TV's smartest kid Iain Armitage and the cast of Young Sheldon tell us why the show appeals to everyone
TV’s favourite geek, Sheldon Cooper (Jim Parsons) of The Big Bang Theory (TBBT), has always caught the attention of the audience, thanks to his cut-throat rhetoric and quirky nature. Those looking to get a glimpse of Sheldon’s early life to understand what makes the crazy scientist with a sartorial sense of humour so unique, check out Young Sheldon, which has nine-year-old Iain Armitage playing the lead character. After the successful run of 22 episodes in Season One, which left off with Sheldon drawing a ‘relationship agreement’ for his Meemaw (grandmother) and her lovers, we catch up with the leading stars of the show — Iain Armitage (Sheldon), Annie Potts (Meemaw), Zoe Perry (Mary, Sheldon’s mom), Raegan Revord (Missy, his twin sister), Lance Barber (George, his father) and Montana Jordan (Georgie, his older brother) to get a lowdown of what to expect from Season Two.
What do you like the most about your roles?
Iain Armitage: What I like the most about Sheldon is his personality. He’s a misfit, but in a funny way. After I put on Sheldon’s clothes, do the hair and makeup and start to read the lines, I immediately get into the character.
Raegan Revord: Even though Sheldon is the genius, I do think Missy is very smart. People don’t recognise her smarts because she lives in a family that has someone like Sheldon.
Annie Potts: Meemaw is quite confident, a little wacky and unpredictable. She speaks her mind, and most of all she is crazy about this little boy. Everyone else is fretting about him but she just thinks he
How do you all like going back to the 1980s with this show?
AP: The clothes seemed much more chic to me back then than now. To have to revisit those times is funny. We all like to visit another era to remind us of where we are now. It is fun to do it.
Zoe Perry: I get to wear these clothes that look like a dress when you’re standing up but they’re actually pants! Back in the ’80s, I remember my own mother rocking a perm and I get to do all that in this show which is pretty cool.
Zoe, your mother [Laurie Metcalf] played Mary, Sheldon’s mom on The Big Bang Theory...
ZP: When I heard about the pilot, I spoke to my mum and she said, ‘You have to go for this!’ She was
very excited. In Young Sheldon, we are seeing Mary Cooper at a different stage of her life. She is obviously younger and has a different family dynamic. The priorities are a little different and she is at a different point in the evolution of her faith. It has been fun because it’s allowed me some freedom to discover who she was in 1989.
How is the show different from The Big Bang Theory?
AP: We are a single-camera show, whereas they have a completely different schedule with a live audience. When you have that live audience you get that instant feedback, which is great. But we, on the other hand only get to hear people on the other side of the camera stifling their laughter, and that is our approval.
Lance Barber: TBBT probably has the best schedule in Hollywood. They work 12 hours a week over there. We have longer days, which, for a start, are dictated by the children.
However, your show has a more pan-generational appeal…
ZP: Since we have Raegan and Iain in the show, we have children their age who watch the show in addition to the TBBT fans.
LB: I have a seven-and-a 10-year-old myself, and this is the first thing I’ve done that they can watch. I’m sure there will be at least one person on the show that people can relate to.
Montana Jordan: I like when people contact me on Instagram and say how much they like watching it with their family. It’s great to know that families can relate to the show.
Montana, how well do you relate to your character Georgie?
MJ: We both have messy rooms (laughs). I do play football like Georgie does. When I read this role and learned a little bit about Georgie, I was like, ‘Wow! This really fits me.’ But, I don’t talk back as much, and I think I’m a little bit smarter. If we were two different people who met in real life, I’d like to think we would get along.
What do you think it’d be like having a brother like Sheldon?
MJ: For Georgie, it’s annoying. Imagine being in class and your 10-year-old brother is a lot smarter than you, and he both annoys and embarrasses you in front of your friends!
RR: I feel a bit like Missy is his guardian angel, because she protects him. Although not always, because she gets distracted easily.
What are the challenges that George is dealing with?
LB: George is from a different generation with a different fathering paradigm. He is baffled by how different his son is from the way he is. He wants to be a good father. He just lacks the know-how.
How do people react when they see you outside?
IA: I’m just glad to be a part of something that makes people happy.
RR: Sometimes it can be uncomfortable because you’re not prepared for it. This guy once came up to me and pinched my cheeks! With Zoe, she is shy and she just walks away. I think she enjoys it when she is not recognised.
ZP: Yes, I’m very sensitive to attention. These kids are handling it very well, I must say.
AP: Most people have a Meemaw that they love, and I’m happy to stand in for all of them. Most people want to come up and say that they love you or admire you. It’s not a bad way to live.
Young Sheldon Season 2 airs from July 16, Monday to Friday, 10.30 pm on Comedy Central.