How Kaley Cuoco moved on from sitcom past to serve up racy sex scene in 'Flight Attendant'
For Kaley Cuoco, HBO Max '"The Flight Attendant" is 10,000 frequent flyer miles away from CBS' "The Big Bang Theory". This became evident during an intimate scene in the limited series that involved her title character Cassie Bowden and a passenger lover (Michiel Huisman).
"8 o'clock on the network is a little different from HBO Max all night. I had scenes like this on 'Big Bang' but it was like a real sex scene. I said to Michiel, 'I never did it Have you done that before? 'He says, "Yeah, like 30, 40 times." And I said, "WHAT?" "Cuoco says that during a zoom interview from the breezy suburb of Los Angeles she shares with her husband, the rider Karl Cook.
Cuoco pissed off at Huisman, who played Daenerys Targaryen's lover in Game of Thrones.
"When they called Action, I still wasn't really giving it my all," she says. "Michiel finally says, 'It looks like you're floating over a public toilet. What are you doing?' I say, "I don't know what I'm doing." So he had to clumsily teach me how to have the wrong sex. "
Review: Kaley Cuoco easily leaves 'Big Bang' in the goofy but exciting 'The Flight Attendant'
"The Big Bang Theory" star Kaley Cuoco is switching from broadcast to streaming with her latest series, HBO Max '"The Flight Attendant".
It should be obvious that we are no longer in Leonard and Sheldon's apartment. That's okay with Cuoco, 34, who is taking a giant leap from "Big Bang" as the central star and executive producer of the eight-episode dark-hilarious thriller (the first three episodes of Thanksgiving Day) based on Chris Bohjalian's 2018 novel of the same Surname.
Although her "Big Bang" character Penny and her free-spirited Cassie share common traits ("They both love to party"), the flight attendant has more worrisome issues: a serious drinking problem and troubled childhood memories. And, oh yes, a bloody corpse in her bed.
"This is definitely my coming out party in the sense that I can show everyone that I can do something other than comedy. It's going to be pretty dark, pretty emotional," she says. "This is my way of pushing down the door and saying, 'I can do more and I love to do more.' ""
She doesn't worry about the huge shadows cast by Chuck Lorre-produced "Big Bang," a cultural touchstone and rating blockbuster that ended its 12-season run last year.
"'Big Bang' is such a planet of its own, its own dimension, its own track. It relieves me because I can never compare anything to it," says Cuoco, recognizing how "special" the show is for her.
Steven Molaro, executive producer of "Big Bang" and spin-off "Young Sheldon", watched the first two episodes of "Flight Attendant" and was blown away by Cuoco's transition.
Kaley Cuoco plays Cassie Bowden, the title character in HBO Max's "The Flight Attendant".
"It doesn't feel like you're watching Penny. She's a different person," he says, recalling a "big bang" scene where her unwritten tears added to the sharpness. "Between making incredible choices as an actor and being in the moment at the same time, I've never seen anything like it."
Still, fans can't always separate an actor from a career role. A native of California, Cuoco believes the wisdom developed over a long career that included her first film credit at the age of 6. Playing childhood versions of the characters of Claire Danes and Ellen DeGeneres in their '90s television series; as a teenager working with John Ritter on "8 Simple Rules"; and joined the final season of "Charmed" a year before her "Big Bang" debut at the age of 21.
"I know that for every person who loves you there are about 20 who don't. So I'm very aware of that and I'm ready," she says.
Cassie Bowden (Kaley Cuoco) shares an intimate moment with Alex (Michiel Huisman), a passenger she met on a flight on HBO Max's "The Flight Attendant".
Cuoco started preparing for her future when "Big Bang" was still going strong. In 2017 she founded Yes, Norman Productions (named after her 14-year-old rescue pit bull mix, one of her seven dogs) and acquired the rights to "Flight" Attendant. "
Cassie's drinking plays weird at first, but signals darker underlying problems. (The character chugs airline-sized vodka bottles as if they were water - which luckily they were to Cuoco. She drank so many on the set: "I kept running to pee.")
Kaley Cuoco, center, hit the same payday of $ 1 million per episode as her male co-stars Jim Parsons (left) and Johnny Galecki during The Big Bang Theory's 12-year run.
A romantic romp through Bangkok turns into a nightmare when a drunken Cassie faints and wakes up next to Alex's bloody corpse. That drives her on a roller coaster ride full of mistakes and brave but daring risks to avoid arrest, to remember what happened and not to be killed in the process.
As her life progresses, Cassie relies on flight attendant Megan (Rosie Perez) and lawyer Annie (Zosia Mamet), friends who have their own secrets.
Cuoco, who describes her acting approach as "flying past the seat of my pants", asked director Susanna Fogel if she should give up her "wing it" style and prepare more diligently to play a character who deals with trauma.
Flight attendants Shane (Griffin Matthews) (left) and Megan (Rosie Perez) suspect that their colleague Cassie (Kaley Cuoco) was found dead at his hotel with Max '"The" the next day on HBO the next day one of their passengers was a flight attendant. "
"And she said, 'Don't change anything that got you there,'" recalls Cuoco. "I almost cried. It was so liberating."
Cuoco has the skills for the complex role and a personality that lets viewers know they are "in good hands" when they try something new, says Steve Yockey, executive producer of Flight Attendant, who has story ideas that'll go beyond the book when the show gets a second season. "She has this effervescence and charm and is very open. At the same time, she is smart in her decisions. And she is not afraid to take risks."
In addition to "Flight Attendant," Cuoco speaks the colorful title character of HBO Max's animated "Harley Quinn," now heading towards Season 3, and she will be producing in "America's Sweetheart," a half-hour comedy being developed for Apple TV + and play the main role.
As a teenager, Kaley Cuoco (right) played the daughter of John Ritter's character in ABC's "8 Simple Rules," which premiered in 2002.
Cuoco, who mentions Jennifer Aniston, Reese Witherspoon and Regina King as acting / producing role models, found expression in a film called "The Man from Toronto" after Flight Attendant closed this fall.
When the COVID-19 pandemic broke off filming of "Flight Attendant" in March and brought "Workaholic" Cuoco to a standstill for five months, it was a personal advantage: She and Cook, whom she met at a horse show almost five years ago, and Married in 2018, eventually moved in together.
Kaley Cuoco and her husband, the rider Karl Cook, moved into their new home together when the pandemic halted production of HBO Max's "The Flight Attendant" in March.
"We bought our dream home some time ago and just with our work plans - he travels with the horses - we couldn't move in," says Cuoco, who has spoken about living apart from her husband after more than a year of marriage in the past Interviews. "With the pandemic, we had to nest and do the whole thing. So it was actually a gift for both of us."
After Flight Attendant and Toronto complete, Cuoco is back home planning more horse riding, which "keeps me very healthy and normal," especially during the pandemic.
One day Cuoco imagines enjoying life on the ranch with Cook to the fullest.
"A big part of our relationship is the bond we have with our horses, this lifestyle that we really love. I could see us living in Kentucky or anywhere we could have a big ranch," she says. "That would be a dream."
This article originally appeared in the US TODAY: 'Kaley Cuoco of the Big Bang Theory about faking racy' flight attendant 'sex
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