Emmy-winning Big Bang Theory lead Jim Parsons makes his CGI debut as a toothy purple alien named Oh in Home, which hits theaters March 27. EW asked the sitcom star, 42, about screen time as a sci-fi alien and bonding with costar Rihanna.
ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: Had you ever been approached about doing an animated movie before?
JIM PARSONS: No, I hadn’t, and I always wanted to. The way this one worked out was crazy. Someone who was a fan of The Big Bang Theory early on approached me—of all people, Marilyn Katzenberg, [DreamWorks Animation CEO] Jeffrey Katzenberg’s wife. Through her, I developed a relationship with both of them. Of course I thought, “What a wonderful opportunity doing a film for DreamWorks could be.” They don’t say, “We like you, here’s one.” The right thing had to come along, and when it did, seven and a half years later, the first thing they did was send me a drawing of Oh.
He also may be one of the most daunting characters Jim Parsons has tackled yet. Which is saying something, coming from a four-time Emmy winner who has played an AIDS activist in The Normal Heart(on stage and TV) and the socially awkward science wiz Sheldon Cooper for eight seasons on CBS’ The Big Bang Theory.
“I had heard I would be uncomfortable hearing my voice coming out of another character, but (the discomfort) was still deeper than I thought,” says Parsons, 42, sipping coffee from a paper cup in a maroon-drenched suite at the Gramercy Park Hotel. “I thought, ‘Oh, I’m wrong for this. I’m not going to say anything to them because I want to do this still, but I’m wrong for this.’ ”
NEW YORK – After more than a decade spent in TV ensembles and on Broadway, Jim Parsons is at last a big-screen leading man.
“As a purple alien,” Parsons says with a smile. “Yes, that’s true.”
In his new Home, out Friday, Parsons voices a blissfully ignorant extraterrestrial named Oh, whose alien race invades our planet. In the aftermath, he’s reluctantly recruited by a teenage girl named Tip (Rihanna) to help find her mother, whom she was separated from during the takeover.
It’s the first time the actor has voiced a character in a major animated movie (having lent his voice to Family Guy and Elf: Buddy’s Musical Christmas on TV). It’s also one of the biggest parts he has signed on for since starting The Big Bang Theory in 2006, where he gives an Emmy-winning turn as the geeky, Star Trek-obsessed scientist Sheldon Cooper.
But as Big Bang nears the end of its eighth season (CBS has ordered two more rounds) as the No. 1 show on network TV (averaging 22 million viewers), Parsons is looking to branch out beyond the brainiac that viewers know him as. Already, he has started that transition with small roles last year in Zach Braff’s Wish I Was Here and HBO’s The Normal Heart (as a character he played on Broadway in 2011). And he recently inked a production company deal with Warner Bros. to develop his own projects.
Jim Parsons, widely popular for his oddball character Sheldon Cooper on the hit show “The Big Bang Theory,” will be honored by University of San Diego, where he received a master’s degree.
USD officials said Monday they were awarding the actor with the Author E. Hughes Award for Outstanding Career Achievement.
Parsons rose to fame and has received widespread acclaim for his role on the hit show where he plays an eccentric, neurotic, socially awkward theoretical physicist. He’s received four Emmy awards and a Golden Globe for the role.
Parsons graduated from USD in 2001 with a master of fine arts degree from the Old Globe theatre program.
Parsons was among several alumni bestowed awards from the university.
Also honored: Karen P. Hewitt, a former U.S. attorney in San Diego; Matt Reno, founder and CEO of Reno Contracting; lung health researcher Barbara Driscoll; Emiliano Gallego, Pagasa Pasta general manager; Sandra Solem, a director at the VA San Diego health care system; Henry Acquarelli, a Poway teacher and coach; Stephen and Victoria Nasman, leaders of the Orange County alumni chapter; and NFL player Josh Johnson.
The alumni will receive the honors at a celebration on April 25.
The gallery was updated with over 100 HQ photos of Jim attending the LA premiere of Home yesterday. Enjoy!
Public Appereances > Events 2015 > “Home” Los Angeles Premiere