Let’s talk about sex, baby!
In anticipation of Thursday’s big love scene between Amy and Sheldon on CBS’ The Big Bang Theory, Mayim Bailik and Jim Parsons sat down with Entertainment Weekly to explain why the time was right — and what, if anything, this does to their on-screen relationship.
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Entertainment Weekly: We’re very excited about this episode.
Mayim Bialik: Well apparently everyone is.
Did you always assume that this was going to happen eventually?
Bialik: No. No, I really didn’t. I honestly felt like there are so many different aspects of their relationship and this show, and I don’t feel like I definitively felt like, “Oh, it’s going to happen at some point.” I thought it might have become a nonissue, you know? Obviously our writers chose differently. But yeah, it wasn’t like I was kind of like waiting for this to happen and oh, here it finally is. They do a lot of things that surprise us.
Jim Parsons: I never imagined it, because I would never predict almost anything the writers have done in the way they’ve done it. But I do think what they did with this is really skillfully handled. You know, one of the reasons sometimes the stuff they do is easy to play is because it’s not what you might have thought it was going to be. So you don’t feel like you’re living up to any expectations. You feel like you’re doing something more organic and more surprising. And in this case what I mean is that Sheldon is not overly worked up about this.
Bialik: Right. I also didn’t know we’d actually have a bed scene. I’ll just be honest about that.
Parsons: You mean on camera where we’re actually together and we —
Bialik: Yes. I didn’t think that was going to happen.
Fans have been asking if this was ever going to happen, right?
Bialik: Yeah. And you know to me, even though it’s just a character, it’s like asking about someone’s virginity. So to me it feels like kind of a private thing for the characters to go through, however privately the writers choose to have them go through it. Jim and I talked about this. It feels funny for people to be like, hey, are you finally going to do it? It’s really special to us that we’ve had a relationship that is the longest-running nonsexual romantic relationship you’ve seen on TV.
Does Sheldon only refer to it as coitus?
Parsons: I think it’s always coitus.
Bialik: You mention your genitals, which is really funny, too.
Is Sheldon and Amy nervous or excited about doing this?
Bialik: We play a lot of that sweet, intimate anxiety but because they’ve been together so long it doesn’t feel like it’s wrong. It feels really right. It’s not that nervousness of like, “Oh, I don’t really know you and now we’re going to do it.” I’m just grateful my kids don’t watch the show.
Parsons: I have to warn my sister for my nephew’s sake.
Bialik: It’s a big deal.
Parsons: Maybe I’m wrong but I suspect it’s different for my nephews to see Leonard and Penny in bed than your uncle in bed.
Bialik: Exactly because they’re always doing it. We’re doing this for the first time.
How do you think the fans will respond?
Bialik: Some may need to be hospitalized with excitement, we’re told.
Parsons: I don’t know but what I enjoy so much about it is that it’s not at all alienating.
Bialik: We’re still us. I don’t think it’s going to be like, “Oh, Sheldon’s changed.” It’s been so gradual, this process, that I don’t think every episode’s going to be about this anymore, you know? I think we’re going to go back to doing the show that we do here.
Parsons: [looking at Bialik] Did you say that you were the one who first told me that we do it?
Bialik: No. We were passing in the hallway and I was like, “Did you read next week’s episode?”
Parsons: I was on my way to act. She had just finished her scene. She goes, “Did you read the episode?” I said, “What, do we f—?” She goes, “Yes.”
That’s how you found out?
Parsons: Yes! And in the middle of a taping!
Bialik: I never read scripts early.Terrible! I’m a bad person.
The Big Bang Theory airs Thursdays at 8 p.m. ET on CBS.
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