Annie Potts Previews ‘Absolutely Beautiful’ Young Sheldon Finale That Left Her ‘Gutted’

The Meemaw actress tells Young Sheldon fans to get their tissues ready for the May 16 series finale.

“A Proper Wedding and Skeletons in the Closet” -- Georgie and Mandy get married! Meanwhile, Meemaw’s gambling room gets raided, on YOUNG SHELDON, Thursday, April 11 (8:00-8:31 PM, ET/PT) on the CBS Television Network, and streaming on Paramount+ (live and on demand for Paramount+ with SHOWTIME subscribers, or on demand for Paramount+ Essential subscribers the day after the episode airs)*. Pictured (L-R): Zoe Perry as Mary, Lance Barber as George Sr., Craig T Nelson as Coach Dale Ballard, and Annie Potts as Meemaw
Photo: Robert Voets | CBS

While there are many different roles and projects that Annie Potts can be recognized for, the actress has warmed our hearts and made us laugh out loud as Meemaw for the past seven years on Young Sheldon, the prequel spinoff of The Big Bang Theory

The series gave fans insight into Sheldon’s childhood in East Texas and more importantly, his loving and hilarious family. Unfortunately, all good things must come to an end and on May 16, we will have to say goodbye to the Cooper family in a two-part series finale. 

Before that tearful day, however, Den of Geek had the opportunity to speak with Potts about the story’s legacy, her thoughts on the emotional finale, why she chose to join the cast, working with the younger actors on the show over the years, and more. 

Den of Geek: I have been watching from the very beginning and am a fan of The Big Bang Theory as well, obviously, but Young Sheldon just took it to a whole new level with the family aspect. This show has been on for seven seasons, so when you look back at that, what do you hope its legacy is? And how do you hope Meemaw fits into the legacy?

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Annie Potts: I’ve always thought that it was really a study on how we all have people in our family that we have to explain to everyone else. It was about showing people how to deal with those that you have to explain and how frustrating it is. So I think there was a point of view for almost anybody. But at the end of the day, it’s like, well, you just love them, you know? That’s love. Love wins out in the end. 

Meemaw has been going through it this season. I mean, with her house and now losing her businesses, she’s had a really rough time.

Yes, even she says in the end, “Tornadoes, prison, death, what’s next?”

But you know what? It gave you so much screen time and material to work with, so I was happy to see that and she does seem happy in her relationship with Dale. Could you tease what’s next for her and how she handles this next chapter now that she has lost her businesses and her house?

Well, here’s the thing, the show’s canceled. So we may never know. 

We’re not going to find out before the end? Do we get anything from Meemaw? Any happiness before the finale? 

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I don’t want to give too much away, but they don’t put a bow on it. 

With that in mind, were you satisfied with the ending or would you have wanted the show to keep going? 

I mean, the whole season has been quite remarkable but the last three episodes are absolutely beautiful and if the last two episodes don’t win them a bunch of awards, it will be a shame and I would be shocked because they’re really, really amazing writing pieces. 

Wow, so I’m going to need my tissues is what you’re telling me?

Oh, yeah, get the box, honey.

I’m ready. Can you describe to me how it was reading the final script? I don’t know if you did a big table read with everyone or if you got to read it on your own.

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We don’t do those. I mean, normally people do. When we first started, our hours were very limited with the children and there just weren’t enough hours in the day to shoot and then carve out an hour or so to sit down and read the scripts. I miss doing that. I think it’s really helpful to do it but they just didn’t find that they had the time. 

What was your reaction when you were reading those final scripts? How did you feel?

Oh, gutted. Absolutely gutted. I mean, it’s no holds barred. 

Your character feels like the glue of the family in a lot of ways, especially when it comes to the kids. Can you tell me a little bit about bringing those dynamics to life and also seeing the kids grow up?

I have three children of my own, so obviously, I like kids and I was really thrilled to have another shot at raising some other kids. I mean, we spent so much time together, it’s been half their lives. 

Yeah, it’s been crazy to see them grow up on screen too. They’re all so talented. 

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They are. I felt that it was part of us mature actors, experienced actors, to show them how to work – just the etiquette, the courtesy, the work ethic, all of that, you know? You show up on time, you have your lines done, you get a direction, you accept it, you try to incorporate it, you say, “Thank you.” All of that stuff, I mean, it’s like table manners. If you bring a friend home to have dinner with your parents and they have bad table manners, that’s not gonna go well, you know what I mean? In most houses, it would be like, “Well, I don’t know, I guess they’re nice, but holy smoke.” So we try to teach them the good table manners of actors. 

You kind of led me to my next question because I love the family dinner scenes. They’re so much fun to watch. Can you tell me about filming those? I imagine it’s fun to have everyone in the same room together.

It is. They take a very, very long time. I can’t even tell you how complicated those scenes are, especially when they were really young, it was hard for them to sit still that long. But we love those because it brought us all together and when we did the last one, a lot of tears were shed. 

Meemaw was such a built-up character on The Big Bang Theory and Sheldon had spoken so much about the importance of their relationship. When you first got the script, what about the character made you want to take on the role? 

Well, they did not hire me until after they’d shot the pilot, so I had the benefit of being able to see the pilot and base my decision to join them on that, which was beautiful because often, you’re not quite sure what you’re signing on for. But the pilot was so beautiful, so funny, and so touching. I thought, “Oh yeah, this is [it],” and I mean, that was my source material. I didn’t go and look at The Big Bang Theory and see how she acted then. I treated that as if that was a separate universe because I couldn’t really build on what was done there. I was going on what they were writing then.

I have to ask you about your favorite episodes. Do you have one when you look back that either has a fond memory of filming or something you really loved? One of mine was how Meemaw got involved when Missy wasn’t allowed on the baseball team. That, to me, was such an amazing, powerful scene when you go to Dale and you demand he gives her a shot. 

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Well, Meemaw‘s quite the feminist considering she would have been born around 1925. So, she was kind of a trailblazing, ferocious woman and of course, that was fun to play. I don’t think about the episodes so much. Let’s see, we did 141 shows, so that’s 71 hours. So, it’s just like 71 hours of one episode to me. 

For Meemaw, stepping into the role of grandma was one thing, but now she gets to be a great-grandma and we get to see that side of her. Can you talk to me about bringing that point of view to life? 

She was a real feminist about it. She didn’t judge them that they had sex out of wedlock or any of that. She just wanted to be there in support and of course, then they named the baby after herself. 

I want to ask if you have any sort of message you want to give to the fans who have been watching for the past seven seasons and have so much love for it. 

Just thanks for watching. 

Do you have anything that you can tease for what’s next for you? You were just in Ghostbusters: Frozen Empire. Anything else we can look forward to? 

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You know, I think that I will take a little rest.

You deserve it. 

Yeah, I don’t know what I’m gonna do next, but I think something will come along. I love to work, so I will not be sitting idle, I’ll tell you that.

New episodes of Young Sheldon’s final season air Thursdays at 8 p.m. ET on CBS.