Why Big Bang Theory And Star Trek Vet Wil Wheaton Thinks Acting Is 'A Little Traumatic'

Wil Wheaton as himself and Jim Parsons as Sheldon Cooper on The Big Bang Theory (2012)

Wil Wheaton has been in the acting game for a while, having starred in the high-profile projects like Star Trek: The Next Generation and Stand by Me in his youth. In recent years, he’s stepped away from a lot of on-camera acting, aside from roles in shows like The Big Bang Theory. And even on that show, he played an exaggerated version of himself. Though Wheaton has forged a successful career, he recently opened up about the somewhat “traumatic” elements of his acting career.

While reflecting on his work, Wil Wheaton stated that he never had a desire to be an on-camera actor. The star says that it was actually his mother who made him attend auditions. The actor admitted that these memories can be “a little triggering and a little traumatic”:

I’m not especially interested in being an on-camera actor, that was never my choice. When I was a kid my parents forced me to become an actor, it was never something I wanted to do. Throughout my entire childhood I begged my mother to stop forcing me to go on auditions, to just let me be a kid and she never heard me. It was really important to her that I become famous so she could be the famous actor’s momager and it sucked. That choice cost me my relationship with my parents and as a consequence of that, I don’t really enjoy on-camera acting. It’s a little triggering and a little traumatic.

In the past, Wil Wheaton has been incredibly candid about the emotional abuse he experienced growing up. In an emotional post on his blog, the actor reflected on his father, who he says bullied him as a child. He also stated that is mother only enabled the behavior and would eventually move him into an acting career, against his wishes.

Despite everything Wheaton went through as a child, he also told Metro.co.uk. that he doesn’t regret the actual work he helped to create. He also doesn’t want fans to view it any differently because of his personal circumstances:

When people find out that my childhood was incredibly abusive and that none of this was my choice, sometimes I hear from people, ‘Oh, I feel so sad that I liked your work as a kid.’ I don’t want anyone to ever feel like that. The work is good, I’m good at it, I was a good child actor but I was abused and I was hurting a lot and that informed my character… I’m really proud and grateful for the work that I’ve done, I love my life as it is right now. I wouldn’t have the life that I have right now if anything would have been different.

It can’t be easy for Wil Wheaton to open up about these aspects of his life, but it’s incredibly brave of him to do so. His words may also connect with current young performers who may be dealing with similar issues. You really have to appreciate Wheaton’s sentiments and his contributions to film and television.

Erik Swann
Senior Content Producer

Erik Swann is a Senior Content Producer at CinemaBlend. He began working with the publication in 2020 when he was hired as Weekend Editor. Today, he continues to write, edit and handle social media responsibilities over the weekend. On weekdays, he also writes TV and movie-related news and helps out with editing and social media as needed. He graduated from the University of Maryland, where he received a degree in Broadcast Journalism. After shifting into multi-platform journalism, he started working as a freelance writer and editor before joining CB. Covers superheroes, sci-fi, comedy, and almost anything else in film and TV. He eats more pizza than the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.