Fans of Jim Parsons may be used to seeing him in his Golden Globe Award-winning role as Sheldon Cooper on the CBS hit series "The Big Bang Theory," but there is another role that has impacted his career and his personal life as a gay man. In an interview with Playbill.com published on May 25, Parsons opens up about coming out and the impact Larry Kramer's Tony Award-winning play, "The Normal Heart," had on his career.
Parsons portrayed AIDS activist Tommy Boatwright in both the Broadway premiere of "The Normal Heart" in 2011 and the HBO movie adaptation of the play that made its debut on May 25. One of the emphasis in the play and film is coming out and claiming the gay identity. Parsons agreed when asked whether his own coming out had a meaningful effect on his career and personal life.
Parsons said, "Well, yeah, oh God yes. The freer one feels about who they are, you know, in all aspects. But the more comfortable with who they are, just every hour of life is easier. What's hard, and this has always been hard, has been trying to say what's best for somebody specifically."
He goes on to give praise to Larry Kramer on his ability to give a voice to both sides of the issue of "everyone must come out" through the characters of Ned and Bruce in the film. Parsons said his hope is for a world where it will eventually not be an issue as to someone's sexuality. As for now, he feels there is still a long way to go to reach that plateau. He says, "I have tried to live as organically and as honest to myself as I can. By the same token, I have never desired to have a cover story about 'let's talk about my sexuality.' My hope was that it would always just be part of who I am, the same way that I don't cook a lot is just a part of who I am."
Parsons also realizes not everyone has it as easy as he did as far as being able to be himself. That's where he lays importance on the story "The Normal Heart" tells both emotionally and socially. The political aspect of the movie has also had an impact on Parsons as an actor. It is a story that initially scared him because of the reality it introduced him to as a child. That same fear led him to the importance of the story that chronicles the AIDS epidemic in America in the 1980s.
He told E! News before the premiere, "I think that it's really important for not just younger gay people, but younger people in general to see the fight that took place, as it were, to get to where we are." The social impact of the film is as relevant today as it was in the early 1980s. For the complete interview on Playbill.com visit here.