Heavy sat down with Wil Wheaton to talk about his role on The Big Bang Theory. We cover everything from his character’s relationship with Penny and Sheldon, to his similarity to Leonard in real life, to his new science project of brewing his own beer.
He joined the show in Season 3, quickly becoming the entertaining nemesis-turned-friend of Sheldon and professional mentor to Penny. On April 9th, he debuts on Season 8, asking Penny to participate in his podcast. When asked where he wants his character’s storyline to go, he said:
You know, no one’s ever asked me that. I always wanted Penny and Wil Wheaton to be a show together and I always imagined it being a really bad play, like just something that’s painful to sit through. So when they put us in Serial Apeist II: Monkey See, Monkey Kill, it kind of fulfilled that desire for me.
The actor, who calls Jim Parsons “phenomenally professional” and “a delightful human being,” appreciates the fact that Wil and Sheldon have grown to become friends. “I really like the way they have written Wil Wheaton to care about Sheldon. I like that relationship a lot and I hope they will explore it further,” he said.
As for when we can expect to see him on the show, he explains that he generally doesn’t know until one or two weeks beforehand that he’ll be appearing on an episode. Whenever he’s on set though, he channels his inner nerd, providing insight to the cast and crew on nerd culture.
In real life, I’m more like Leonard than I am Wil Wheaton…I get to perform the role of interpreter for the actors all the time from whatever nerd thing they’re doing to what that means for them.
Part of his job includes suggesting the t-shirts the characters wear. “Whenever I go in, the costume department asks me if I’ve come across anything recently that I like or if there’s something that I found that they haven’t found that will work for one of the other characters,” he said.
Besides using it on The Big Bang Theory, Wheaton put his love for science to work by homebrewing his own beer. “It spoke to the nerd part of me that can’t casually like a thing,” he said. The result of his new hobby is Wheaton’s Own Goin’ To California Pale Ale.
“I love science. I love chemistry. I love cooking. I love beer…You can put three of those things together and make one of them,” he said. His penchant for beer led to him being asked by Newcastle to promote their new Scotch Ale. See the commercial below.
So will Wheaton introduce his home-brewed beer on the show? Well, since you can’t drink beer on television, he took a different approach. “I did take one of the labels from my beer and put it on a beer bottle filled with water and it’s in Wil Wheaton’s house. So if you squint, you can see it.”