Jim Parsons On New LGBTQ Love Story ‘Spoiler Alert’ And His Bumpy Exit From The Big Bang Theory: ‘I Was Doing What I Had To Do’

Jim Parsons as Michael and Ben Aldridge as Kate Spoiler alert. (Photo: Linda Kallerus/Focus Features/Courtesy Everett Collection)

Earlier this year, backed by Universal two brothers It hoped to go where no major studio comedy had gone before by becoming the first LGBTQ rom-com starring two gay actors — Billy Eichner and Luke MacFarlane — to top the box office charts. Despite critical acclaim and sold-out showings at the Toronto International Film Festival, the film had to settle for fourth place during its opening weekend and a cumulative gross of just $15 million.

Eichner — who also wrote the film — hasn’t been shy about expressing his disappointment in interviews and on social media. In a since-deleted Twitter post, he suggested that “straight people…just don’t show up.” two brotherspotentially contributing to the film’s financial woes. (Some conservative commentators made similar arguments after Walt Disney’s new animated adventure, strange world — which featured gay comedian, Jabuki Young White, as the company’s first openly gay teen — underperformed in its opening weekend and reportedly cost Disney upwards of $100 million).

Fast forward a few months later, and Universal’s niche label, Focus Features, is releasing its own LGBTQ love story with its LGBTQ cast front and center: Spoiler alertProduced by and starring Ex The Big Bang Theory Star Jim Parsons. Based on the memoirs of TV journalist Michael Ausiello, the movie strikes a very different tone from its sinister R-rated tone. two brotherstells the story of Ausiello’s romance with her husband, Kit Cowan (played by Ben Aldridge), from their first sweet encounter in 2002 until Cowan’s death from cancer in 2015. It’s a sweet, funny, and sad love story in the tradition of past mismatched hits like . .. love storywith a dash of granulation terms It’s thrown in by the presence of Kate’s loving parents, played by Bill Irwin and Sally Field.

He was asked if he was worried Spoiler alert meeting the same fate two brothers With its release in theaters, Parsons is understandably reluctant to see both films as part of a larger trend around the kinds of LGBTQ-themed stories mainstream audiences will or may not see.

“I certainly hope [they see it] for the movie,” he told Yahoo Entertainment. But there are many factors that relate to why people go to see something or not. I have no confidence fixing the sexual orientation of the characters on the success or failure of this. It’s a mystery why people turn things around or don’t often; I don’t know if the gay side of it has much to do with it or not.”

For his part, Parsons says he was specifically drawn to him Spoiler alert Because it gave him the opportunity to portray one half of a gay couple no Get the picture perfect Happily Ever After story. Even before Kate was diagnosed with cancer, he and Michael had a tumultuous sometime romantic relationship that included secret affairs and even separate living arrangements.

“It shows a very realistic view of what it’s like to live together,” notes the Emmy Award-winning actor, who married his longtime partner, Todd Spiewak, in 2017. “I feel like I’ve spent a lot of my life watching movies that depict that, but it’s not usually about a gay couple. As a viewer — but especially as an actor — the opportunity to be a part of these scenes with these subtle intricacies at times has been really rewarding.”

“And having that experience with Ben, another gay actor, was more of a visceral experience than I was expecting,” Parsons continues. “I am very happy because the core of this movie is a relationship that goes on for a long time and is subject to many intrigues.”

Aldridge and Parsons in a scene from Spoiler Alert.  (Photo: © Focus Features / Courtesy Everett Collection)

Aldridge and Parsons in a scene from Spoiler alert. (Photo: © Focus Features / Courtesy Everett Collection)

Parsons also has an experience grieving the loss of a loved one that he was able to draw on for the more tragic parts of Michael’s story. (Besides losing Kate, Ausiello’s mother and father died while he was still a baby.) In 2001, the actor’s father died suddenly in a car accident and this experience shaped his interest in stories that grappled firsthand with mortality.

He muses, “I have this realization that eventually we’re all going.” “Part of this is just who I am, but I think it was also affected by losing my father at a fairly young age — I was in my twenties when he passed. You can’t help but have a different view of life when you’ve lost people who were very close to you. Even if you’ve lived a long life, you always know that the time you have here is limited.”

Based on his own experience with grief, Parsons says he’s still eager to reach out to friends and family members whenever they’ve lost someone. “I remember the feeling of every person I saw and came into contact with or reached out to after I lost my father,” he says. “I could really feel the exact place in my heart this person held. It wasn’t a group of friends, it wasn’t just a load of condolences — it was all very specific. One wouldn’t want to wander off quite this sensitive all the time, but she It was a beautiful capture of a moment where I felt this kind of clarity.”

“The other thing is, don’t let anyone tell you how to grieve,” Parsons adds. “I tell a lot of people that I shed many more tears over my dog’s death than I did over my father! And this isn’t a comment on my feelings for my father. You never know until it’s going to affect you, and you have to try to make room for that.”

Johnny Galecki, Kaley Cuoco, and Jim Parsons in an episode of The Big Bang Theory.  (Photo: © CBS/Courtesy Everett Collection)

Johnny Galecki, Kaley Cuoco, Jim Parsons in an episode of The Big Bang Theory. (Photo: © CBS/Courtesy Everett Collection)

while, The Big Bang Theory Fans still grieving the end of the CBS sitcom were surprised to learn how Parsons directly influenced the producers’ decision to end the show after its 12th season in 2019. Jessica Radloff’s recent oral history, The Big Bang Theory: The definitive inside story of the epic hitHe recounted how things went behind the scenes, including the fact that Parsons’ choice to walk away from the show seemed to “shock” his co-stars, Johnny Galecki and Kaley Cuoco.

“We cried for hours,” Cuoco said in the book about the fateful meeting where Parsons announced his departure, and then the producers announced the end of the show. “We thought we were going to have another year, so all of a sudden your life kind of flashes before your eyes.” Galecki added, “I just disagreed with how it was handled. We thought we were going to Chuck’s office to talk about renegotiating, and then Chuck threw the baton to Jim. Jim was shocked and obviously caught off guard.”

Reflecting on the bumpy circumstances surrounding his departure now, Parsons says he “feels fine” about how he made his decision to leave the series. “It’s never nice to hear that you’ve done anything even by mistake to make someone angry or feel bad,” he notes about his fellow Radloff book’s notes. “But I was doing what I had to do, and that was the best way for me to handle it. To be honest, we weren’t the kind of group that felt the need to have a group meeting that way.”

Parsons also reiterates that he had no idea at the time that his casting would bring the show to a close. “I can’t say I was surprised,” he admits, “but I wouldn’t have been surprised either if it had continued.” “There was a part of me that was elated that he could go on without me! But that’s not what happened.”

Spoiler alert Playing in theaters now

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