Jim Parsons, Cheyenne Jackson on playing straight with Mayim Bialik: ‚She does make it very easy‘

Jim Parsons and Cheyenne Jackson agree: It’s a breeze to play a straight romantic interest, or at least a potential one, when acting opposite Mayim Bialik.

The two actors, who are gay, now have that in common. Parsons‘ Sheldon and Bialik’s Amy fumbled through a sweet and funny love story on CBS comedy „The Big Bang Theory“ for nine seasons, while Jackson“American Horror Story“) plays a former college crush who re-enters the life of Bialik’s title character, a 39-year-old single woman who owns a cat café, in the new Fox comedy, „Call Me Kat,“ premiering Jan. 3 (8 EST/PST). Parsons and Bialik are executive producers.

Representation and identity in casting are serious issues in TV and film, but the topic came up playfully during a Zoom chat Wednesday with the show’s cast and producers when one reporter facetiously asked Jackson about taking the role of Max from „marginalized“ straight actors.

(Concerns more often focus on straight and cisgender actors playing LGBTQ characters, which can take opportunities away from LGBTQ actors and raise questions of authenticity.)

After a laugh over „marginalized,“ the reporter had a tongue-in-cheek followup, asking Jackson how difficult it is to play a straight character, one who is a potential romantic interest.

At that point, Bialik decided to stand up for herself. „Look who he’s playing opposite! Come on!“ 

Parsons recalled Bialik’s appeal from their time on „Big Bang“: „She does make it very easy.“

He then offered his thoughts on LGBTQ actors playing straight characters and vice versa.

„As far as Cheyenne goes, that was just who came in (for casting), and everyone agreed was the right person for the part,“ he said. „In all seriousness, I feel – I was going to say swings both ways, so I’ll say it – that a straight person is welcome to play a gay character, as they’ve done many times and many times very well. Sexuality is its own weird thing. Relating to another human being, sex is part of it, but it’s only one part of it.“ 

Jackson echoed Parsons. „It’s very, very easy to fall in love with Mayim, but really everything is there for me“ with the role, he said. „The writing, these characters are so richly drawn and honest. This show really hinges on believing Mayim, and she is this magical human. She is just this person who has all the colors of the rainbow.“

At that point, the gathering became a Bialik admiration society, with co-stars Leslie Jordan, Kyla Pratt and Julian Gant offering praise of the show’s central star. Then co-star Swoosie Kurtz, who plays Kat’s mom, brought it back to the initial theme. 

„I mean, I’m in love with Mayim, and I’m not gay,“ she said.

„I turn (straight) people gay. I turn gay people straight,“ Bialik replied. „I’ve got it all!“

Jim Parsons: ‘Being gay makes me a better actor’

Jim Parsons is convinced being gay has made him a better actor.

The star, who is currently appearing in Netflix – a small screen adaptation of the hit 2018 Broadway revival of the 1960s gay-themed play – tells Attitude his sexuality has improved his work as he has more “layers” to “share”.

Reflecting he didn’t expect to feel so elated when he came out in 2012, The Big Bang Theory actor explains: “To suddenly be part of a large group that has been – and still is – maligned at times, with hateful things being said about them by other public figures – there was a sense of happiness and strength for me that I couldn’t have predicted.

“As soon as it (coming out) became a story, it made me feel very strong and I think in this day and age it only helped career-wise. I certainly have never felt it hurt my career – at all,” says Jim. “It probably even helped me be a better actor. There’s always more layers of yourself you can share.”

However, he does admit that, somewhere within him, there is an enduring “fear” he may still be rejected by those he loves because of his sexuality.

“I realized that being gay and growing up around people and in a culture where that wasn’t celebrated – where it was reviled, in many ways – had an impact on me,” he notes. “Happy as I am, I’m still working out the fear I grew up with, that by revealing who I really am, I will somehow lose the love of the people who are important to me.

“This story (The Boys in the Band) wasn’t a direct reflection of my time, and things have changed rapidly for gay people over the last couple of decades but even now there’s that residual (feeling),” he adds.

