Jim Parsons hit the public eye in a big way thanks to his role as Sheldon Cooper on The Big Bang Theory. Although it wasn’t Parsons’ first acting gig, it was one of his most visible. Plus, he played the role perfectly.
Parsons managed to pull off the anal, obnoxious, super-smart character of Sheldon. That’s impressive because Parsons couldn’t be further from Sheldon in real life.
While Sheldon is hard to love, Parsons is sweet and caring. Sheldon is all science and math, but Parsons is very artistic. In fact, he’s so artistic that he ended up with too many projects on his plate.
Jim Parsons was doing too much
After filming season 11 of The Big Bang Theory, Parsons headed over to Broadway. He was in a production of Boys in The Band, plus he had a commercial for Intel to film. That’s a lot.
Most actors take a break to recharge after filming a television show. Filming can be grueling work, and Sheldon is in a lot of scenes. Parsons was probably working more than eight hours a day every day to film season 11.
Broadway isn’t exactly a cake walk either. Between rehearsals and multiple shows, the life of a stage actor can be just as hectic and busy as the life of a television actor. Although Parsons was loving his work on the show, he got to the point where something had to give. It didn’t help that he was in a fragile emotional state the summer before season 12, which would be the show’s last.
When Jim Parsons’ dog got sick, he experienced emotional turmoil
Right before Parsons left the house to film his commercial, his dog of 14 years got very ill. Parsons broke down. He knew he wouldn’t have the time to be there with his ailing dog thanks to his work schedule, and it hurt.
He said: “I was like, ‘This dog’s going to die while I’m off working and I feel so bad.’”
Parsons and his husband Todd Spiewak put the dog down the next night, after a seizure. They adopted the dog a year after meeting, so it was an emotional moment for both of them. It put Parsons in an emotional rut.
Parsons was devastated by the loss of his dog, and barely had time to process it. But he still didn’t make any changes. Not until fate forced his hand a little.
Parsons broke his foot while he was walking out for curtain call. He was forced to take things slow after that, and he knew it was exactly what he needed. He felt like he was rushing through life without enjoying it. By quitting The Big Bang Theory, Parsons freed up some time to stop and smell the roses.
Jim Parsons wanted to slow down for another sad reason
Parsons went on to film one more season of The Big Bang Theory, but he’s off TV for now. He will still be working behind the scenes, and has a new show with his ex-costar Mayim Bialik. He’s co-producing instead of starring, so that might give him a little more leisure time.
There’s another sad reason Parsons wanted to take it slow. He realized he would be 46 when season 12 of The Big Bang Theory ended, meaning he would be six years younger than his own father at the age of his death.
Parsons’ dad passed when he was 52, and Parsons felt the age looming. Although he doesn’t think he will die at 52, he doesn’t want to spend his every waking hour working, just in case. He was feeling run-down, and the universe gave him multiple signs. Parsons listened.
He said: “I didn’t know that I was searching for it but between the dog and the foot, I was just like … ‘Okay. Let’s take charge here.’”