Golden Globes nominee profile: Kaley Cuoco (‘The Flight Attendant’) soars in landing her first nomination

After landing her first role almost three decades ago, Kaley Cuoco has finally earned her first Golden Globe nominations for playing the titular character on HBO Max’s “The Flight Attendant” as well as for serving as an executive producer on the series. While it is her first nomination at the Globes, she has gotten recognition from other major organizations in the past. Most notable of those were two bids for Comedy Supporting Actress at the Critics Choice TV Awards for “The Big Bang Theory,” where she tied with Eden Sher (“The Middle”) for the win in 2013.

Cuoco finds herself taking on four other leading ladies in Best TV Comedy Actress who are all also looking for their first win at the Globes: Lily Collins (“Emily in Paris”), Elle Fanning (“The Great”), Jane Levy (“Zoey’s Extraordinary Playlist”) and Catherine O’Hara (“Schitt’s Creek”). Of all the nominees, only Collins is a previous nominee for Best Film Musical/Comedy Actress in 2017 for “Rules Don’t Apply.”

Cuoco portrays Cassie Bowden on the show, a brash airline employee who’s much too comfortable drinking while working and hooking up with strangers that include the passengers she’s supposed to be assisting. Her world gets turned upside down when she hooks up with a charming passenger flying to Bangkok but wakes up the following morning to find that he’s been brutally murdered. As she makes several mistakes in an attempt to clear her name, she also gets drawn deeper into the seedy life of the deceased man while also being forced to confront her reckless nature and how it affects her friends and family.

While many are forecasting a win for recent Emmy winner O’Hara in this contest, Cuoco should not be underestimated here. The show also scored a nomination for Best Comedy Series and it’s the most recent to air of all the nominated programs in the category. A bias towards recently aired programming combined with the two nominations she earned at the SAG Awards for the show (Comedy Actress and Comedy Ensemble) could give her an air of momentum that could carry her to a win.

In addition to that, remember that the Globes do love to reward performances in shows that don’t fit the mold of typical comedies on television. We’ve seen this manifest with wins for Teri Hatcher (“Desperate Housewives”), Toni Collette (“United States of Tara”), Laura Dern (“Enlightened”) and Gina Rodriguez (“Jane the Virgin”) among others. Considering the way “The Flight Attendant” is a comedy that also mixes in elements of a personal drama and a mystery/thriller, a win for Cuoco would be a perfect historical fit.

This article is a part of Gold Derby’s “Golden Globes nominee profile” series spotlighting the 2021 contenders in film and TV.

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