Simon Helberg candidly reveals his real thoughts, including the downside of playing Howard Wolowitz for more than a decade in The Big Bang Theory.
Simon Helberg gets candid about the downside of starring in The Big Bang Theory. A belated addition to the original cast of the show, the actor played Howard Wolowitz and was included after the initial pilot was reworked. Since then, he played the role until the show wrapped up its 12 season-run in 2019.
At that time of its end, The Big Bang Theory was still CBS’ premier sitcom. It continued to rank in terms of ratings and the cast was paid handsomely for their job. So, it was a massive shock when it was announced that the sitcom was ending after its 12th year. What made this much more baffling was the fact that the network was supposedly interested in renewing the show. Eventually, it’s revealed that it boiled down to Jim Parsons’ decision to leave. The actor played Sheldon Cooper; while the series was technically ensemble in nature, the socially inept genius was widely regarded as its primary lead. Aside from him, the rest of the cast was reportedly open to continue, but based on Helberg’s recent comments, it seems like The Big Bang Theory was somewhat of a blessing in disguise.
Speaking with The Washington Newsday, the actor opened up about his experience playing Howard for more than a decade. Helberg, who is promoting his newest project, Annette, where he co-stars with Adam Driver and Marion Cotillard, says that there’s a lot of pros to starring in The Big Bang Theory. That said, since he became an actor to play various roles, it was kind of limiting as he’s committed to the sitcom’s schedule. Now that it’s done, he could venture out and try portraying other characters.
“You know, if you get to portray a character on television for over a decade, it obviously has a tremendous amount of upside. However, part of the reason I wanted to be an actor was to play a variety of characters. So I’m happy that I’m receiving more of those opportunities now.”
Bernadette and Howard crying on their couch in The Big Bang Theory
Helberg’s new comment echoes that of his co-star, Kaley Cuoco’s. On the heels of The Flight Attendant’s success on HBO Max, the actress said that The Big Bang Theory ending was some kind of a blessing in disguise as it allowed her to do the critically-acclaimed black drama which she also produces. This doesn’t mean, however, that she wasn’t sad when the sitcom ended. She’d been vocal about wanting to continue playing Penny, and that she was shocked upon learning Parsons’ decision to exit, especially given their lucrative pay packet. Then again, between her and Helberg’s comments, it appears as if most of them were quite ready to do something different by the time The Big Bang Theory wrapped up.
At this point, it’s safe to say that most of the cast of hit sitcom has successfully transitioned from their 12-year-long stint with the CBS show. But while it has just been a little over two years since the show ended, talks of a Big Bang Theory reunion have been floated around, especially after the Friends’ special on HBO Max. There’s no concrete indication that it’s going to happen anytime soon, but it’s not outside the realm of possibility, especially given how popular the show continues to be thanks to syndication and streaming.