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Jim Parsons brings moving, poignant ‘Spoiler Alert’ to big screen


As a movie title “Spoiler Alert” puts it all upfront: This intimate look at a gay couple is going to be sad because – check out the title – one is going to die.

It began when Jim Parsons, whose hits range from TV’s “The Big Bang Theory” to Broadway and streaming versions of “The Boys in the Band,” read Michael Ausiello’s more explicitly titled memoir, “Spoiler Alert: The Hero Dies.”

“What attracted me — and I don’t know that I was conscious of it when I first read it — but I felt powerfully moved by the story. And my husband (Todd Spiewak, they’ve been together 20 years) would actually watch me read the book and was, ‘You’re crying a lot. This should make a good movie.’

“I said, ‘I don’t know.’ And then he read it and he cried a lot and I was like, ‘This would be a good movie!’

“What ultimately makes it powerful,” Parsons, 49, continued in a Zoom interview, “is that the book and the film allow you to spend quiet time, intimate time, with these two humans who love each other. I think that allows you to develop a real sense of understanding, empathy and connection to them when they go through this harrowing journey together.”

Parsons stars and produced “Spoiler Alert” which costars English actor Ben Aldridge as his cancer-stricken, doomed partner Kit Cowan and Sally Field as Marilyn Cowan, his mother.

Unlike so many projects, Parsons never worried “Spoiler” wouldn’t be made.  “If you want to do this kind of story, it’s probably for a very heartfelt reason,” he figured. “And that’s probably another thing that had everybody involved — if you want to tell a story like this, it’s because you really care about showing a specific, special part of what it is to be human. I felt I learned more about myself going through this project as a gay male.”

Currently, Parsons is starring off-Broadway in a musical revival of “A Man of No Importance,” playing a closeted gay man who changes so many lives for the better.

There’s a chance the show will eventually land on Broadway. But that wasn’t the reason he committed to eight performances a week. “It wasn’t the character, it was really John Doyle, the director. He’s somebody I admired and had never worked with before.

“And I’m glad I followed my heart and said yes. Because this has been a very expansive and enriching experience. Again, both as an actor and as a human.”

“Spoiler Alert” opens Dec. 9


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