Jim Parsons

  • Aired:  05/15/14
  •  | Views: 42,474

Jim Parsons reflects on the emotional experience of getting to act in "The Normal Heart" on the stage as well as in the HBO movie adaptation. (7:22)

WELCOME BACK.

MY GUEST STARS IN CBS'S "THE BIGBANG THEORY" ALSO STARRING IN

HBO'S UPCOMING FILM "THENORMAL HEART."

>> WE CAN'T TELL PEOPLE HOW TOLIVE THEIR LIVES, NED.

THE ENTIRE GAY POLITICALMOVEMENT IS (BLEEP).

>> HI.>> HI.

>> YOU KNOW, I'M VERY INTERESTEDIN SETTING UP SOME SORT OF

SERVICES FOR THE PATIENTS. WE'VEGOT TO START TALKING ABOUT THEM.

ALSO, THERE ARE A LOT OF VERYSCARED PEOPLE OUT THERE

AND THEY'RE DESPERATE FORINFORMATION.

I'D TO START A HOTLINE.

>> WHO'S HE?

OOH, HE DOES NOT KNOW WHO I AMYET.

HIS NAME IS TOMMY BOATWRIGHT.

IN REAL LIFE HE IS A HOSPITALADMINISTRATOR.

HE'S HERE TO HELP AND HE'S ASOUTHERN BITCH.

>> MR. BOATRIGHT. BRUCE NILES.

>> NICE TO MEET YOU.

>> MY PLEASURE.

>> YOU'RE VERY HANDSOME.>> HE KNOWS.

>> Jon: PLEASE WELCOME TO THEPROGRAM JIM PARSONS!

(MUSIC)(CHEERS AND APPLAUSE)

>> YOUNG MAN. TO YOU, SIR.WELCOME.

>> THANK YOU. THANK YOU.

>> Jon: FIRST, BEFORE WE TALKABOUT THE FILM, I WANT TO BREAK

SOME EXCITING NEWS.>> OH GOD. WHAT?

>> Jon: "BIG BANG THEORY" HASBEEN PICKED UP UNTIL 2050.

2050!

36 MORE YEARS.

>> AND WE DON'T KNOW WHO WILL BEPLAYING MY PART BY THEN BUT YOU

KNOW WHAT?

IT GOES ON HAPPILY.

>> Jon: YOUR BRAIN IN A JAR WILLBE PLAYING YOUR PART.

>> OH, MY GOD, YES, I HOPE MYOFFSPRING THAT WILL NEVER

HAPPEN GET RESIDUALS FROM ME.

>> Jon: OH STOP. CONGRATULATIONSTHOUGH.

>> THANK YOU.

>> Jon: THIS FILM, THIS FILM ISVERY QUICKLY SOMETHING

LARRY KRAMER PUT TOGETHER IN 80-- WHEN DID THIS HAPPEN?

>> I BELIEVE THE STAGE PLAY OFIT WAS FIRST DONE IN '84, '85.

IT WAS REALLY -- IT WAS SO GOINGON RIGHT THEN, WHAT WAS

HAPPENING IN THE MOVIE, THESTAGE PLAY ACTUALLY HAD THE SET

WAS LIKE THESE WHITE WALLSWHERE THEY ADDED THE

NAMES OF THE DYINGAS THEY WERE DYING.

>> Jon: RIGHT. THIS WAS THEEARLY PART OF THE TERRIBLE AIDSCRISIS.

>> THE AIDS CRISIS. YES. RIGHT.

>> Jon: BEFORE EVEN REAGAN ITHINK HAD EVER MENTIONED IT

PUBLICLY, LARRY KRAMER HADALREADY WRITTEN THIS BRILLIANTPLAY.

>> YES. YES. ANDSO EVERYTHING WAS STILL

OBVIOUSLY SHUFFLING AROUNDFIGURING OUT,

THE EMERGENCY WAS IN ITSGREATEST THROES AT THAT MOMENT.

NOW HERE WE ARE 30 YEARS LATERAND IT'S, IN SOME WAYS, ALL THE

MORE, TO ME, POWERFUL ANDINTERESTING TO SEE THIS STORY

NOW.

THERE ARE SO MANY PEOPLE WHODON'T KNOW WHAT WENT ON.

YOU KNOW, MYSELFINCLUDED. AND EVEN IF YOU KNOW

INTELLECTUALLY, TO SEE ITPERSONIFIED IN THIS

WAY, YOU LEARN IT IN A WAY INYOUR HEART THAT YOU DIDN'T.

YOU KNOW. IT IS SAD BUT IT'SWONDERFUL.

IT'S WONDERFUL.