A post shared by Jim Parsons (@therealjimparsons) on Sep 9, 2020 at 7:07am PDT

Jim Parsons: ‘Being gay makes me a better actor’

Jim Parsons Tells Ellen DeGeneres Why Being In A Gay Couple Is ‚Weird‘ At His Age

Jim Parsons dropped by “The Ellen DeGeneres Show” Tuesday, where he and the host humorously compared notes on their wedding anniversaries. 

“It’s such a weird thing, being a gay couple at my age,” said Parsons, who married Todd Spiewak in May 2017. “Because [when we got together], you couldn’t get married. So now, this is our 16th year together, but it’s our first [anniversary]. We’re back to paper, is it? Is that what the gift is? That’s bullshit.” 

“The Big Bang Theory” star also chatted about his new movie, “A Kid Like Jake.” The film follows an affluent couple (played by Parsons and Claire Danes) whose 4-year-old has “gender variant” interests, as the actor put it. They decide to mention these interests in an admissions essay for a competitive private school in hopes of making their child stand out from the other young applicants. 

“It’s really kind of about that moment, in a macro way, when you’re first launching your child into the world,” Parsons said of the movie, which opened last week. 

Jim Parsons Tells Ellen DeGeneres Why Being In A Gay Couple Is 'Weird' At His Age

Todd Spiewak, Jim Parsons’ Boyfriend: 5 Fast Facts You Need to Know

Although Jim Parsons’ character on The Big Bang Theory may be clueless when it comes to love, in real life the actor has it all figured out.

He is dating Todd Spiewak, who can be found by his side on the red carpet, beaming as a suportive partner.

Here is what you need to know about the man behind Sheldon Cooper.

Todd Spiewak, Jim Parsons’ Boyfriend: 5 Fast Facts You Need to Know

Jim Parsons tackles new projects after The Big Bang Theory as he reveals his struggle with growing up gay: ‚The sight of pride parades frightened me‘

Published: 12:22 EDT, 19 June 2019 | Updated: 12:41 EDT, 19 June 2019

Jim Parsons recently wrapped The Big Bang Theory after playing Sheldon Cooper for 12 years. 

But the actor is’t resting on his laurels as he has a slew of projects scheduled including a Netflix adaptation of the drama The Boys in the Band. 

And the 48-year-old opened up about his youth and the fear of being discovered as gay while growing up in Houston in an interview with Variety on Wednesday.

‚The sight of pride parades frightened me, because I knew that there were plenty of people around me — whether they were in my life or I just was aware of them — that derided this show of pride,‘ he explained.

The struggle: Jim Parsons, 48, opened up about his youth and the fear of being discovered as gay while growing up in Houston in an interview on Wednesday; (pictured May)

Even later in his adulthood when he moved to New York, Parsons tried to ignore that part of his life by bypassing gay-friendly neighborhoods.

‚My only feelings were, I’m going to avoid that area of town because I don’t like crowds.‘

Jim Parsons tackles new projects after The Big Bang Theory as he reveals his struggle with growing up gay: 'The sight of pride parades frightened me'

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Eventually, Parsons came out of the closet to his family after meeting his now-husband, Todd Spiewak.

Prideful: ‚The sight of pride parades frightened me, because I knew that there were plenty of people around me — whether they were in my life or I just was aware of them — that derided this show of pride,‘ he explained; (pictured May)

A bit more settled: Eventually, Parsons came out of the closet to his family after meeting his now-husband, Todd Spiewak; (pictured June) 

‚No offense to the lovely men I dated before Todd, but somewhere deep inside, I immediately knew that there was no choice left but to deal with this, because to not let them in on this person I had met was to officially start putting up these lifelong barriers,‘ he detailed.

In 2012, he came out publicly after performing in The Normal Heart – a play about gay friends exposing the truth about the growing AIDs crisis in the 1980s.

Now the bi-coastal actor embraces his sexuality wholeheartedly.

