CBS has green-lit Young Sheldon, a Big Bang Theory prequel series that will star Iain Armitage as a 9-year-old version of Sheldon Cooper. He has some big shoes to fill, especially since Jim Parsons has won a Golden Globe and four Emmys for playing the adult Sheldon. But if anyone is up for the task, it might be Armitage.
Deadline confirmed on March 13 that CBS has put in a straight-to-series order for Young Sheldon, with The Jungle Book‘s Jon Favreau directing. The series begins on Monday, September 25 at 8:30 p.m. ET.
Here’s what you need to know about Armitage’s life.
1. He’s a Theater Critic With Over 5,000 YouTube Subscribers
Three years ago, when he was only four years old, his parents uploaded his first theatrical review on YouTube at his YouTube page. He has over 5,000 subscribers now, all of whom enjoy listening to his reviews of shows.
Some of the shows Iain has reviewed include Hairspray, How To Succeed in Business Without Really Trying, Pippin, Gypsy, Rocky, Oliver!, School of Rock, Matilda and, most recently Mrs. Miller Does Her Thing. Iain’s work gained so much attention that he was on an episode of Little Big Shots in 2016.
According to a February New York Times profile, Iain’s big break came when agent Jamie Pillet found his Facebook page. She asked his parents if he was interested in acting. His mother, producer Lee Armitage, wasn’t thrilled at first, but they agreed to see Pillet during a pre-planned trip to New York.
When Iain showed up to the meeting dressed as the Phantom of the Opera, he was signed.
2. His Father Played Boy George in Broadway’s ‘Taboo’
Iain’s father is Euan Morton, who was born in Scotland. He has appeared in three Broadway productions – Taboo, Cyrano de Bergerac and Sondheim on Sondheim. He is currently a part of a Hedwig and the Angry Inch touring production and appeared in a special benefit performance of Hair in 2004.
In Taboo, Morton played Boy George. According to a 2004 Buzz Magazine story, there was gossip that he and Boy George were having an affair, which he thought was hilarious.
“Somebody wrote on [gossip website] Popbitch that George and I were having an affair, which is hilarious,” Morton told Buzz Magazine. “So George e-mailed them back going ‘that puts a whole new meaning to go fuck yourself, doesn’t it?’ which I thought was quite clever.”
3. His Grandfather Was Involved in the Valerie Plame Scandal
Iain’s mother is producer Lee Armitage and the family lives in Arlington, Virginia. Morton and Armitage have been married since 2004.
Armitage’s father is Richard Armitage, who served as Deputy Secretary of State under President George W. Bush from March 2001 to February 2005. Armitage played a role in the Valerie Plame Affair as the person who told journalist Robert Novak about Plame’s identity, which was classified information as she was a CIA covert officer.
Armitage said he leaked Plame’s name by accident. “I feel terrible,” Armitage told CBS News in 2006. “Every day, I think, I let down the president. I let down the secretary of state. I let down my department, my family, and I also let down Mr. and Mrs. Wilson.”
4. He Starred in HBO’s ‘Big Little Lies’ With Reese Witherspoon
Iain made his acting debut in an episode of Law & Order: SVU. He then starred in HBO’s Big Little Lies, which stars Reese Witherspoon, Shailene Woodley and Nicole Kidman. That’s a heck of a cast for an eight-year-old to work with! Woodley plays his mother.
“My main tool is my imagination,” he told the New York Times when asked how he prepared for the role. “I love playing. Things like Transformers. Movies is basically just playing, but bigger, and people watching.”
5. He’s Going to Star in the Movie ‘The Glass Castle’ With Brie Larson
Iain’s next big film is The Glass Castle, which will be a reunion between Short Term 12 director Destin Daniel Cretton and star Brie Larson. Woody Harrelson and Naomi Watts also star in the film, based on Jeannette Walls’ memoir. Her book centered on her unconventional upbringing in poverty.
Iain will also star in I’m Not Here with J.K. Simmons, as well as Our Souls At Night, a Netflix movie with Jane Fonda.
Despite all these movie projects, Iain clearly would love to be a theater actor.
“You get so lost in it, you actually think it’s a reality,” he told the New York Times of theater. “And it’s much better, in my opinion, than television or movies because they’re actually right in front of you.”