It’s only been a few years since but already, has proven that there’s more to her acting chops than sitcom comedy. After wrapping up her work on the show, the California native has taken on a variety of roles. Not to mention, she’s gotten and Emmy nominations too.
And while some may have expected Cuoco to have a little time off after working on for over a decade, it turns out the actress wasn’t interested in taking a break at all. Instead, Cuoco wanted to keep on going for the sake of her career. She also pursued one role in particular.
Cuoco started out as a child actress in the early 90s, booking small roles in shows like , the Claire Danes-led , Ellen DeGeneres’ , and .
Soon after, the actress appeared in one episode of 7th Heaven before landing a regular role as Bridget Hennessy in the comedy . May considered this to be Cuoco’s breakout moment.
True enough, . “I’ve been very fortunate to continue to work and play my age,” Cuoco reflected during a conversation with David Spade for .
“I kind of grew up on camera. I was with you when I was 18 for a few years, and then was on for a minute, and moved into when I was 21.”
proved to be a huge television success and Cuoco ended up playing Penny throughout 12 seasons. And throughout this time, the actress felt quite optimistic about her future (“I was like, ‘The right job will come along.’ It always has. I wasn’t overly stressed,” she said).
But then, the people around her felt differently and urged Cuoco to plan for her future beyond the CBS comedy. They also gave her an interesting suggestion.
“During the last few years of , my team had been slowly nudging me, saying, ‘I know it feels like this might last the rest of your life, but it’s not going to, so if there’s anything else you want to do, or if you want to option a book or an article, you should,’” the actress recalled.
At first, however, she wasn’t “That was never a passion of mine.”
And while Cuoco didn’t seem interested to option anything at first, she started to give it some serious consideration when she learned about Chris Bohjalian’s novel, .
“I was flipping through Amazon one afternoon, and I saw a sentence for this book, . On the cover was a blonde who kind of looked like me, and the plot was something like ‘fun-loving, drunk flight attendant wakes up next to a dead body and doesn’t know what to do next and flees,’” she recalled.
“So I called my team and I said, ‘You guys, I just read the most amazing book,’ even though I did not read it. I said, ‘Can we maybe check the rights to this?’”
And when finally came to an end, Cuoco set out to work again immediately. The sitcom gave her the exposure she needed. At the same time, it gave her career more momentum, which was why with .
“I kind of feel like I’m just starting and I wanted to strike while the iron was hot. This wasn’t a time for me to take a break.”
At the same time, having been acting for years, Cuoco knows that in Hollywood, “you can easily be forgotten.”
The actress added, “Just because I was on the biggest show in the world doesn’t mean much now …” Since, her latest series has felt like “a bit of a rebirth after ” too.
In , Cuoco plays Cassie Bowden, an attractive flight attendant with a drinking problem who seems to find herself around murder scenes. The first season sees Cassie work to clear her name while trying to deal with her alcohol issues at the same time.
And as it turns out, that was the role she needed to break out of the Penny mold. “A lot of my friends who have seen the show told me that they forgot who they were watching and it really made me cry to hear that,” Cuoco said. “It’s a big compliment.”
Meanwhile, it still remains unclear if will be getting a third season. That said, Cuoco has hinted that .
If it happens though, the actress has already , just like in the book. “I can safely say we don’t go there. That was a bit too far.”