When it comes to the history of television, it is littered with examples of spin-off series that have failed so badly that they were fairly embarrassing for all involved. For instance, anyone who watched Joey, Baywatch Nights, or Ravenswood could attest to how disappointing some spin-offs wind up being. However, for all of the shows like that, networks keep creating spin-offs in hope that the resulting shows will do as well as Young Sheldon has so far.
Spun-off from one of the most watched shows in modern television, Young Sheldon had a lot to live up to if it wanted to be as successful as The Big Bang Theory. Thankfully, the show has done great in the ratings and many viewers have come to love its characters. Despite all of that success, most viewers still know very little about the show’s actors. With all of that in mind, it is time to take a look at this list of 20 little-known facts about Young Sheldon’s cast.
In order for a piece of information to be considered for this list, it first and foremost needs to have something to do with a memorable cast member of Young Sheldon. On top of that, it can’t be something that the majority of people seem to be aware of.
20 Many People From Montana Jordan’s Small Town Encouraged Him to Act
Believed to be 16 years old at the time of this writing, Montana Jordan has already attained a great deal of fame. Unlike many former child stars, he had a pretty typical childhood.
Born and raised in Texas, while he was living in a small town named Ore City he managed to garner the attention of his fellow residents. In fact, when a film production crew was looking for youngsters in the area to audition for an acting role, several Ore City locals encouraged Jordan to try out. Evidently, the people around him thought he would be a natural actor because he had become known for being funny and very outgoing.
19 Annie Potts Starred In A Short-Lived And Forgotten TV Version Of A Movie
Throughout the annals of film history, there have been many examples of movies that were talked about a lot when they first came out only to almost entirely disappear. A perfect example of that, when Dangerous Minds was released in 1995 it made a huge profit but now it is mainly remembered for one of the songs on its soundtrack, Coolio’s “Gangsta’s Paradise.”
That said, the movie had a much bigger impact on Annie Potts’ life than most people realize. This is the case because she played the main character in a short-lived TV adaption of the movie that only aired for 17 episodes before it was unceremoniously canceled.
18 Raegan Revord Loves Musicals
Probably the most understated Young Sheldon character, during any given episode of the show Missy Cooper is bound to spend most of her time making biting comments almost under her breath. Despite that, in real life, the 11-year-old actor who plays the character is a much louder human being.
In fact, when Raegan Revord spoke with the website Just Jared Jr., she revealed that in her personal life she simply loves musicals. More than that, she is happy to reveal that she prefers to sing and dance while listening to musical tunes instead of to anything people hear on Top 40 radio.
17 Lance Barber Worked With The Legendary Group, The Second City
As any student of comedy history will likely know, The Second City is an improvisational comedy enterprise with training centers and theaters in Chicago, Los Angeles, and Toronto. That may not seem like a big deal at first blush but Second City alumni created, wrote and starred in the legendary sketch comedy show SCTV.
In addition to that, beloved actors like Bill Murray, Amy Poehler, Catherine O’Hara, Mike Myers, Tina Fey and Steve Carrell all trained with a Second City troupe. Just like all of those amazing performers, Young Sheldon star Lance Barber honed his craft with a Second City troupe too.
16 Wallace Shawn Didn’t Get the Appeal of Inconceivable
For those of you have only learned about Wallace Shawn’s hilarious comic timing now that he is a big part of Young Sheldon, earlier in his career he starred in a comedy classic film. Cast as The Princess Bride’s Vizzini, in his role Wallace Shawn was chiefly remembered for his delivery of one word, "Inconceivable!" Even though millions of fans agree that the way he said that word was hilarious, Shawn isn’t one of them.
Speaking about the way he said the word in The Princess Bride during an appearance on the Edmonton AM radio show, Shawn said: "I kind of didn't quite get the joke when I was doing it. I thought it was a quirk of the character that he kept repeating the word, but I still don't have any idea why that struck such a chord with some people."
15 Iain Armitage Is An Amateur Online Theater Critic
Given the fact that The Big Bang Theory has been hugely successful for many years and Sheldon Cooper has long been its most popular character, it is a really big deal that another actor gets to play him. For that reason, we can only imagine how much work went into the process of finding the right child actor to play Young Sheldon’s titular character.
