Simon Helberg later clarified that the scenes utilized some special camera movements to further sell the appearance of floating in space and, of course, the seesaw and the men operating it were removed later in postproduction. And while Helberg was quick to joke about how the experience left him numb, he never gave his performance as much credit for the scenes, which co-star Jim Parsons, who played Sheldon Cooper, was quick to rectify. “Everything about his ‘antigravity movement’, if that’s what it’s called, was completely him. Absolutely astounding,” Parsons extolled, with many of the cast members voicing their enthusiastic agreement.
It’s fascinating to hear about all the work that’s put in and the painstaking discomfort that our favorite actors go through to create an illusion that most audiences wouldn’t think twice about. After all, when recreating antigravity conditions on a space station, it’d hardly be thought that an actor would be strapped to a rig pulled by two different people.
Though he is the butt of most of the jokes on “The Big Bang Theory,” Howard Wolowitz gets his due in Season 6 when NASA selects his telescope to be installed on the International Space Station with him as the payload specialist to install it, which means Howard gets the incredible opportunity to train to become an astronaut and go to space. Not bad for a so-called oompa-loompa of science.
Nicknamed Froot Loops by his peers, Howard launches into space and spends three weeks on the International Space Station. And it’s during these scenes on the space station that audiences saw the well-executed illusion of a man floating in space.