After The Big Bang Theory ended in 2019 after 12 seasons, series star Kaley Cuoco's moved on from Penny to star as Cassie Bowden in The Flight Attendant on HBO Max and it's a role that came with new experiences for Cuoco. Among them was her first-ever sex scene and according to Cuoco, it ended up being an awkward situation, one that left her feeling very out of her element.
As part of The Hollywood Reporter's Comedy Actress Roundtable Cuoco revealed her challenges with the sex scene in The Flight Attendant, remarking that even her co-star Michiel Huisman told her she was making things weirder than it needed to be.
"I had never done any sort of sex scene ever, and I had one in Flight Attendant with Michiel," Cuoco said. "He'd been in Game of Thrones so he'd done all these scenes, and I just had no idea. When they called 'cut', I'd be hovering over him like I was on a toilet. I'm like, 'I'm not touching anything, I'm not looking at anything.' I didn't know what to do. He was like, 'You're acting so weird, you're making this way weirder than it needs to be.' But I was totally out of my element."
Cuoco also explained that she was nervous about her role on The Flight Attendant more generally because she was doing something different than what she'd done for years as Penny.
"For me, coming from a sitcom of 12 years, it was about trying to do something different — but not so different that people are like, 'Why is she doing that?'" Cuoco said. "It was a bit of a fine line. Like, I wanted to flex different muscles, but I get asked a lot, 'Are you trying to get away from Penny?' And the answer is not at all. I would've played Penny for 20 years. But I was nervous, wondering, like, am I going to be accepted, even by the business? Or are [people] going to be like, 'Why is this sitcom girl trying to do this semi-serious show?' And [then] it was like, where is the audience? Why isn't anyone laughing? I need people just to clap for me 24/7."
Even though moving on from Penny came with its challenges, Cuoco has been clear about how important The Big Bang Theory has been to her career. She previously told Metro she owes the series her whole career.
"People that are trying so hard to erase what got them here is wrong. I think you got to embrace it. I owe my whole career to The Big Bang Theory. I say that all the time," Cuoco explained.
She continued, "There's a misconception like people that are on shows for a long time get so worried about being 'typecast' but I used to laugh because if I'm typecast as the girl next door in a sitcom for the rest of my life then that's the best thing that could ever happen to me."