Kaley Cuoco interview: ‘The Flight Attendant’ actress and producer
“I told my team, don’t forget how this feels because we don’t know when it’ll happen again,” recounts Kaley Cuoco of her Emmy nominations. After 12 years making viewers laugh on “The Big Bang Theory,” she finally scored her first (and second!) Emmy nominations for HBO’s “The Flight Attendant.” Cuoco says landing in the Best Comedy Actress lineup “blew my mind,” but then she scored an additional nomination in the Best Comedy Series category for her work as producer. She feels lucky to get such an endorsement as she branches out into a new chapter of her career. Watch the exclusive video interview above.
Cuoco optioned the rights to “The Flight Attendant” on her own, before she had even formed her company Yes, Norman Productions. “I was innocently scrolling through Amazon,” she remembers with a laugh. The plot description of the hit novel grabbed her, and when she finally read the book she knew she needed to play Cassie. “This would be an actor’s dream,” she thought. “I mean, the girl is so messed up. Yet so loveable.”
Producing had never been of interest to Cuoco, but “The Flight Attendant” sparked a change. “I also felt like no one would actually hire me to play her,” says the actress, “so I felt like I needed to take this one on my own.” Though this series is a drastic shift in tone from her sitcom roots, Cuoco insists she was never hunting for a role that felt like the opposite of her “Big Bang” character. “I follow my heart,” she states simply. “I think about what stories I want to tell.”
In adapting the novel for the small screen, the actress felt the need to bring what she dubs “Cuoco-isms” to the story. The book was “very dark” so she thought: “we’ve got to bring some ridiculousness to it and make it a little more cat-and-mouse.” The result is a series that moves along at a clip and runs an emotional gamut from dramatic to comedic. “You’re supposed to feel all the things,” exclaims Cuoco.
As the producer and star of “The Flight Attendant” Cuoco is also putting into practice the lessons that she learned from working with the late John Ritter on “8 Simple Rules.” “Everybody was top priority to him,” she remembers, “he got the best out of everybody.” Cuoco recalls thinking at a young age that “if I was ever number one on that call sheet, I would be like that.” Now, she’s implementing that very work ethic on this series, from the top down. “That was the dream of this show,” she explains, “to be able to set the standard of how people should be treated.”