It’s been a busy year for Howard Wolowitz on The Big Bang Theory. After his trip to space, he returned to his beloved Bernadette but had to deal with some not-so-happy memories of the past concerning his long-absent father.
For Simon Helberg, he’s enjoyed the journey this past season of both the comedy and the heavier story points and only hopes for more moving forward.
The actor also teased some of the big moments coming in this week’s “The Love Spell Potential” along with The Big Bang Theory Season 6 finale, “The Bon Voyage Reaction.” Read on for excerpts from our exclusive Q&A...
TV Fanatic: I know you’re a new dad in real life but has it changed your perspective on life in general?
Simon Helberg: For awhile there, I said ‘wow, I’m tired.’ That hit hard. But it’s just every day there’s something completely new and amazing and you’re watching sort of mirrored evolution in some way. It’s actually pretty incredible. You’re just watching this little, tiny blob become a person…it’s an amazing time.
TVF: Interesting that one of Howard’s bigger stories this season was about his father and the unopened letter. Can you talk about just getting that episode? I don’t know if you knew that backstory before that episode or…?
SH: I learned it as the audience learned it. I thought they did such a wonderful job handling that kind of gravity and having it just unfold in that way and walk the line of real emotional depth and humor at the same time. You know, without falling into any sappy, very special episode like moments.
It was a challenge, I think, to walk that line, but the writers and the actors at this point, too, know the characters so well that it’s really exciting to get to peel back a layer after six years that nobody knew was there and have it really seem organic to who these people are so it was very exciting for me to get to deal with like oh, okay, you know what? Maybe I understand some more about season one and two Howard now that we see he didn’t have a male role model. We see that okay, he really does love his mother and he’s protective of her and maybe he’s overcompensating for not having that testosterone in the house.
You can get psychological about it but I think ultimately that episode was really just a beautifully well-rounded show. It just showed everybody and the closeness of friends and how much they all love each other and what they’re willing to do to comfort each other and you know, you get that the jokes that kind of hit harder, I think, too when they’re sandwiched between these poignant moments.
TVF: I loved the interaction between you and Melissa [Rauch, who plays Bernadette] in those scenes because we see a lot of humor between the two characters but it was a nice episode for their relationship.
SH: Yeah, you see how much she loves him and obviously how much he loves her, but how much she’s willing to make him feel safe and happy and it was really sweet and it’s a really clever way, I think, to resolve that issue at the end using science to actually quell these emotional questions. I think it represents, in some way, where the show is at this point…and that happened a lot more this season. I think a great deal because of Steve Molaro [Executive Producer] who is at the head of it now and he likes real moments and real depth and so you have seen that quite a bit this year.
TVF: If you were in the writers room next season, would you want them to get back to this story or do you think it’s better left where it was left in that episode?
SH: I would love to find out some more information or I think they could definitely mine that kind of particular story. I think in terms of the letter…obviously it’s there for Howard at all times. I think it’s probably something that’s just built into him. It’s a kind of that complex tug and pull of this relationship with his father or lack of relationship so I think it’s easily something that can be dug up again or I think it would be very interesting to potentially find the father’s trying to contact him or the other way around…Howard keeps all that buried so there could be a lot of other stuff that’s buried too.
TVF: What can you tease us coming up in these next episodes?
SH: Well, the one that airs this week is a really fun episode where the guys are playing Dungeons and Dragons again and the girls are trying to actually go to Vegas for a girls’ weekend and their plan gets foiled and they end up coming and join the guys. They try to turn Dungeons and Dragons into a craps table basically.
Howard is the Dungeon Master for the first time whereas Leonard has always played that part and Sheldon is very uncomfortable with the change and then it turns out that Howard is the best Dungeon Master ever because he can do all these voices and impressions and act out these things and so Sheldon starts mocking Leonard for that and praising Howard. I won’t give it away, but the ending is pretty amazing and there’s some big things that happen with Sheldon and Amy.
TVF: And the season finale?
SH: The season ends, as always, with a lot of unresolved issues and an adventure as well that Leonard is going on and Howard hooks him up with going to the North Sea with Stephen Hawking’s crew. Leonard decides to take that and go away for months and months and his relationship with Penny has never been better. Sheldon doesn’t want to be alone and Howard gets a little competitive that Leonard is having this going away party for his thing when no one cared about Howard going to space.
â€¨Raj and Lucy, there’s also some major developments in that story that are unprecedented. It really feels like a fully formed season and show. I mean, everybody has so many incredible moments particularly in the last episodes.
Jim Halterman is the West Coast Editor of TV Fanatic and the owner of JimHalterman.com. Follow him on Twitter.