Thankfully, Iain Armitage landed the role and he seems perfectly suited to it. After all, not only is Armitage entertaining on the show but long before he found TV stardom he had a YouTube channel where he published videos of himself critiquing theater! That's so Sheldon!
14 Raegan Revord Has Almost Been A Vegan Her Whole Life
As is the case with a lot of kids, Raegan Revord has big plans for her own future. For example, during an interview with Just Jared Jr. she revealed that she hopes to continue acting into her adulthood and she also wants to branch out into writing and directing.
Not only interested in the entertainment industry, she also made it very clear that she loves animals as she talked about wanting to have a farm so she can rescue animals and ride horseback. That dedication to wildlife is probably why she has been able to boast about being a vegan since she was four years old.
13 Montana Jordan Competed Against 10,000 Other Kids For A Film Role
As we touched on in a previous entry in this list, when Montan Jordan was young several people in his town encouraged him to audition for a film role. As it turns out, those people were definitely onto something as he landed the role in question. Not only that, it was no easy task to be chosen as he was one of 10,000 kids who attempted to land the gig.
While it may seem excessive to have so many kids audition, the role Jordan won was one of the two leading characters in the film The Legacy of a Whitetail Deer Hunter which co-starred Josh Brolin.
12 The 3 Cooper Children Aren’t The Only Stars of Young Sheldon That Acted As Children
When it came to Young Sheldon’s casting process, there is little doubt that finding the right actor to bring the titular character to life was hugely important. On top of that, it really was imperative that the show’s producers found someone that perfectly fit the role of Mary Cooper as fans of The Big Bang Theory already knew that character so well.
Fortunately, Young Sheldon’s producers hit the jackpot when they cast Zoe Perry in the role even though she was a virtual unknown before landing the part. In fact, even though Perry has only become well-known during her mid-30s, she began acting at the age of eight.
11 Annie Potts Credits A Very Famous Actor For Making Filming Her First Movie A Joy
If anyone does a simple Google search, they are bound to find countless examples of celebrities who seem awesome from afar but are a lot less kind in person. Fortunately, for fans of Star Wars, Annie Potts has revealed that she co-starred with Mark Hamill in her first film and he is an amazing guy.
“He is just a lovely person,” Annie Potts shared, as Media Village reports. “I had no experience in film and Mark was very knowledgeable and very helpful. He was also a great teacher, saying things like, ‘No, you don’t want to do that because of lighting.’ He was just lovely and we had a wonderful time. That’s the thing that stands out for me now with [that movie], is just how much fun we had.”
10 Montana Jordan Began Racing At A Very Young Age
Currently focused on his acting career for obvious reasons, since Montana Jordan has attained fame and fortune at a young age his dedication to his newfound profession makes perfect sense. That said, it's also abundantly clear that earlier in his life he was interested in very different things.
For instance, he is very open about how much he loves doing things outdoors and the fact that he is learning to play the acoustic guitar. Amazingly enough, he also took up dirt bike racing at the tender age of five years old.
9 Wallace Shawn Revealed He Isn’t Exactly Wealthy
As anyone who closely follows the world of celebrities will be able to tell you, many stars spend money like they have an endless supply of it. In many cases that is perfectly fine as the person in question has been able to amass an impressive fortune during their lifetime. Unfortunately, there have been some stars, like Wallace Shawn, who should have been a lot more careful with their funds.
While speaking about his finances on the Edmonton AM radio show, Wallace Shawn said, "I'm a desperate man. I've lived beyond my means. Some people are prudent and they hoard any money that they've made, and other people just can't resist that extra hot fudge sundae, even if they can't really afford it."
8 Ryan Phuong Is An Incredible Dancer
Ryan Phuong may not play a member of the Cooper family but his role as Sheldon’s only real friend has added quite a bit to the show. That is why it is a really good thing that Young Sheldon’s producers cast a true entertainer to play the role, even if they haven’t shown off his more remarkable talent on the show so far.
An extremely talented dancer who began learning the discipline at seven years old, he has since grown to love hip-hop music. In fact, he is such a great performer that he has strutted his stuff in one of Chris Brown’s music videos and on Dancing with the Stars!
