Can you imagine Sheldon Cooper as Barney Stinson?
Casting is probably an underrated aspect of a TV show. If the showrunners find the right fit between the role and the actor, the outcome is usually pure magic.
Take Jim Parsons, for instance. As Sheldon Cooper on The Big Bang Theory, he guided the CBS sitcom to an incredible success that lasted over a decade. But it's hard to imagine the fact that he almost played a different part in How I Met Your Mother.
Before he secured the role of Sheldon, the public likely knew Parsons for his supporting role in Zach Braff's 2004 romantic comedy-drama film Garden State and a seven-episode run in the legal drama Judging Amy. But fans really connected to Parsons' Emmy-winning transition as a nerd protagonist on The Big Bang Theory.
Later, the actor was able to play the part in another gig as executive producer and narrator in the spin-off show Young Sheldon starring Iain Armitage.
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Although The Big Bang Theory finished its 12-season run in 2019, the prequel continues to be successful. Recently, Young Sheldon season 4 premiered on CBS on 5th November 2020.
Parsons' Sheldon Cooper is one of the most iconic characters in television history. Yet the actor admitted he almost portrayed the polar opposite character during his appearance in The Late Late Show with James Corden back in 2017.
In the episode, The Big Bang Theory star revealed he actually took an audition for the part of the ladies' man Barney Stinson on How I Met Your Mother, a role which was later won by Neil Patrick Harris.
The funny thing about this is I auditioned to play Barney, and felt I was very wrong for it, and almost ran screaming from the room after I auditioned.
Like, ‘Well I did that and I don’t know why.’ They actually made me come back as if they were interested. Not interested enough, because the right person got that part, Neil Patrick Harris.
During his appearance on the same program, Parsons responded to the fan theory surrounding Sheldon Cooper and Barney Stinson. As some fans of TBBT reckon the two characters are vastly different but could Sheldon really be Barney from a parallel universe?
I find this fascinating that I have this loose-ish connection to this part. And you’ve got this theory — that’s not true — but you’ve got that theory at all. Maybe I’m giving that vibe off. Maybe underneath this character I’ve been playing is a raging horndog and a womanizer.
To be fair, the theory does hold legs to an extent, even though it sounds pretty outlandish.