Zoe Perry on her mother of a role
Zoe Perry follows in her mom's footsteps as Sheldon's mother in the Big Bang Theory prequel Young Sheldon. GETTY
DENETTE WILFORD/ 24 HOURS
Being told you're turning into your mother is almost always an insult, but not for Zoe Perry. On the contrary, becoming her mom - three-time Emmy winner Laurie Metcalf - is practically a job requirement. The actress follows in her mother's footsteps, taking on the role Metcalf made famous first on The Big Bang Theory and bringing it to the prequel, Young Sheldon. "They're pretty big," Perry joked to 24 Hours, when I asked her about filling in her mom's shoes. "They're a size 6 1/2, I think. Maybe a 7."
Perry, who said that not only is she a Big Bang fan but also a Mary Cooper fan, called herself "lucky to be a part of this world." The actress had just come off a run on Scandal and auditioned like everyone else, but admitted that she had a bit of an advantage. "I'm lucky enough that I have some things at my disposal that I don't even think about, like my voice, and some mannerisms that are very similar to my mother's. So that's in my arsenal. "The rest is kind of my own lucky exploration because we get to see Mary Cooper in a different stage of life," she continued.
"She's a different person here than she maybe becomes, so I have some leeway to play around with what that is, and what that looks like so I can let the script dictate." Perry, who recalled visiting the Big Bang set as Laurie's daughter, called the chain of events "wild" and "fun." I mean, technically she's playing her own mother playing a character who still exists elsewhere.
That's some trippy stuff. "It's a great privilege but, also, the stakes are high, in my own head," laughed Perry. "They're high outside the walls of my head too (laughs)." Soon, however, Metcalf will be back on her own show, as part of the Roseanne revival. Perry confessed she "can't wait" for its return because it's like home for her too. "My formative years, I grew up on that set," she gushed.
"It started when I was four years old and went on 'til I was in high school. So I was quite familiar with the cast and the crew. I'm so excited for it." As are we. But back to Young Sheldon, which also has high expectations. What can Big Bang fans expect? "[The producers] talk about how they wanted to have a piece of this world that Big Bang has created that kind of stands on its own, and can be experienced by audiences who have watched Big Bang in a new way but also bring in people who haven't seen it. The stakes would be too high if we were doing an impression so this is a great line of attack into just exploring something new.
" Perry called Iain Armitage, her main co-star, not to mention the titular character of Young Sheldon, "so wonderful, so cute, so sweet, so kind, and so talented." But does he have loose lips? Because perhaps he's the one actor from Big Little Lies who can confirm whether or not a second season is happening. "Oooh, I haven't (asked him)," marvelled Perry. "I should. I'll do that and check back with you."