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It's no secret that Sheldon Cooper is a unique television character. Brilliant, awkward, and almost always unable to pick up on social cues, the fan-favorite from The Big Bang Theory has managed to find new life in his prequel series, Young Sheldon. The freshman, single-camera sitcom (which just received a full season order) has informed and changed much of what we know about Jim Parsons' adult Sheldon, but now it seems that the actor does not see many notable similarities between himself and the young Mr. Cooper because Parsons didn't excel quite as much as a kid. Parsons addressed his own childhood and explained:
Mine was completely different. I was not an overly bright child. I was mediocre, and I didn't befuddle my parents. That came much later with my sexuality. So, no, it's very different.
So it seems that Jim Parsons was not smart beyond his years as a young child -- which is surprising, considering how well he plays an adult genius. Unlike the character seen in Young Sheldon, he had a relatively standard and (by his admission) "mediocre" school life that didn't necessarily cause any significant issues with his family.
Of course, Jim Parsons did explain one of his similarities to the titular protagonist of Young Sheldon: he did ultimately find ways to confuse and baffle his parents during his formative years. That said, a prominent fundamental difference between him and Sheldon is that it did not have anything to do with his intellect; it centered around the fact that he had not come out of the closet yet.
Despite the differences between Jim Parsons and the younger Sheldon, the actor has also made a point to highlight the fact that he pretty much has nothing but good things to say about the new series inspired by his tried-and-true take on this character. Parsons has very publicly praised Iain Armitage (whom Parsons helped get into character) for breathing new life into the younger version of Sheldon, and he definitely seems to enjoy working on both of the sister series. In fact, elsewhere in his comments to Parade, Parsons even explained that watching the prequel series has influenced his take on the character in The Big Bang Theory -- which means we could see some fun changes on the horizon for Sheldon as Big Bang moves into the future.
The Big Bang Theory airs on Monday nights at 8 p.m. ET on CBS, and Young Sheldon will return on Thursday, November 2 at 8:30 p.m. ET. If you happen to be on the lookout for more information on all of the non-Big Bang universe debuts set for the next few months, then make sure to take a look at CinemaBlend's fall premiere guide to keep yourself up-to-date on everything coming to the small screen!