7 Zoe Perry Has Played A Younger Version Of A Laurie Metcalf Character More Than Once
We truly love Zoe Perry’s performance as Mary Cooper. We feel that way not only because she is funny on the show but also due to the fact that in her role she really seems like a younger version of Laurie Metcalf’s version of the same character.
As it turns out, there are two main reasons why Perry is so good at reminding people of Metcalf. First and foremost, in real life Zoe Perry is Laurie Metcalf’s daughter. Second, it actually is the second time Perry has played a younger version of a Metcalf character on the little screen. After all, she played a young version of her mother’s character from the show Roseanne.
6 Iain Armitage Auditioned For The Show With An iPhone
If you are anything like us, when you got together with your family as a child all you could think about was playing with your younger relatives. Far from your average child, however, during a family get-together Iain Armitage had something very different in mind.
He recorded an audition video on an iPhone while he was at his grandmother’s house in Georgia for a Christmas gathering in 2016. Clearly highly dedicated to his dreams of acting even during a time that is typically reserved for celebration, his efforts paid off for him in a big way!
5 Lance Barber Played A Different Character On The Big Bang Theory
With The Big Bang Theory about to end, many characters from Young Sheldon have already appeared on the show that inspired it. For instance, we’ve seen more mature versions of Sheldon, Mary, Missy, Georgie, Meemaw and Tam from Young Sheldon all appear on The Big Bang Theory.
What many fans of this franchise may not realize though, is that even though George Cooper Sr. will never appear on TBBT, as the character passed away before that show began, the actor who plays him has. Seen during the Season 5 episode “The Speckerman Recurrence,” years before Lance Barber began starring in Young Sheldon he played a former high school bully who picked on Leonard as a teen.
4 Annie Potts Is Called Meemaw By Some On Set
An actor who sometimes doesn’t get her due, Annie Potts has proven that she has incredible staying power and she was simply awesome in a number of roles. Despite the fact that she has worked on movies like the Ghostbusters and Toy Story franchises, however, there now are a lot of people who know her best for her Young Sheldon role.
Fortunately, it seems like she is perfectly okay with that as she has embraced her character on the show so much that the three young actors who play her kids call her Meemaw on the set. Said to have built really strong connections with the trio of child stars, Iain Armitage has even said that he has a "Grandma, Nana and now a Meemaw too".
3 Raegan Revord Has A Famous Best Friend
From the outside looking in, it seems like child actors have lives that have little in common with your average kid. That definitely is true in a lot of ways but just like all of us when we were kids, child celebrities want friends to have fun with. On top of that, they are likely to build bonds with the kids they see regularly.
However, child stars are likely to see their fellow child actors more than any other youngsters. For example, Young Sheldon actor Raegan Revord has become best friends with Aubrey Anderson-Emmons who plays Lily Tucker-Pritchett on Modern Family.
2 Wallace Shawn Said He Takes Himself Too Seriously IRL
After making his film debut all the way back in the late '70s, throughout his lengthy career Wallace Shawn has played a variety of characters. That said, many people think of his many comedic roles first when the actor comes to mind, even though Shawn didn’t even appreciate many of the comedies he starred in.
During an appearance on the Edmonton AM radio show, Wallace Shawn said, "I don't quite get it, but I really made a living with a type of humor that I don't fully appreciate, including the idea of myself as a joke. I'm actually, in my private life, rather pompous and sort of take myself too seriously."
1 Iain Armitage Didn't Watch The Big Bang Theory
Given that the stars of this show owe their current jobs to The Big Bang Theory’s success, you’d probably think that all of the major Young Sheldon actors would be well versed in the history of the franchise. However, the truth of the matter is that the actor who plays Young Sheldon’s titular character isn’t a fan of TBBT.
In fact, when the cast spoke at PaleyFest in 2018, Iain Armitage was baffled when relationship agreements were brought up because he’d never heard of them. That may have changed since then but we at least know that Armitage didn’t bother to watch TBBT even after Young Sheldon first became a huge hit.
Sources: Her Campus, Media Village, CBS, Just Jared Jr., IMDb