For twelve years, Jim Parsons portrayed the neurotic socially inept genius, Sheldon Cooper on CBS’s long-running sitcom, The Big Bang Theory.
Given its widespread popularity, most fans assumed that the show would ultimately become the longest running sitcom of all time. However, the show abruptly closed its final chapter in 2019, an outcome that had a lot to do with Jim Parsons’ decision to leave.
Although one of the show’s creators, Chuck Lorre, hoped the show would proceed without Parsons, Sheldon Cooper was presumably too pivotal a character to be written off. That said, despite playing the role for over a decade, Jim Parsons has no regrets about walking away.
In fact, while some fans have yet to come to terms with the show’s unprecedented ending, Parsons has already discovered a bright side to not playing Sheldon Cooper.
Jim Parsons Walked Away From The Big Bang Theory In 2019
Until 2019, Jim Parsons was known to audiences everywhere as the star of CBS’s astronomically successful sitcom, The Big Bang Theory. After portraying one of the show’s main protagonists, Sheldon Cooper, for more than a decade, Parsons decided that it was time to part ways with the show.
“There is no negative reason to stop doing Big Bang,” Parsons told Entertainment Weekly in 2019. “It felt like we have been able to do this for so many years now, it doesn’t feel like there is anything left on the table. Not that we couldn’t keep doing it, but it feels like we’ve chewed all the meat off this bone.”
In an interview with the HFPA in Conversation podcast, the 49-year-old admitted that, after 12 years, portraying Sheldon Cooper had lost the thrill it once had.
“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.”
Sheldon Cooper Lived On Even After Jim Parsons Walked Away From The Role
Despite being resolute about walking away, Jim Parsons was understandably heartbroken that his time as Sheldon Cooper had lapsed.
“It will be very, very sad when it does end, even knowing [I am] okay with it,” he confessed to Entertainment Weekly. “People are okay when they graduate, but there are frequently tears at graduation. It’s hard to say goodbye to people that you have worked with for so long.”
Three years after making the monumental decision to walk away from Sheldon Cooper, Jim Parsons is yet to express any regrets. However, in his interview with the HFPA in Conversation podcast, Parsons appeared thrilled that Sheldon Cooper got to live on without him.
“He really has his own life in a weird way,” Parsons said.
“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,” he continued.
“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 Is Happy Sheldon Cooper Gets To Live On Without Him
Despite walking away from Sheldon Cooper, Jim Parsons is thrilled that The Big Bang Theory fandom has taken ownership of the role. “This I feel very strongly, especially over a year now away from playing it,” he told the HFPA in Conversation podcast. “The character of Sheldon is their property.”
The actor is especially glad that viewers get to re-experience Sheldon Cooper in reruns. “It’s a beautiful thing,” he said. “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.”
That said, Parsons has acknowledged that he remains inextricably connected to Sheldon Cooper, despite having moved on to new and better things. “I have a very unique relationship with that character, obviously,” he said.
“Everybody else has a unique relationship with that character that I can’t fully see, that I can’t fully understand.”