It’s a wrap! He wrapped The Big Bang Theory after playing Sheldon Cooper for 12 years

‚Once it was out in the public, I was like, ‘Well, f— you! If you still have a problem with gay people, you directly have a problem with me. Being a full-fledged member of it and claiming it, there was just an elation there, and there still is! 

‚I still feel it. It’s a huge relief, and it’s also really nice to sometimes be able to feel righteous anger,‘ he said.

And Parsons – with a weight lifted – can focus on life after The Big Bang Theory as he continues to work in Hollywood… even producing the comedic Netflix series Special about the life of a gay man with cerebral palsy.

Focus: And Parsons – with a weight lifted – can focus on life after The Big Bang Theory as he prepares for the Netflix adaptation of The Boys In The Band (Matt Bomer, Zachary Quinto, Andrew Rannells, and Jim pictured 2018)

Jim Parsons‘ Personal Life

Jim Parson is openly gay. On 23rd May 2012, The New York Times noted in an article that Jim Parson is gay and is in a long-term relationship with his boyfriend. In 2013, Jim Parson called his love affair “ an act of love, coffee in the morning, going to work, washing the clothes, taking the dogs out-a regular life, boring love.“

He is in a long-term relationship with since ten years with Todd Spiewak, an art director. In May 2017, Parson and his boyfriend Spiewak married. Since then, the pair is living a happy life and there is no sign of them being separate.

He talked about his first wedding anniversary during an interview on The Ellen Show:

Parsons and his husband Spiewak were together for nearly 15 years before they decided to marry. The four-time Emmy winning star spoke about why he waiting for so long to get married during an interview on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert.

„We just didn’t care about the act of it that much, to be honest with you. That sounds cold in a way but I finally thought: ‘Well, let’s have a party then for the celebration and we’ll go ahead and legalize this thing.'“

„It was so much more meaningful in the moment for me than I predicted, and it’s been resonantly much more meaningful than for me afterward than I ever saw coming. You know, I had been an adult gay person for so long at a time where that wasn’t possible where life was ‘fine’ for me.“

Parsons recently celebrated Todd’s birthday and shared an image of the birthday cake via an Instagram post. Have a look:

A post shared by Jim Parsons (@therealjimparsons) on Jan 19, 2019 at 9:01pm PST

Jim Parsons‘ Personal Life

Jim Parson is openly gay. On 23rd May 2012, The New York Times noted in an article that Jim Parson is gay and is in a long-term relationship with his boyfriend. In 2013, Jim Parson called his love affair “ an act of love, coffee in the morning, going to work, washing the clothes, taking the dogs out-a regular life, boring love.“

He is in a long-term relationship with since ten years with Todd Spiewak, an art director. In May 2017, Parson and his boyfriend Spiewak married. Since then, the pair is living a happy life and there is no sign of them being separate.

He talked about his first wedding anniversary during an interview on The Ellen Show:

Parsons and his husband Spiewak were together for nearly 15 years before they decided to marry. The four-time Emmy winning star spoke about why he waiting for so long to get married during an interview on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert.

Parsons recently celebrated Todd’s birthday and shared an image of the birthday cake via an Instagram post. Have a look:

A post shared by Jim Parsons (@therealjimparsons) on Jan 19, 2019 at 9:01pm PST

Could the casual reference to his 10-year relationship mark a new era in how same-sex-loving celebrities acknowledge their personal lives?

Jim Parsons, the lanky, Texas-born actor who has won two Emmys and a Golden Globe award for playing persnickety genius Sheldon Cooper on CBS’s The Big Bang Theory, acknowledges that he is gay and in a 10-year relationship, the  reveals.

But blink and you may have missed it: The information is buried towards the end of the 1,800 word profile — which focuses mostly on Parsons‘ lauded stage work in Broadway revivals of The Normal Heart and, now, Harvey — and doesn’t even contain a direct quote from Parsons himself.