YOU FEEL -- WHEN I SEE IT, IFEEL SOMEWHAT SAD WHEN IT'S

OVER, BUT YOU FEEL -- I DON'TKNOW, A CERTAIN PEACE, TOO, AND

A CONNECTION TO HUMANITY, IFTHAT DOESN'T SOUND RIDICULOUS TO

YOU.

>> Jon: NO.

>> YOU KNOW WHAT I MEAN THOUGH?

>> Jon: WE HAVE FEELINGS.

>> I KNOW YOU DO.

YOU'RE A VERY WARM, SENSITIVEMAN.

>> Jon: BUT THE URGENCY, THEURGENCY IS WHAT'S SO INTERESTING

TO ME. >> YEAH.

>> Jon: BECAUSE THE PLAYCAPTURES THAT CONFUSION OF THAT

TIME AND THE URGENCY OF ACTION.

>> UTTER CONFUSION. WELL,EXACTLY.

AND THE THING WE ALWAYS TALKEDABOUT WHEN I WAS DOING THE STAGE

PLAY WITH GEORGE WOLFE, WHEN IDID THE MOVIE WITH RYAN MURPHY,

EVERYBODY TALKED ABOUT, IT'S AREAL, LIVE HORROR FILM. THERE IS

LITERALLY A KILLER ON THE LOOSE,WE DON'T KNOW WHERE IT'S COMING

FROM, WE DON'T WHAT IT IS ANDEVERYONE IS RUNNING AS FAST AS

THEY CAN. ONE OF THE FUNTHINGS ABOUT DOING IT WAS --

(LAUGHTER)>> Jon: WELL, GO ON.

>> WASN'T SUPPOSED TO BE FUNNY.(LAUGHTER)

YEAH, I FOUND THE HUMOR IN THENORMAL HEART. BUT SERIOUSLY,

IT WAS GOING THROUGH ALL THESETHINGS AND TRYING TO -- I

HAD TO KEEP REMINDING MYSELF, NOE-MAILS, NO CELL PHONES, NO

INTERNET, AND IT SEEMS SOOBVIOUS UNTIL YOU'RE IN THOSE

SCENES WHERE YOU'RE TRYING TOHELP PEOPLE, WARN PEOPLE, GET

PEOPLE TO A HOSPITAL, AND YOUREALIZE HOW FEW THINGS IN

COMPARISON WE HAD.

TIMES HAVE CHANGED SO MUCH. SOQUICKLY.

>> Jon: SO MUCH OF IT WASABOUT INFORMATION.

>> ABSOLUTELY.

>> AND DISSEMINATING INFORMATIONAND FINDING IT.

AND I FIND MYSELF THIS WAY WITHMY KIDS.

THEY'LL SAY SOMETHING LIKE, ARETHERE PIGMY GOATS?

AND I WILL HAVE TO SAY, WELL,WHY DON'T YOU LOOK IT UP?

BUT IN THE OLD DAYS I WOULD HAVEWENT, I GUESS WE'LL NEVER KNOW.

>> YEAH. COMPLETELY. (LAUGHTER)

>> Jon: LIKE YOU JUST WOULD,THAT'D BE IT?

LIKE YOU JUST, I DON'T KNOW!>> NO.

>> LET'S DO SOMETHING ELSE.

>> I MEAN, WHEN YOU, WHENBOTH OF US, I'M SURE, WENT

THROUGH SCHOOL, IT WAS TRIPSTO THE LIBRARY.

>> Jon: SURE. YEP.

>> THAT'S HOW YOU FOUNDEVERYTHING. YOU CHECKED OUT

REALLY HEAVY BOOKS AND WROTEREALLY BAD PAPERS, YOU KNOW.

>> Jon: AND WE DID THEM ON,DID YOU DO THEM, WELL, I'M OLDERTHAN

YOU, BUT WE USEDTO DO THEM ON THE

TYPE WRITER AND WHEN YOU MADE AMISTAKE YOU WOULD HAVE TO GO

BACK WITH THE WHITEOUT ANDTYPE IT AGAIN.

>> I TRANSITIONED TO A WORDPROCESSOR BEFORE I FINISHED WITH

SCHOOL, SO I DIDN'T, IDIDN'T, BUT I DID IT WHILE

I, THERE WERE WHITEOUT SHEETSYOU COULD DO.

>> Jon: EXACTLY, AND I WOULDWORK ON MY ABACUS.

AGAIN, I'M OLDER THEN YOU.

>> I KNOW, THERE'S A LITTLE BIT.THOSE WERE GONE WHEN I WAS --

>> Jon: I WANTED TO ASK YOU,THOUGH, BECAUSE

DOING A PIECE LIKE THIS FOR THESTAGE IS SUCH A DIFFERENT

>> YEAH.

