Kaley Cuoco couldn’t do adult scenes in The Flight Attendant after The Big Bang Theory, and she reveals why. Penny was played by the actress for 12 years on the hit CBS sitcom, which ended in 2019. She then moved on to the HBO Max dark comedy, where she not only plays Cassie, the main character, but also serves as an executive producer.
For a long time, Cuoco’s Penny was The Big Bang Theory’s only female main character until Melissa Rauch and Mayim Bialik’s Bernie and Amy were introduced as series regulars at the start of season 4. With that, the actress had spent the previous 12 years focusing completely on the sitcom and very nothing else in terms of work.
She had a lot of doubts when she got out of it, which was natural. Cuoco previously stated that she was afraid that after her extended run on The Big Bang Theory, no one would take her seriously. Aside from that, she struggled to execute the acting work alone, particularly in intimate sequences.
Cuoco spoke openly about the matter, which was initially exposed by her The Flight Attendant co-star Michel Huisman, during The Hollywood Reporter’s Comedy Actress Roundtable. She claimed that filming bed scenes was difficult for her since she was “completely out of my element.” She simply didn’t know how to execute it because The Big Bang Theory didn’t call for more realistic intimate moments in the first place.
Cuoco claims that if The Big Bang Theory had lasted longer, she would have continued to portray Penny. The sitcom was unexpectedly cancelled after Jim Parsons decided he wanted to pursue other interests. They all chose to finish things up rather than continue with an incomplete cast. While shifting to The Flight Attendant was a difficult time for Cuoco, it may have been one of the finest things she could’ve done for her career, as she got a lot of praise during the show’s first season.