The Big Bang Theory star, Jim Parsons, who plays the offbeat genius Dr. Sheldon Cooper, has been asked many things about the character he plays on the small screen, and one of the most difficult ones he has ever encountered is related to Asperger's syndrome.
"It's a difficult question," he told The Irish Times. "Very early on I was asked by a reporter whether Sheldon had Asperger's. I wasn't sure what that meant. I asked the writers and they said no. He has Asperger traits. But their saying that took away a social responsibility."
Parsons could not be more different than his anti-social television persona, and he does not think either that he is at par with the character's genius as well. Because of his very convincing portrayal though, a lot of The Big Bang Theory enthusiasts often mistake that Parsons is Sheldon, and vice versa.
"It's hard to say," he said about the association he gets with Sheldon. "I never feel that they think I'm going to be a genius or a scientist, but I do think that they are uncertain how unapproachable I am going to be. I am quite the opposite of unapproachable. When I moved to New York I had to steel myself to be a little less welcoming. But how could they know that?"
Parsons has also compared Sheldon to his big screen persona Oh from Home, since they both have a "stranger in a strange land" quality. But unlike Sheldon, Oh is so desperate to be liked and make friends, which Sheldon would definitely disapprove of.
He said that it felt like "heaven" to voice Oh, since he got a break from playing the socially inept Sheldon. "It was kind of the ultimate in creativity in a way I didn't see coming. There is a level of playtime I hadn't enjoyed since I was a child," he described.
There are limits to Parson's approachability, though. He fears the bad side of the internet, and he does not want to change the opinions of his fans, which have always been positive. Parsons did allow himself to have an Instagram account though.
The actor feels grateful that he started out late in Hollywood, so he managed to build a life apart from his acting. Had he been a child star, Parsons thinks that things would have been more difficult for him, particularly with regards to his sexuality.