Kaley Cuoco's Penny character proved to be a crucial part of The Big Bang Theory's success. To think that at the start, the Penny character was not written, and instead, Katie was the main female lead alongside Sheldon and Leonard. She had the opposite characteristics of Penny.
Kaley Cuoco's involvement on the show was a major move, and it also provided the actress with a huge surge in her career as well. However, during the indie film Burning Bodhi, the actress made the bold decision to cut her hair short. Usually, when something drastic like this takes place, those behind the scenes on the TV show are briefed prior. Cuoco didn't take this step, and she regretted it.
Kaley tells Glamour, "I just cut my hair off and didn't tell anyone. I did it for an independent film called Burning Bodhi, and basically showed up to our Big Bang wrap party with short hair."
"I don't know if I was being rebellious. I mean, I did do it for the movie, which was my excuse to cut it. In my attempt to spend less time on my hair, that decision bit me in the ass and it took way longer to do my short hair. I was like, This is the worst decision!"
Not only did the decision backfire for Cuoco, but Chuck Lorre also had his doubts about the new-look given his experiences with stars adjusting their image.
Chuck Lorre confirmed that Kaley Cuoco did not drop and sort of hints prior to the cut. Lorre reveals that had he found out, he would've told Cuoco otherwise. According to the sitcom creator, he has a negative history with leads changing their looks. Example of that took place on both Felicity and Dharma & Greg.
He tells Glamour, "We didn't have a heads-up on the haircut! When you think back on it, it was startling. I wish we had been in the loop. Had she come to me, I would have told her how the ratings dropped on Dharma & Greg when Jenna Elfman did the same thing. And they dropped on Felicity as well.
Lorre continues, "The audience had become infatuated with the character, and not just the character's behavior and flaws and strengths, but in how the character looked."
Lorre revealed that this would be the case with any Big Bang star. "It would have been the same thing if Johnny [Galecki] had come to the wrap party and had shaved his head. We're all in this together! But I love that Kaley recognized it for what it was. She's very self-aware, and we survived it. As bumps in the road go, that was a small one."
Although the moment did cause lots of shock, Cuoco was looking for a change and in addition, she felt as though it made complete sense for storyline purposes.
At the very least, Kaley Cuoco was somewhat thinking of the show and how her new hair would make sense. On The Big Bang Theory, Penny was entering a new career as a pharmacuetical rep.
"I was justifying it because Penny was starting this new job as a pharmaceutical rep. It was going to have to work because it's what I was doing. [Laughs.] I remember the writers figuring out what Sheldon was going to say when he saw her hair and literally would never be able to let it go, which made me laugh."
Cuoco would go on to mention that a lot of her peers outside the show thought those behind the scenes on The Big Bang Theory made the decision to alter her look.
"I remember actors on other shows who cut their hair and thinking, Why would they do that? And then I went and did it! Whatever, there's always going to be haters. Welcome to the business!"
In the end, there truly was nothing to worry about as the show continued to thrive.