„The Normal Heart resonated with him on a few levels,“ the Times‘ Patrick Healy writes. „Mr. Parsons is gay and in a 10-year relationship, and working with an ensemble again onstage was like nourishment, he said.“

Whether or not this constitutes a „coming out“ for the popular TV star seems to be a topic for debate. Some industry and online chatter today has argued that Parsons was never really „in,“ openly and matter-of-factly addressing his relationship whenever it came up in his daily life and work. And it’s not the first time a reference to his sexuality has been made in a print publication. (That honor would go to Antenna magazine, which folded shop earlier this year, Parsons gracing the final cover.)

But compared to other primetime stars who identify as gay — take Modern Family’s Jesse Tyler Ferguson, for example, who has been tireless in his vocal support for same-sex marriage rights — there’s no denying that Parsons has been extremely quiet on the topic.

If anything, the news marks what could be a new chapter in the evolution of the celebrity „coming out“ story. Unlike the old-school approach —  the magazine-cover-route followed by a string of „revealing“ TV interviews, a method trailblazed by the likes of Ellen DeGeneres and later mimicked by everyone from Lance Bass to Neil Patrick Harris — the new method stealthily embeds the personal information in a larger piece on the „work.“

Credit Zachary Quinto, another in-demand gay actor straddling both Broadway and Hollywood, with having forged the template: In late-2011, the Star Trek and American Horror Story star gave an interview to New York magazine, ostensibly about his performance in another New York theater revival with gay themes — Tony Kushner’s Angels in America. Four paragraphs into the piece, the crucial clause found its way into a sentence: 

“And at the same time, as a gay man, it made me feel like there’s still so much work to be done, and there’s still so many things that need to be looked at and addressed.”

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1. He’s Been Dating Parsons for Over 10 Years

In fact, The National Enquirer recently reported they were engaged, a rumor that Parsons was quick to dismiss.

In mid August, the paper started the gossip, saying that a friend told them, “Todd has wanted to get married for a long time now, and he told Jim he felt like they were just treading water in their relationship. Jim has kept telling him he wanted to make sure he was settled and secure before he took on such a major change, but Todd shot back, “You’re going to be making more than $20 million a year now, how set do you need to be?”

Parsons went on Instagram to dispel the rumor, captioning the photo above with, “Me and Todd in 2003. Still very happy today… And NOT engaged! #justFYI #NationalEnquirerMakesS—tUp #duh.”

Jim Parsons, ‘SNL’ Host of ‘Big Bang’ Fame: 5 Fast Facts You Need to Know

Jim Parsons, ‘SNL’ Host of ‘Big Bang’ Fame: 5 Fast Facts You Need to Know

3. His 1st Public Appearance With Jim Was in 2013

The couple was given an Inspiration Award at the 9th Annual GLSEN Respect Awards at L.A.’s Beverly Hills Hotel in October of 2013.

Spiewak, who got to speak at the end, said, “Well, as always, Jim didn’t leave much for me to say.”

In the clip above, Spiewak was sure to thank his parents, saying “To my most supportive parents for making the trip out from Philadelphia to be here tonight.”

In his acceptance speech, Parsons talked about their relationship:

I’ve never considered myself an activist. I’ve never considered my relationship with Todd to be an act of activism. Rather simply, it’s an act of love, coffee in the morning, going to work, washing the clothes, taking the dogs [out]—a regular life, boring love.

He continued, “Now all this said, no one is giving us an award for activism. I realize this. If we are indeed inspiration to others by simply being who we are and living our lives in the way that feels right to us then we have to thank the same people who help any other couple who continue a successful relationship—our friends and family. We are both surrounded by so many people who make our lives better and easier, friends we’ve had for many years and friends we’ve made since living in L.A.”

At the event, Parsons told Us Weekly that they are quite normal, saying, “It was surprising to hear that we were getting an inspiration award. We feel very average, we feel very normal. We really do. The strange stuff is the Hollywood stuff we have to walk through, not the gay stuff we have to walk through.”

