The sixth season of Young Sheldon is set to premiere on CBS in just over a fortnight. The Big Bang Theory spin-off sitcom has been a fixture on the network since September 2017, and has provided a crucial fix for fans of the original series: Big Bang wrapped a 12-year run on the same network in May 2019.
In the prequel series, young star Iain Armitage has seen his career really take off by portraying the young Sheldon Cooper, as much as his performances have also helped the show to the great success it has enjoyed over these last few years.
As things stand, the majority of Young Sheldon’s cast members are guaranteed work for the foreseeable future, with the show also confirmed for Season 7 as well, most likely set to arrive in late 2023. Armitage stars alongside other child stars like Raegan Revord, Ryan Phuong and Wyatt McClure.
The grown-up cast members include Zoe Perry, Lance Barber and Alexa & Katie’s Isabel May, among others.
So, just how did Armitage land the role of young Sheldon? It turns out he had to really go through the wringer.
Iain Armitage Had To Memorize A Three-Page Monologue For His Young Sheldon Audition
Iain Armitage was only nine years old when he was officially cast in Young Sheldon. Despite his age, he had to go through a rigorous audition process that involved memorizing three pages of monologue.
“I had a three-page long monologue that I had to memorize (for the audition),” Armitage said when he was interviewed by Firstpost in 2019. “I did it in Georgia over my holiday vacation.” The young actor impressed so much with his delivery, that it wasn’t long before he got a call back and got to meet the big guns.
“I got a call back and I came in. Jim Parsons, [and co-creators] Steven Molaro and Chuck Lorre were all there, and I just went and did my thing,” he continued. “When we were getting on the flight back to Virginia I got the call that I’d gotten the role, and I was like ‘Why are we going back then?”
Chuck Lorre would later reveal just how impressed they were by Armitage’s audition: “We looked at it and went, ‘We can’t possibly be this lucky.’ He was just spectacular,” the ‘king of sitcoms’ said.
Jim Parsons Helped Iain Armitage Acclimatize To The Character Of Sheldon Cooper
Iain Armitage was not yet born when Jim Parsons started playing the role of Sheldon Cooper in The Big Bang Theory. By the time Armitage was being cast in Young Sheldon, his older compatriot had been portraying the character for the best part of a decade.
In that sense, Parsons had already helped to define all the quacks and nuances that made Sheldon the peculiar and much adored character he had become. For Armitage to get into those massive shoes – albeit for a different timeline, there are two things that were rather necessary.
To start with, the young Georgian had to watch as much of the original show as age restrictions would allow. On top of that, he hoped to get some guidance from Parsons on how to actually step into the role. The older Sheldon did not disappoint in that regard.
“[Jim] is really kind and fun to be around and he makes anyone happy,” Armitage told TV Guide in 2017. “[His] advice can be, ‘Maybe we could say this line differently,’ to ‘Let’s play this scene [with] a whole different emotion.”
What Other Roles Has Iain Armitage Played In His Career?
Sheldon Cooper is undeniably the role that has defined Iain Armitage’s still budding career the most so far. That being said, the 14-year-old already has an impressive portfolio of acting roles, having featured in multiple other TV shows and films.
Armitage first rose to public consciousness in 2014, when he started doing stage play reviews on YouTube, in a segment that he called Iain Loves Theatre. As his stock began to rise, he made cameos as himself in Impractical Jokers and Little Big Shots in 2014 and 2016 respectively.
2017 was the take-off year for the young artist’s acting career, as he featured in the films The Glass Castle, Our Souls at Night and I’m Not Here, as well as one episode of Law & Order: Special Victims Unit on NBC.
Before finally landing the part in Young Sheldon, Armitage learned the ropes of playing a main role on TV when he portrayed Ziggy Chapman in the cast of HBO’s Big Little Lies in 2017.
Armitage has also since lent his voice to characters in the animated movies Scoob and PAW Patrol: The Movie.