Highlights Jim Parsons had an intricate process for memorizing his lines on The Big Bang Theory, using flashcards and typing out scenes on a Word doc. Mayim Bialik, on the other hand, relied on her photographic memory to memorize scripts, but struggled with changes and losing her mental images of pages. Jim Parsons feared that Mayim Bialik would quit the show after his departure, but luckily the creators decided to cancel the show instead.
Although it came to an end in 2019, The Big Bang Theory is still one of the most popular sitcoms of all time. During its twelve seasons, fans fell in love with this group of socially awkward friends and couldn't get enough of them. That's why so many were devastated to learn the show was coming to an end after twelve seasons. Luckily for the fans, they could continue a spin-off series based on the like of Sheldon Cooper was created!
Throughout the run of the show, fans got to see how amazing of an actor Jim Parsons really is. And they're not the only ones. His co-stars got to experience his incredible acting skills firsthand. In a resurfaced interview with his on-screen romantic interest, Mayim Bialik, Parsons explains the intense process he'd follow to prepare for each episode of The Big Bang Theory.
Bialik, who had a much more simple approach to learning her lines for the show, was highly surprised by Parsons' dedication, and we can see why! Here's how these two TBBT actors used to prepare for their roles in this beloved sitcom!
According to an extra who worked in The Big Bang Theory, Jim Parson had the easiest time memorizing his lines for the show. What's surprising is that his ability to memorize complex lines didn't rely on simply reading or repeating his lines, but rather on an intricate process that took him years to perfect.
In order to learn Sheldon Cooper's dialogue, Jim Parsons recurred to creating flash cards. "During the week, I make flash cards. Then I walk around my house and I drill them like a sort of ballet dance or learning moves because largely I don't understand what I'm talking about, and so I need the muscle memory in my mouth because when I do think about it, A) the right words won't occur to me and B) they will just be wrong."
But that's not it! "I walk around with my note cards for each scene and do one scene at a time. And I'll go to my computer, and I'll type the whole scene out on my Word doc and then I'll go back and I'll do the second scene, and I'll type the whole scene out on a Word doc. It's maddening," the Big Bang Theory star revealed.
In addition to spending his days memorizing flashcards, Parsons would also spend a lot of time memorizing the scientific terms Sheldon would use.
"I really just [run] rampant around my apartment saying these words, this dialogue over and over," Parsons told Fresh Air's David Bianculli. "I'd go outside and say it. I'd sit down and say it. I'd stand up and run while saying it. Because I thought, 'I need to be able to trust myself to have these words come out."
It may seem like a lot of work but we can see why he did it. After all, his character had some of the most complex dialogues in the show!
As it turns out, Jim Parsons was the only cast member of The Big Bang Theory who had such a complex system for learning their lines. While sitting down with Parsons on the set of TBBT, Mayim Bialik revealed what her process for preparing for each episode of the show was like. Spoiler alert: it was nothing like Parsons'.
"Well, it's hard to follow your process, because it sounds very elaborate and efficient. Mine is not like that," the actress jokingly told her co-star.
"I mean, I've been memorizing scripts since I was, you know, regularly since I was about fourteen years old. I have a kind of photographic memory issue. It's not what I rely on but it is how I remember things. I memorize the whole and not the parts. That's why, when they make changes and the pages change, I lose my pictures of the page."
She also revealed she doesn't run her lines with everyone. "I'm not a trained actor, I never was a trained actor. I came to acting from elementary school plays," Mayim told Parsons, referring to her work as a child actor in Blossom.
Following his departure from The Big Bang Theory, Jim Parsons was sure that the show would go on without him. While he wasn't worried about how the series would do without Sheldon Cooper, the actor feared that his departure would make his co-star, Mayim Bialik, quit the show.
Luckily for Parsons, the creators of The Big Bang Theory decided to cancel the show upon departure as they couldn't see TBBT continuing without one of its main characters. The news of Parsons' departure and the foreseeable end of the show led to plenty of drama behind the scenes, but ultimately all the cast of TBBT understood and accepted Parsons' reasoning for quitting.