How Jim Parsons Compares To Bing Bang Theory's Sheldon Cooper In Real Life

Sheldon Cooper on the beloved sitcom "The Big Bang Theory" was chock full of eccentricities, and although there were elements of him that were hard to relate to because of his great intelligence, many viewers could relate to his myriad of idiosyncrasies. His fear of germs, his hypochondria, his need for closure (like finishing a game, book, or show), his love for niche things like comic books and science fiction, as well as his social awkwardness were all things that many fans could identify with.

The show revolved around a group of academics who were all highly intelligent: Sheldon, Leonard Hofstadter (Johnny Galecki), Howard Wolowitz (Simon Helberg), and Raj Koothrappali (Kunal Nayyar). Sheldon and Leonard lived in the same apartment building as the beautiful Penny (Kaley Cuoco), whose looks initially intimidated them. Along the way, Leonard and Penny became an item, Howard hooked up with Bernadette Rostenkowski (Melissa Rauch), and Sheldon eventually married his equally nerdy sweetheart, Amy Farrah Fowler (Mayim Bialik).

Parsons became the breakout star as the audience loved Sheldon's antics despite his rather large ego and often insensitivity to others. Obviously, Sheldon is a character that Parsons brought to life, but the two are not quite as vastly different as one would imagine.

Parsons and Sheldon were both shy

While Sheldon Cooper on "The Big Bang Theory" has a genius-level IQ — 187 — his portrayer, Jim Parsons, is not quite at that level. However, considering he's become a TV star as well as a major Broadway player, his incredible ability to bring life to characters illustrates a high level of intelligence. In 2001, Parsons completed his education by earning his master's degree in acting from the University of San Diego, and that's nothing to sneeze at. In a CBS interview posted on May 5, 2011, Parsons explained, "I'm not stupid. But I'm no genius."

At the time, the fourth season of the show had been well underway, and he stated that when fans would come up to him and rave about how much they loved it, he felt the best thing about it was that it was job security and that the comedy could appeal to a wide range of ages. While Parsons doesn't have germaphobia like Sheldon, the two do have a couple of things in common.

One is that they're both very shy. In a September 2010 interview with NPR, Parsons recalled a time when his mother took him to meet his new kindergarten, and the children greeted him. "I still remember feeling this way — but I don't know why — but I wouldn't even say 'Hi' back. I was that shy," he revealed, adding, "It was just in my DNA. This was just who I was."

Parsons shockingly has never seen Star Trek

The other way Jim Parsons is similar to his "The Big Bang Theory" character, Sheldon Cooper, is that they were both socially awkward. Parsons has admitted to having social anxiety but was able to get through it from acting and having to work and be around other people. It would also be within the realm of possibility working on a stage in front of an audience could also tap into that mental state needed to perform in front of others.

Sadly, for fans of the show, there is one way in which Parsons and Sheldon are complete opposites. In a video interview with Time posted on February 11, 2011, Parsons stated that he gets asked science and pop culture questions all the time and responded, "I've never seen 'Star Trek' ... I don't know 'Dr. Who.'" Those two long-running franchises are Sheldon's favorite and perhaps many viewers of "TBBT."

Whereas Sheldon has a passion for all things sci-fi and fantasy, Parsons has a passion for sports. He's appeared on the sports commentary show, "The Dan Patrick Show," and in 2019, he was lauded for choosing 44 out of the 48 winning teams in basketball's March Madness. By all accounts, Parsons is much more personable and affable than Sheldon, but they're equally talented and entertaining.