Neha Kapur, Kunal Nayyar’s Wife: 5 Fast Facts You Need to Know

Neha Kapur, Kunal Nayyar’s Wife: 5 Fast Facts You Need to Know

The ‚Big Bang Theory‘ star and the creator-star of Netflix’s ‚Special‘ open up about finding a home for the show (“Jim never wanted it watered down,”) and what they admire about each other

Go ahead, meet your heroes. For THR’s inaugural Empowerment in Entertainment issue, four Hollywood pairs got together to share how far courage, mentoring and a lot of leadership can ripple in an industry built on relationships. Some of the duos know each other well, like The Chi creator Lena Waithe and Gina Prince-Bythewood (Waithe once worked as an assistant to the Love & Basketball director) and The Big Bang Theory’s Jim Parsons, who teamed to create the Netflix series Special. Others were reuniting after many years: actress Ming-Na Wen always looked up tostar Nancy Kwan, and then finally worked with her on ER 18 years ago. And one pair was meeting for the first time for THR’s photo shoot: Pose director Janet Mock, who found inspiration in trans supermodel Tracey “Africa” Norman as she went through her own transition. Through their intimate and complex connections, these four pairs reveal how every innovator is shaped and guided by another who came before.

Tucked away in a corner, Jim Parsons is quietly coaching Ryan O’Connell on how to do video interviews — „work the question into the answer,“ he says. But it turns out that O’Connell, the writer and star of Netflix’s Special, also has had a hand in advancing Parsons‘ career, helping the Emmy-winning actor transform into an executive producer for the first time.

The pitch for Special started four years ago when Parsons and his husband and producing partner, Todd Spiewak, read O’Connell’s memoir, I’m Special: And Other Lies We Tell Ourselves, which details the complexities of living with cerebral palsy. The couple raced to option the title as their first producing project. Four other studios bid on it, but O’Connell — who wrote for MTV’s Awkward and NBC’s Will & Grace revival — was drawn to Parsons, despite his agents‘ warning that the Big Bang Theory star was unproven as a producer.

O’Connell had considered Parsons, 46, a role model for years because of his work on the CBS hit, struck by the fact that an openly gay actor was playing a straight character on TV’s most-watched network. „He’s America’s sweetheart and gay — and it was NBD [no big deal,]“ says O’Connell, 32. „That was revolutionary.“

Despite positive responses to pitches all over town, none of the cable networks stepped up to buy Special. But Parsons remained steadfast. „Jim never wanted it watered down,“ O’Connell recalls. „We needed the culture to catch up.“ Since debuting April 12, the autobiographical comedy has become a critical favorite, and the pair has developed a powerful, collaborative bond.

When O’Connell asks Parsons about his own journey, the Big Bang star reveals he was never pressured to stay closeted, but also that he was never directly asked about his sexuality until a 2012 interview — around the time he was starring in HBO’s The Normal Heart. „It felt really good that it wasn’t that big of a deal,“ says Parsons. „It’s not like people started tuning out of our show or I quit getting work, which I didn’t really think would happen. But as far as you think the world’s come, progress is really a dance. It’s two steps forward and one step back — and that’s really only if it’s going well.“ But O’Connell won’t brook Parsons‘ demurrals about his accomplishments. „I like Jim because Jim does whatever the fuck he wants,“ says O’Connell. „He’s quietly commanding. You’re an out gay man on one of the biggest sitcoms in the country. That speaks volumes.“

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THE HOLLYWOOD REPORTER is a registered trademark of The Hollywood Reporter, LLC.

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Affair with Todd Spiewak

He is gay and he has a relationship with art director Todd Spiewak. In 2013, Parsons called their relationship „an act of love, coffee in the morning, going to work, washing the clothes, taking the dogs out�a regular life, boring love“.

Aevitas

I actually picked up on his sexual orientation while watching through the series from Season 1 onwards. I don’t know at exactly which point the light bulb went on in my head and went, „Hmm.. I wonder if he’s gay,“ or what mannerisms made me think that, but reading about him proposing to his boyfriend confirmed it and it was an „Ah, so I guess I was right,“ and moved on. It obviously didn’t change my view of him at all and I didn’t even dwell on it for very long, just a tidbit you pick up along the way, kinda like when I found out Kaley and Johnny dated in real life for 2 years.