Simon Helberg is best known for his role as socially inept aerospace engineer Howard Wolowitz on the hit CBS comedy The Big Bang Theory — a character who will soon be a father for the first time on the show’s upcoming 10th season.
But in real life, the 35-year-old actor has two children of his own with wife Jocelyn Towne: son Wilder, 2, and daughter Adeline, 4. And when asked how his experiences in fatherhood might help him play one on TV, he admits a lot of that is in the writers’ hands — but that he’ll be able to relate to his character in one big way.
“[Howard is] gonna need so much channeling,” Helberg, who currently appears in the new dramedy biopic Florence Foster Jenkins alongside Meryl Streep and Hugh Grant, tells PEOPLE. “You bring everything you have in your arsenal to every character, so it’s helpful to have experience as a dad.
“I’m sure the writers are gonna make him a pretty clumsy, inept father, which … sometimes it starts that way, so that I can also relate to,” he adds. “There’s a nice learning curve, so hopefully he’ll grow up a bit.”