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Why Providing Direction To Other Actors On Young Sheldon Forced Jim Parsons Out Of His Comfort Zone

Jim Parsons may have become known for acting on "The Big Bang Theory," but he's been expanding his reach into producing as well. According to Deadline, Parsons started his production company, That's Wonderful Productions, in 2015 with his husband Todd Spiewak. The production company is behind such shows as "Special" on Netflix and "Call Me Kat" on Fox, the latter starring Parsons' "Big Bang Theory" co-star, Mayim Bialik.

According to an interview for BUILD Series with Iain Armitage who plays the younger Sheldon on "Young Sheldon," Armitage said that he did work with Parsons directly to get Sheldon's voice and mannerisms down. He said that Parsons never really went over character development with Armitage, but focused on the physical and vocal details that make Sheldon who he is. 

According to an interview in The Hollywood Reporter, Jim Parsons' company not only produced the Netflix series "Special," but Parsons has served as somewhat of a mentor to the show's creator, Ryan O'Connell. O'Connell, for his part, saw Parsons as an inspiration because of his popularity on television and because his sexuality was never treated as a barrier to his success. "He's America's sweetheart and gay — and it was NBD [no big deal,]" said O'Connell. "That was revolutionary."

So how does Parsons feel about giving acting advice to others?

Jim Parsons claims to be a mediocre producer

In a 2017 joint interview for CBS This Morning with Jim Parsons and Iain Armitage, Parsons was asked what he was like as a producer, and he insisted that he's "very mediocre" at it. Of course, nobody present, including Armitage, was willing to let Parsons be that humble, but Parsons insisted it's a skill set that doesn't come naturally to him. "I've never been somebody who's comfortable giving another actor direction," Parsons explained. "I don't know what makes any other actor tick, necessarily." 

Parsons echoed these sentiments in a 2018 interview with CBS News when he said that he was still learning all the things a producer has to do. "I don't know all the things that one must consider when putting together a project," Parsons told CBS News. "I'm learning them, things that are hard for me to get my head around, like the value an actor brings to a project, and the money such-and-such can bring."

But, for all his early misgivings about being a producer, Parsons seems to continue to have success, and people still want to work with him. As of 2021, Digital Spy reported that Parsons and O'Connell were working on a second series together for HBO Max called "Accessible" which, if it ever gets made, will feature a primarily disabled cast.