Melissa Rauch on playing tragedy and comedy on ‘The Big Bang Theory’ [Exclusive Video]

“As in any marriage when there’s a tragedy, it can either take a relationship apart or bring them close together. I think we really saw how solid their marriage was and how they navigated this death,”  reveals actress Melissa Rauch about the death of her character’s mother-in-law on the most recent season of “The Big Bang Theory.”

In her recent interview with Gold Derby (watch below), Rauch discusses her role as Bernadette Rostenkowski and working on those emotional episodes with Simon Helberg, who plays her on-screen husband Howard Wolowitz. The actress playing Mrs. Wolowitz, Carol Ann Susi, died of cancer last fall and the writers decided to kill off her character as well. 

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Fans of the long-running CBS comedy have enjoyed the impersonation of Mrs. Wolowitz by Rauch since her early days on the show. Of that ongoing gag, she says, “It’s funny. The voice that I use for Bernadette is very similar to my mother’s voice. But Mrs. Wolowitz’s voice is very similar to my father’s voice. They’re two different ranges as far as octaves go.”

Does that mean Howard has married a woman like his own mother? Rauch says, “Often times when sons marry their mothers they’re kind of blind to that fact. They’re looking for those traits in their wife. I love that he is oblivious to that.”

When she joined the show, it was already a big hit in its third season. Of her first time visiting the set, she recalls, “It was supposed to just be a one-shot, one-time episode. I was so excited to get the audition because I was such a fan of the show beforehand. It was one of those auditions where there were so many people around that I totally psyched myself out and convinced myself it wasn’t going to happen… When you’re a guest star, you kind of feel like you are a foreign exchange student coming into an environment, but everyone was so welcoming from the moment I sat down.”

While the death of Mrs. Wolowitz dominated the last part of the season, Bernadette had quite a few funny episodes this year as well. She began the season by helping Penny (Kaley Cuoco) get a job at her company in pharmaceutical sales. That led to more scenes at her office building, where she discovered people were intimidated by her. She also had a girls trip to Las Vegas with lots of physical comedy and oversaw a ping pong match to get rid of her husband’s TARDIS from the sci-fi classic “Doctor Who.”

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Below: Watch our complete interview with Rauch and then use the easy drag-and-drop menu to tell us if you think she will be nominated at the Emmys for Best Comedy Supporting Actress.

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