Jim Parsons is known mostly for his incredible portrayal of the socially awkward theoretical physicist, Sheldon Cooper, on the CBS smash hit "The Big Bang Theory". His "Sheldonisms" circulate on websites and in online mash-ups worldwide punctuated by one famous catchphrase... "Bazinga!"
But where did the bizarre b-word come from? It's certainly not of the colloquial English that we tend to know, but somehow, it's one that has infiltrated the masses thanks to Parsons' epic delivery. When Jim Parsons sat down with AOL.com's Brian Balthazar, he explained the origins of the word beloved by "Big Bang" fans the world over. "It's been such a 'b'-fest," said Parsons. "One of the writers, he used to say it, apparently in the writers' room. That's the tale I've heard. But I remember it wasn't in a script. It was one of those moments where we'd work on a scene and then you'd go and take notes from the producers and writers. If I'm correct, it was inserted right before a taping basically. It was like 'That would work in here. What if he said 'bazinga' after that?'" He admitted the audience may not have known what it meant at first, but it caught on for a familiar reason. "The writers liked it but they knew what it meant. But I knew what it meant the moment they said it. It's like 'gotcha", you know, it's just in that energy. There's just something about it. I like it because it's not plain English in a lot of ways and that's very handy."
The 41-year-old has earned a stunning three Emmys out of five nominations, not to mention a Golden Globe win, for his role as Sheldon. But the seasoned actor is classically trained in theater, evident in his 2011 performance as Tommy Boatwright in the Broadway revival of "The Normal Heart". The 1985 Larry Kramer play about the beginnings of the HIV and AIDS crisis in New York City had long been in talks to become a film. It took almost 30 years, but the film has arrived to HBO with stars like Mark Ruffalo, Julia Roberts, Taylor Kitsch, Matt Bomer and a much more serious Jim Parsons lighting up the screen with a message and story long overdue.
"Just dealing with the whole HIV issue, they didn't know what was going on," said Parsons. "There is an element of the true life horror story to it. People were dying like that and nobody really knew why."
Though the epidemic that was once known as the "gay cancer" was seen as an issue exclusive to gay men, as illustrated in the film, Parsons says the story is relatable to every human being even all these years later. "I don't know if the intensity of the power behind the message... I don't know that that changes... I think the reason that it succeeds and the reason that it has lasted and the reason it still packs such a punch today is that it's about a humanity issue that's bigger than that. It feels like the specificity going on here about a group of people being shunned to the side, trying to ignore them or this issue isn't important to them because these people aren't important to us... that's something that has happened before this issue. I think that it's something that will happen again. It's probably happening somewhere right this minute. I think that's one of the things that's so easy to connect to in a sad way, frankly. But that's part of being human."
Watch Parsons in the powerful film version of "The Normal Heart" premiering May 25th at 9pm on HBO. And don't forget to tune in to the season finale of "The Big Bang Theory" tonight at 8pm on CBS.