Over the course of twelve seasons, Kaley Cuoco became America's sweetheart in the role of Penny, on The Big Bang Theory. The show enjoyed the kind of popularity that has not been seen since the days of Friends. Now that the series has ended, Cuoco told the LA Times that she has made her peace with the fact that no future project she participates in will ever rival the popularity of The Big Bang Theory.
"That experience - the cast, the amount of time spent together, the pay, the ratings - like, it was nuts, it was unheard of. That was so special and will be a part of my heart for the rest of my life. Nothing will ever compare to that, and I think knowing that helps me separate that from what I'm doing now, which is so different and new."
Since the end of The Big Bang Theory, the actors of the long-running sitcom, particularly Kaley Cuoco and Jim Parsons, have been quick to take on a range of projects that allow them to showcase a new side to their actings skills to audiences.
In Cuoco's case, she opted to voice the lead role of Harley Quinn in the character's critically acclaimed animated show, which has rapidly become one of the most successful cartoon series of recent times. In the past, the actress had explained how the job of voicing Harley had allowed her to step away from the mannerisms and acting tics that audiences had grown to associate with the character of Penny.
"I think with any character, especially when on a new show, it takes some getting used to. I've perfected certain looks and facial expressions over the years, so this in a way was harder - also because I'm voicing someone as iconic as Harley. And also, my voice is very recognizable, so I didn't want to force an accent or try to be someone I'm not. I'm 'Kaley as Harley,' and accepting that early on enabled me to me free and very authentic."
Cuoco is gearing up for the release of her new HBO Max series, The Flight Attendant, which will see the actress in the role of an airline hostess who wakes up in a strange city in a hotel bed to discover a dead body in the room. While Cuoco is nervous about the long shadow cast by The Big Bang Theory affecting how fans see her upcoming show, she is proud of what the team behind the new series has managed to accomplish.
"I'm a little bit nervous, because, obviously, how can I not be a little bit nervous? People have seen me in a certain way for a very long time. But I'm thrilled for people to see this because, I mean, we finished this thing in the middle of a [global emergency]. That alone deserves a cheer right there."
The Flight Attendant begins streaming on Thursday, November 26, on HBO Max. This news originated at latimes.com.