Jim Parsons Says Iain Armitage's First 'Young Sheldon' Audition Was 'Jaw-Dropping'

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The Big Bang Theory, Young Sheldon
CBS

When Sheldon met Sheldon! Jim Parsons and Iain Armitage may play the same character on different shows, but the two have something else in common -- killing their auditions! 

The Big Bang Theory actor shared his first recollections of the Young Sheldon star with the audience at the PaleyFest at the Dolby Theatre on Wednesday night in Los Angeles.

"We saw his audition on tape, and I don't know how to put this other than to say it was kind of jaw-dropping," Parsons said. 

The material that was written for the audition was deliberately difficult and even included a William Shatner impression -- no easy feat for any actor, but 9-year-old Armitage nailed it. 

"It was just trial by fire: if you can't do this, you can't trust him," Parsons, who also produces and narrates the CBS hit series, joked.

"Anyway, so we finally met in person and that was a different experience. I was nervous to meet him, which is stupid. I act like he was this 30-year-old," he continued. "I was overly protective of his audition, which he didn't need me to be. I don't know how to describe it -- the audition was just phenomenal." 

That's very similar to how Big Bang Theory creator Chuck Lorre described seeing Parsons audition for the first time: "He walked out of the room, and I didn't believe what we had just seen," he said, recalling that they called him back in and he immediately repeated the performance.  "It was remarkable." 

As far as Young Sheldon goes, it sounds like fans can expect plenty of treats over the rest of the season. A clip from next week's episode revealed Sheldon gets a chance to explore his artistic side -- and Armitage gets a chance to show off his stellar singing and tap-dancing skills opposite a hilarious turn from Seinfeld's Jason Alexander. 

And there are a few TBBT easter eggs in store, too -- including the origin of the relationship contracts that Sheldon makes all his friends sign, to look forward to. 

But just in case the writers do ever run out of ideas, Armitage has some pretty hilarious ones up his sleeve. Like having Sheldon imagine a future for himself that's very different from TBBT, involving red carpets, "fancy glasses" and Albert Einstein begging for his autograph. 

Lorre, who created Young Sheldon, may have different ideas, however. "I would imagine that Sheldon, as played by Ian, has an entirely wrong idea of what's coming down the line," he joked. 

The Big Bang Theory airs Thursdays at 8 p.m. ET/PT on CBS and Young Sheldon airs Thursdays at 8:30 p.m. ET/PT on CBS.

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