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Jim Parsons reveals emotional reaction to Iain Armitage taking on Young Sheldon role

Are you a fan of the spinoff series?

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Eve Crosbie
Eve CrosbieTV & Film Writer
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When The Big Bang Theory ended three years ago, fans of the sitcom took comfort in knowing they could still get their fix of the sarcastic but lovable Sheldon Cooper through spinoff series Young Sheldon.

MORE: What The Big Bang Theory cast looked like at the start of their careers

The series follows the character as a young boy growing up in Texas in the 1980s, but what exactly does original Sheldon actor Jim Parsons think of the show - and more importantly - the actor playing him? Keep reading to find out... 

WATCH: Jim Parsons and Iain Armitage discuss Young Sheldon on Ellen

The Big Bang Theory star first opened up about his feelings about the young actor back in 2017 when the spinoff premiered. Speaking to Entertainment Weekly, he said he wasn't prepared for how emotional seeing Iain play a younger version of a character he's played for years would make him.

"Watching Iain bring this young version of this character to life that I've been working on for a decade of my own life, it was really moving," he said. "I felt such a sympathy for this little guy. It was kind of mind-blowing to see him brought to life through Iain."

MORE: Kaley Cuoco shocks The Big Bang Theory fans with big news

MORE: Young Sheldon: meet the cast of the hit sitcom 

He added that meeting Iain, who at that point was most well known to audiences for his role in HBO's Big Little Lies, even changed his perspective, saying: "I don't think I've forgotten how much fun everything is, but maybe a little bit, because it definitely feels like a reminder of something when I watch you [Iain] work on all this stuff and do all this stuff."

As for how Jim and the rest of the show's producers picked the young star out of the hundreds of budding child actors who sent in audition tapes, he revealed to Entertainment Tonight: "We saw his audition on tape, and I don't know how to put this other than to say it was kind of jaw-dropping."

jim parsons z © CBS

Jim played Sheldon Cooper in The Big Bang Theory between 2007 and 2019

According to the show's creator, Chuck Lore, the monologue written for the audition was intentionally complicated and even included a William Shatner impression - no easy feat for even the most experienced actors, but a then 9-year-old Iain nailed it and was promptly cast on the show.

MORE: See the Big Bang Theory cast and their real-life children

Fresh off of the back of playing the son of Shailene Woodley's character in Big Little Lies, Iain filmed the pilot of Young Sheldon, which was immediately picked up for a full season. Fast forward four years, Iain has been playing the child genius for nearly five years now and shows no signs of stopping anytime soon.

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