Jim Parsons: “I was scared that it might cause trouble”

Jim Parsons recalls that he was worried coming out gay might be a problem for The Big Bang Theory.

Jim Parsons became a TV star when he landed the role of Sheldon Cooper in The Big Bang Theory in 2007.

But he was also harbouring a big personal secret.

In a “coming out” article for the Hollywood Reporter, he recalls how nervous he was in telling Hollywood he was gay.

“I was 33 when I started doing The Big Bang Theory, and things started to become much higher-profile very quickly. So I wasn’t some spring chicken. But I hadn’t grown up even close to the era we are in now, as far as what it meant to tell somebody you were gay. I think it’s undeniably different than it was 20 years ago,” he explains.

“So I was scared. I wasn’t scared about losing my job. And I wasn’t scared to the point of denying my sexuality. But I was scared enough to make it my mission not to talk about it. I was scared enough to be nervous the first time I was even nominated for the Emmy. And I was scared that it might cause trouble, quote unquote, for our big television show.”

Parsons recalls coming out publicly in 2012, but in a low key manner during an interview.

“I was doing an interview the summer after I had been in The Normal Heart on Broadway. I was doing Harvey in New York, and I was interviewed by Patrick Healy of The New York Times. I can’t remember the exact question, but he asked about something to the effect of, ‘Was it more meaningful to be a part of The Normal Heart being gay?’ I said yes. I remember leaving there going, well, I sort of just took the back door out, as it were. I remember thinking it was kind of poetically perfect.”

There are further recollections on coming out in Hollywood by Richard Chamberlain, Matt Bomer, Wanda Sykes, Zachary Quinto, Anderson Cooper, Rosie O’Donnell and more in you can read here.

6 Responses

  1. That’s Hollywood for you, producers spent a fortune protecting the reputations of stars but most gay actors were open secrets (in Hollywood circles) anyway, like Rock Hudson, who married Phyllis Gates in what was then known as a lavender marriage, organised by studio moguls to safeguard their money making leading actor stars.
    Interesting that Jim Parsons latest TV role is the gay sexual predator producer Henry Wilson in Netflix’s Hollywood.

      1. Yeah, that’s news to me too. But then I was dumbfounded when both Barry Manilow and George Michael came out so my gaydar was clearly broken when I got it and I never kept the receipt.

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