Kaley Cuoco on taking a risk with The Flight Attendant: ‘I don’t think anyone would have given me this role’

The Big Bang Theory star has revealed that she knew people were going to "question [her] decision" to produce and star in comedy-drama The Flight Attendant.

Kaley Cuoco

The Big Bang Theory’s Kaley Cuoco has opened up about taking a risk with her upcoming series The Flight Attendant, adding that she doesn’t think anyone “would have hired [her] to play this role” if she hadn’t produced the show.

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The eight-part thriller, which is based on Chris Bohjalian’s novel of the same name, stars the sitcom lead as an alcoholic flight attendant who wakes up in a Bangkok hotel room to find the dead body of one of her passengers next to her with no memory of the night before.

Speaking to RadioTimes.com and other press, Cuoco said she felt the pressure to produce a popular show after The Big Bang Theory ended.

“Coming off such a successful show, I knew people were going to judge this and question my decision. By the way, it wouldn’t have mattered what choice I had made, it was going to be – not looked down upon, but questioned.

“I also early on really decided in my heart that I could not compare anything to Big Bang, and that released me because Big Bang was so specific and special; that whole situation, that’s not going to be compared. We can’t compare anything to that so it did give me little freedom.

“But I went through a lot of ups and [downs] – there were days where I’m like, ‘Oh man, like, people are gonna love this’, and then there were days where I would literally cry myself to sleep, wishing I had never ever found the book. ‘What am I thinking? Oh, my God!'”

Cuoco, who received two Golden Globe nominations for her performance in the show, added that she took a risk with the show to “prove that [she] can actually do more” as an actor.

“It just was so crazy. But it was a risk – I was taking a risk because I don’t believe in my heart that someone would have hired me to play this role.

“I could have auditioned and I might have even given the audition of my life but I don’t think someone would have given me this role, so I wanted to prove that I can actually do more and that I love it.

“And it was a risk that I’m glad that I took but, yeah, I was pretty sick to my stomach the night before the show aired just because, you know, it was my baby. I started this thing so long ago. You want everyone to like your baby, it sucks when they don’t like your baby,” she laughed.

Cuoco, who played Penny on CBS’s The Big Bang Theory from 2007 until 2019, also revealed that she is “ready anytime” for a Big Bang Theory reunion episode.

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The Flight Attendant airs on Sky One on Friday 19th March at 9pm on Sky One and NOW TV. If you’ve already watched the series, read our breakdown of The Flight Attendant ending. Visit our TV Guide to see what’s on tonight, or check out our guide to new TV shows 2020 to find out what’s airing this autumn and beyond.