>> Jon: PERFORMANCE THAN DOINGSOMETHING THAT IS BEING FILMED

FOR TELEVISION, HAVING DONE ITAS A PLAY, DID YOU HAVE TO

RECALIBRATE? WHAT WAS, >> TO A DEGREE --

>> Jon: WHAT'S THE PROCESS OFTRYING TO TRANSLATE SOMETHING

LIKE THAT?

>> WELL, THE HARDEST THING WAS AVERY KIND OF SILLY-SOUNDING

THING, BUT THERE WAS ONLYONE OTHER GUY WHO WAS IN

THE PLAY WITH ME, YOU KNOW, JOEMANTELLO,

AND HE ACTUALLY CHANGED PARTSFOR THE MOVIE.

>> Jon: YOU'RE IN THE SAMEPART.

>> I AM IN THE SAME PART.

BUT SO MUCH OF THE SCRIPT WASTHE SAME, THAT IT WAS HARD TO

GET USE TO HEARING PEOPLE WITHNEW VOICES WITH LINES

THAT'D YOU'D HEARDSAID OVER AND OVER.

BUT IT WAS BEING DONE SO WELLTHAT THAT QUICKLY WENT AWAY.

WHAT WAS REALLY INTERESTING,THOUGH, WAS, YOU KNOW, LIKE

HERE WE ARE NOW, AND EVERY TIMETHEY LAUGH, YOU FEEL IT AND IT

AFFECTS THINGS.

IN THIS CASE, IT WAS OBVIOUSLY,IT WAS A DRAMA, BUT THEY WERE SO

MOVED -- I GUESS PARTLY BECAUSEWE WERE PERFORMING -- IT WAS A

POWERFUL PIECE BUT PARTLYBECAUSE WE WERE PERFORMING AT

GROUND ZERO FOR ALL THECATASTROPHY

WE WERE IN NEW YORK.>> Jon: RIGHT.

>> I HAVE NEVER HEARD CRYINGLIKE THIS.

SO THAT WAS VERY INTERESTING TOKNOW AS WE WERE MAKING THIS

MOVIE THE POSSIBILITY OF THEPOWERFUL EFFECT THAT THIS COULD

DEFINITELY HAVE WHEN PEOPLE SAWIT.

>> Jon: RIGHT.

>> NORMALLY, I DON'T WORK ONSOMETHING WHERE YOU KIND OF HAVE

ALREADY BEEN ABLE TO EXPERIENCETHAT AND FEEL THAT AND CARRY IT

WITH YOU INTO THE PROJECT.

>> Jon: YOU FELT ITS ABSENCEAS YOU --

>> NO, I FELT LIKE I KNOW WHATWE'RE HEADING TOWARDS.

>> Jon: OKAY.

>> I FELT LIKE, IF WE TELL THISSTORY CORRECTLY, THIS IS A

DEVASTATING LITTLE TALE.

>> Jon: RIGHT. RIGHT. RIGHT.

>> I WISH I COULD SAY SOMETHINGFUNNY HERE.

>> Jon: NOT AT ALL.

IS THAT SOMETHING YOU WERE ABLETO IMPART ALSO TO THE OTHER

ACTORS WHO MIGHT NOT BE FAMILIARWITH ITS IMPACT IN THAT WAY?

>> I DIDN'T HAVE TO.

NOBODY ASKED ME TO. YOU KNOWWHAT, RYAN,

RYAN IS A WONDERFUL DIRECTOR,MURPHY, AND HE WOULD ASK A

COUPLE OF TIMES OF ME AND JOE,WHO HAD DONE IT, WHEN YOU DID

THE PLAY, WHAT HAPPENED HERE,BLAH, BLAH, BLAH.

BUT IT WAS MORE OF THAT.EVERYBODY WAS, EVERYBODY WAS,

IT WAS VERY IMPORTANT TO THEMWHY THEY JOINED UP, LIKE

MARK RUFFALO, ANDTAYLOR KITSCH, AND MATT BONER,

YOU KNOW, THEY KNEW WHYTHEY WERE THERE.

>> Jon: YOU ALWAYS DO TERRIFICWORK.

>> THANK YOU VERY MUCH.

>> Jon: "THE NORMAL HEART"APPEARS MAY 25.

>> MAY 25TH.

>> Jon: IT'S RYAN MURPHY OF"GLEE" SO THERE'S A LOT OF

SONGS IN IT. IT'S VERY --

(LAUGHTER) 9:00 P.M., THE GREAT

JIM PARSONS.

THANK YOU FOR COMING.

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