Photography by Peter Hapak for NYMag
This month, audiences will see a completely different side of Jim Parsons than the one they've come to love on The Big Bang Theory. Rather than nerdy Sheldon Cooper watched by millions, he stars in HBO's The Normal Heart, Larry Kramer's AIDS play adapted and directed by Ryan Murphy. In it, he plays hospital administrator Tommy Boatwright, the same role he played in Heart’s 2011 Broadway revival and already people are commenting on his emotional eulogy in the TV film.
The out actor, who was featured on our December 2013 Out100 cover, is always up for dropping unusual "secrets," such as his dream to play a Muppet in an upcoming Muppet movie. But in a recent profile in New York magazine, Parsons let all his quirks show. Here's 10 of the things that made us love him a little bit more.
2. Despite his geeky TV persona, he doesn’t get along well with car GPS systems.
3. His cultural references include Agatha Christie (“Ugh, Miss Marple, I love her”) but not Star Trek.
4. Parsons still uses Dictionary.com to figure out how some of the big words in his scripts are pronounced.
5. He doesn’t like to potentially offend anyone and is always clarifying himself to make she he hasn't said something incorrectly or unpleasant.
6. He thinks people enjoy Big Bang because it’s ‘fun to look at’ and may not “subtitle well.’
7. He avoids watching most TV, but he loves sports—football (he’s also in a fantasy league); basketball (he grew up in Houston and follows the Rockets); golf (“Oh, God, if I’m available, I watch every round of a Masters”).
8. He loves tennis and became pen pals with Genie Bouchard, a professional tennis player, when he found out that she’s a fan of his show. It turns out, he emails her after every match.
9. He’s a fan of Roger Federer. “And the only thing I ever hope is that there’s a slim chance that, for some reason, he and his wife fall asleep watching Big Bang Theory reruns. What heaven would that be.”
10. He just bought another new house in Los Feliz, which used to be owned by Robert Pattinson.
The Normal Heart premieres May 25 on HBO.