‘Young Sheldon’: Inside George’s Funeral Farewell With Lance Barber & Zoe Perry (VIDEO)

[Warning: The below contains MAJOR spoilers Young Sheldon‘s Series Finale Episodes.]

Young Sheldon closed the book on seven seasons of prequel magic in two final installments, bidding Cooper family patriarch George (Lance Barber) farewell in the first half and sending Sheldon (Iain Armitage) off to college in the second, while also unveiling a glimpse at future Sheldon (Jim Parsons) and his wife Amy (Mayim Bialik).

In the tear-jerking opening installment, George’s funeral unfolded, which was understandably difficult for the family to cope with, including matriarch Mary (Zoe Perry). To fully capture the gravity of the unfolding event, Barber decided to lay in the casket for scenes as different family members delivered parting words for the beloved family member.

“We can at once be kind of goofing off between takes and taking selfies, me and Lance… and then also when we’re shooting something and our producers ask me to go even further into emotion. It’s not difficult when I’m talking directly to him,” Perry says of her experience filming the funeral. It also helped that he was “emotional” in the casket, Perry reveals.

Iain Armitage in 'Young Sheldon'

Sonja Flemming/CBS

“That’s a good anecdote to share because I had a lot of plans in the casket,” Barber tells us. “I had a fart machine, I had a mustache. I had a lot of little funny teeth. I was going to do a lot of little tricks for some levity to break up this very emotional shoot day. I was going to ruin at least a few takes with some sort of jokey thing,” he continues.

Ultimately, that didn’t exactly pan out. “I was an absolute mess as soon as it started,” Barber admits. “And they were over me, so they couldn’t see me in the casket for that shot for their coverage.” But he shares that Perry asked him if he needed a tissue or some water as he got so emotional. “I didn’t do any of my funny little bits because it certainly hit me emotionally,” Barber adds.

As for the decision to include this heavy moment in Sheldon’s life, Barber says, “To take the ride with this family and their experience, which we’ve been doing for seven seasons… why wouldn’t we want to join them for this very significant shift in all of their lives?”

While many of the family members had their own goodbyes to George, it was Sheldon who struggled the most, imagining his dad’s final day as a multiverse where he reacted differently the morning of George’s death. “Obviously, Sheldon is not an outwardly emotional character and doesn’t necessarily process his emotions as other people do. So it felt like this was a way for him to process his emotions, to focus on that last moment with his dad, and have regret about that last moment, but not quite know how to deal with that,” executive producer Steve Holland tells TV Insider.

“How he deals with that is to try to rewind and rewrite that moment. That felt like a very Sheldon way to process his emotions,” Holland continues, pointing out that it also deeply impacts his family members, particularly Missy (Raegan Revord) who is angry about the way Sheldon copes.  “He just seems like he’s stoic and emotionless in a way that makes her angry,” Holland elaborates.

“But what people don’t realize is that Sheldon is emotional in his own way.” This is one of the reasons that despite delivering a speech onscreen, Sheldon didn’t actually eulogize his father at his funeral. “It’s a big moment to go up and to the casket and say goodbye. And I think for Sheldon that’s an emotionally overwhelming moment for him.”

The choice to put Sheldon’s imaginary speech into the show came as a result of juxtaposing it with his future Nobel prize acceptance speech. “It took adult Sheldon a long time to get to a place where he could sort of stand up in front of an audience,” Holland points out, but the creative team wanted to give the character a moment to say goodbye to George.

See Barber and Perry’s full comments on George’s funeral in the video, above.