
Not at all. I wish we could keep the show on indefinitely. But even when it’s over, I won’t mourn – I’ll look back with pride and gratitude. The years with the show have been the best in my life so far. Professionally and privately. I hope there will be something more.