Big Bang Theory

Jim Parsons Turned Down Johnny Galecki’s Audition Request Before Going In Front Of The Cameras

Jim Parsons and Johnny Galecki's Big Bang Theory audition gamble seems to have worked.

Johnny Galecki and Jim Parson’s potent on-screen chemistry was the heart and soul of The Big Bang Theory. The unending conflict and profound brotherly bond between their characters, Leonard Hofstadter and Sheldon Cooper, was a major factor in the show becoming a massive success.

The duo even went on to develop a remarkable off-screen friendship that lasted long after the show closed its final chapter in 2019.

Despite appearing to have known each other forever, Parsons and Galecki first met while auditioning for The Big Bang Theory. Parsons even declined an offer from Galecki to rehearse their lines together before going in for his Sheldon Cooper audition.

We take a look at Parsons and Galecki’s audition experiences and what they thought of each other during those early moments of their working relationship.

Jim Parsons Was Incredibly Nervous Before Auditioning For The Big Bang Theory

Although Jim Parsons had enjoyed considerable success before The Big Bang Theory, the star could not shake the feeling that Sheldon Cooper would be a particularly important role. “I always work on my auditions,” Parsons disclosed to Vanity Fair. “But I don’t know – I felt something special. I remember the Oscars were going to be on that night, I was invited to a party, and I said I’m not going, and I stayed home and read out my lines and worked on my lines.’

Parsons also admitted to The Hollywood Reporter that he worked extra hard to make sure he landed the role. “I worked my ass off on it! You have no idea how well memorized I was,” he said. “Sheldon has so much to say sometimes — it’s not as bad as it used to be — and it was really dense, and it was clear to me that the humor that was built into this was only if these dense pieces flowed very easily,” he continued. “I drilled the shit out of it!”

Despite the extra effort, Parsons was still incredibly nervous before his Sheldon Cooper audition. “I was very scared — and excited to present it to them — but scared because I knew that once the train started, if I messed up, I didn’t know what would happen.”

Jim Parsons Turned Down Johnny Galecki’s Request To Run Lines Before Auditioning For The Big Bang Theory

Although Parsons and Galecki went on to develop one of the most genuine friendships in Hollywood, their first encounter was a bit awkward. As it turns out, Jim Parsons was too nervous to run lines with Johnny Galecki before his Sheldon Cooper audition.

“We were outside in the hall beforehand and I asked if he wanted to read the scene through a few times first,” Galecki recalled during the cast’s interview with The Hollywood Reporter. “He said no, and I said me neither. We just chatted.”

Nonetheless, Parsons was incredibly impressed when he finally got the chance to see Galecki bring Leonard Hofstadter to life.

“I read with other people, but it was very clear that no one else was making the part their own more than Johnny did,” he admitted to Entertainment Weekly. “He knew what he was doing and was doing it in a strong way. I didn’t feel like he needed my help. I didn’t feel like he was bleeding into my work. He was his own distinct thing.”

Jim Parsons And Johnny Galecki Went On To Have An Amazing Working Relationship

Despite their awkward first encounter, Jim Parsons and Johnny Galecki went on to develop an incredible on-screen and off-screen friendship. Interestingly, Jim Parsons felt connected to Johnny Galecki the moment he saw him read lines for Leonard Hofstadter.

“… I couldn’t tell you even now exactly what it was, what quality,” Parsons told Variety in 2008. “But I know how I felt when I read with him which was very free, there was something so independent about what he was doing. I literally felt it from the very first time we read through it together, it was like ‘Well, this is different.’ The chemistry both on and off set just grew from there.”

On the other hand, Galecki knew his bond with Parsons was authentic the moment they had to film a particularly hilarious scene in season one of The Big Bang Theory. “Jim and I were trying to get a piece of furniture from Ikea up the stairs of our apartment building, and we were getting all these laughs from the crew. He and I looked at each other, and that’s when I knew the dynamic I had with him in the pilot wasn’t a fluke.”

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