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How Young Sheldon's Zoe Perry Broke The News To Her Mom, Laurie Metcalf, About Her Role As Mary

Like mother, like daughter. That's the case for Laurie Metcalf and Zoe Perry, who have stepped into the shoes of Sheldon Cooper's mom during different stages of her life. Metcalf first introduced Mary Cooper to the world on "The Big Bang Theory," the hit sitcom about physicists awkwardly navigating love and friendships, in Season 1, Episode 4, "The Luminous Fish Effect." Leonard (Johnny Galecki) asks her to visit them in California, hoping that she can help Sheldon (Jim Parsons) get back on his feet after he is fired by his new boss. Metcalf continued to reprise her role throughout the show's run, ending with Sheldon and Amy Farrah Fowler's (Mayim Bialik) wedding in Season 11, Episode 24, "The Bow Tie Asymmetry."

While Metcalf was in the midst of this recurring role, a spin-off called "Young Sheldon" began in 2017, depicting Sheldon's origin story as a 9-year-old attending high school in East Texas. Helping him along the way is a younger version of Mary Cooper, played by Metcalf's daughter. A mother and daughter playing the same character is not something that happens every day, and Perry was excited to share the news with Metcalf.

Metcalf was so happy to find out about Perry's role

In an interview with Backstage, Zoe Perry said she found out that she got the role shortly before meeting her mom and a friend for lunch, giving her the opportunity to share the news with them. "We were loud and boisterous in the restaurant for a second and then we calmed down. It's been a cool experience getting to share this with her," she said.

While Perry said that her mom has been very supportive of her career, Laurie Metcalf told People in 2017 that she was a little hesitant about her daughter pursuing acting at first. "It's been stressful for me because I never knew if she had that thick of a skin. But I've enjoyed watching her ride so far," she said. 

Perry explained to Backstage that she kept her mom's version of Mary Cooper in mind while auditioning for the part. "I had come to know and love the character from watching her on the show, and I know many fans did, too," she said. "So I felt an obligation to get that right and to model what I was doing, to an extent, after her." While Perry paid close attention to Metcalf's stature and dialect, she is still adding things to the character since fans are seeing Mary in a different part of her life.