Jim Parsons wasn’t looking to become a producer.
Parsons was happy to keep on thriving as an actor, especially as his performance as Sheldon Cooper in “The Big Bang Theory” was only getting more and more popular.
But when his efforts on the hugely successful CBS sitcom were rewarded with a new contract, Parsons was given the opportunity to strike up a production deal with Warner Bros, which he duly accepted.
I recently spoke to Parsons about “A Kid Like Jake,” which he stars in and produces, during which time I asked whether he had ever planned to become a producer.
“I really didn’t. And in so many ways it is just another in the many gifts that I have got from ‘The Big Bang Theory.’ Later in the run when we got new contracts for the show and it finally became evident that we would be able to, if we wanted to, get these production deals under the Warner Bros umbrella.”
For Parsons, the offer was just too good to turn down.
“It hadn’t been a great dream of mine. But I did feel like it would be wise to take the opportunity and see what I did feel about it.”
“And what has been really nice about it is, not only did I get to make some work that I am very happy with and proud of, but it is still an evolutionary process. I am still figuring out who I am as a producer and what it is that I want to do.”
“It has been really fun to get the chance to experiment in this way and feel this side of the industry out.”
Parsons didn’t go into specifics about the future of That’s Wonderful Productions, which he runs with Todd Spiewak and Eric Norosoph, but admitted that they are attracted to material with “societal issues.”
“I feel very open to a lot of things still. We haven’t narrowed down, whatever appeals to us, we do tend to lean towards material that have societal issues. Not to make a statement necessarily, it just seems to appeal to us when they are well done.”
“We tend to lean to material that shows underrepresented characters or storylines in some way. But again not to do God’s work, but because that’s what we find interesting to work on.”
“Whether that takes the shape of a TV show, or a movie, or even a play at some point in the future we’ll just feel it out as we along.”
“A Kid Like Jake” certainly fits into that mold, as it depicts a seemingly happy husband (Jim Parsons) and wife (Claire Danes) struggle to deal with their 4-year-old son, who has more of an interest in Cinderella than G.I. Joe.
During our talk I asked Parsons to breakdown the size of the company, which provoked him to heap praise on Eric Norsoph, That’s Wonderful Productions’ head of development and production, who played a key role in getting “A Kid Like Jake” made.
“We have a company with a couple of executives. Eric Norsoph was the first executive we hired, we had shown him ‘A Kid Like Jake’ as an example of material that we are drawn to.”
“Not really in order to produce it, because we had already had the material for a year and a half and it didn’t seem like we would be able to get it off the ground.
“But Eric made it his mission to really get it off the ground, and we owe him a lot of gratitude, because he executed a lot in making this happen.”
You can see the end result now, as “A Kid Like Jake” has just been released at the IFC Center in New York, and will be available on DVD on June 8th.