One of the most iconic nerds in pop culture history is Sheldon Cooper of The Big Bang Theory. Ever since the show premiered in 2007, Jim Parsons charmed as Sheldon, a theoretical physicist researching quantum physics and string theory. Despite his IQ of 187, he is socially awkward, making up a chunk of the show’s laughs. The show may have ended last May, but his legacy lives on in Young Sheldon, a prequel series exploring his childhood. The show is just as successful, with its parent network CBS already ordering a third and fourth season earlier this year.
In Young Sheldon, two of the standouts are Zoey Perry And Raegan Revord. Perry plays Sheldon’s mother Mary, while Revord portrays Sheldon’s twin sister Missy. We got to chat with both actresses as they revealed what it’s like on the set, their similarities to their characters, and their favorite ’80s songs.
After two seasons of Young Sheldon, does your on-screen family feel a bit like a real family now? You guys must spend a lot of time together.
Raegan Revord: It felt like a real family the first time we met.
Zoe Perry: Yeah. Truly. I think that’s been some of the great chemistry that’s helped us build [the show].
Revord: Because it doesn’t feel like a job at all. It literally feels like we’re at home, which we kind of are. It has become our home.
Perry: Yeah, totally. I think something that we’ve felt very privileged about and that we had lucked into was just having instant chemistry with one another right off the bat. It was wild because you don’t always get that. And then it just grows.
Revord: We bonded right away. Like me and Iain [Armitage, who plays Sheldon], we met each other and we were literally twins. Like, we had that twin insight thing. And then Zoe feels like my second mom.
Do you feel like you’ve taken on any of the traits of your characters? Are there some similarities?
Revord: Missy is mean. No, I won’t say mean, but she’s sassy. Blunt.
Perry: Blunt is good.
Revord: And she’s sarcastic, and I definitely can be sarcastic.
Perry: Mary’s a bit more straight-laced [than I am], sometimes more rigid than I am.
Revord: She’s more relaxed.
Tell me about working with Annie Potts who plays Meemaw. She seems like an absolute delight.
Revord: She is literally my grandmother.
Perry: She’s awesome.
Revord: She’s like my second grandmother. She is amazing. We’re always going over to her house to go swimming and stuff. And we’re always playing with her dogs and she is like a grandmother. She’s amazing, and so much fun, too.
Perry: Yeah. Class act, that Annie Potts.
Zoe, is it strange for you to be playing the younger Mary Cooper since your mother Laurie Metcalf played the older Mary Cooper on The Big Bang Theory? That must feel a bit surreal.
Perry: Yeah. When I first heard about the existence of this pilot, I remember my mom saying, “Well, you have to audition.” And I thought, well, yeah, we’ll see. Hopefully. And the fact that it just turned out this way was very surreal. I feel like I’ve had a great privilege to get to step into her shoes. Also just playing with this time of life for Mary Cooper, it gives me some freedom to kind of explore this character in a different stage of life because she’s a bit different than the Mary that Big Bang audiences know, so it’s fun. You get to kind of play in both worlds.
Revord: I love Mary’s character, she’s really funny.
Young Sheldon’s a comedy, but what’s wonderful about the show is that there’s dramatic weight to certain storylines as well, like when Mary has a breakdown when she learns a young girl she knew has died in a car crash. As an actor, is it enjoyable to have that level of drama in there too?
Perry: Oh, totally. You always crave stretching as an actor, right? And our writers are incredible and they give us so many opportunities, and it’s fun to get to explore different dynamics with each character. In a few recent episodes, Lance and I had some really sweet moments together that were kind of new for us.
Do you have any idea what’s in store for you for season three?
Revord: We have no idea because we usually get the scripts the day before we start filming it. So we read it, and then we memorize it, and we go in.
Perry: We do know we have an addition to our regular cast this year, which is Matt Hobby, who plays Pastor Jeff.
Revord: I’m real excited to see what they do with him.
Perry: I think we’re going to get some more church [scenes]. It should be really fun to explore that world more too.
Revord: The church scenes are always very fun. I always love it when Sheldon stands up and raises a hand to ask a question.
Raegan, Missy doesn’t really have a Texan accent in the show, but Zoe, you do. You’ve got a real Texan in the cast in form of Montana Jordan, who plays Georgie. Does he ever give you Texan accent tips?
Revord: Okay, so this is why [Missy doesn’t have a Texan accent]. In the first episode, I had an accent, but I stopped having an accent by the second episode. I had a few lines and I wanted Montana to help me with the accent on certain lines. He helped me with it, and then we went in, and we read it. One of the things I had to say was, “hair lice”, and he had me say it like “hair laaahyce”. Afterwards, Mr. Chuck [Lorre, series creator] was like, “You know what, we can cut the accent. You don’t have to do that.”
Perry: Too hard to understand?
Revord: Yeah. Sometimes you even have to tell Montana to kind of tone down the accent a bit.
The show’s also packed with great ’80s songs.
Perry: Oh, yeah.
This might be a little harder for you to answer, Raegan, due to your age, but do you have any favorite ’80s songs that you would like to see appear in the show?
Revord: What is Queen? Is that the ’80s?
They were the ’70s and ’80s mainly, yes.
Revord: I love Queen. I love the Beatles. I love Journey, Fleetwood Mac, the Cranberries.
There are some definite ’80s gold in there. What about you, Zoe?
Perry: Oh gosh, I’m always impressed with what they come up with. I want to see Raegan dancing to some more Cyndi Lauper soon.
Revord: Oh yeah, that was fun.
Perry: That was fun. Oh wait, you did ‘Faith’ by George Michael!
Revord: We actually had a dance choreographer come in and we did this whole thing where I was dancing around, and then I would jump in my bed and sing it, and I jump off the bed. We never did any of that, which I was very sad about because I really wanted to do it.
Do you enjoy getting to wear ’80s fashions?
Revord: I love scrunchies.
Perry: Well, they’re back.
Revord: I know.
Perry: That’s what’s so crazy – everything is back. I never thought the ’80s would come back. And it’s back!