The Big Bang Theory was an instant hit with the release of its first season in 2007. Fans loved Johnny Galecki, Jim Parsons, and Kaley Cuoco in their respective roles and followed their journey for the next 12 seasons of the sitcom. However, things could have been very different for Penelope Hofstadter, aka Penny, as Cuoco initially did not want to portray the character.
Jessica Radloff’s book, The Definitive Inside Story Of The Epic Hit Series, reveals the original character and the actors who almost portrayed the character. The book also reflects on why The Flight Attendant star was hesitant to portray the character initially.
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Kaley Cuoco Did Not Want to Portray Penny
Jessica Radloff’s book revealed the original plot for The Big Bang Theory. The original pilot episode of the show featured a different character, Katie, instead of Penny, and in place of Kaley Cuoco, the role had gone to Amanda Walsh. However, based on the show’s test screenings, the makers decided to replace the character with Penny.
After re-writing the pilot episode, the creators decided to approach Cuoco with the offer to portray the character. However, she was still hung up on the initial character, Katie. “And then she passed. She liked the darker role from the first pilot and didn’t think the rewritten character was as interesting,” casting director Ken Miller shared. However, the makers were also firm in their decision and continued negotiating with the Meet Cute star.
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Why The Actress Was Hesitant to Play Penny?
Although the makers wanted to cast Kaley Cuoco as Penny in the sitcom, the American star was hesitant to take on the role. She shared that her agent told her that the makers really wanted her for the show. But she wanted to make sure that she was not stuck in something “that wasn’t an exciting role.”
The 8 Simple Rules actress shared that Penny seemed like a “secondary character” to her, and she did not want to trail behind Leonard and Sheldon. However, she believed in the creator of the show, Chuck Lorre and said yes to the offer. The show has become one of the greatest sitcoms of all time, and Cuoco is grateful that she was offered the role.
“I laugh thinking about it now. And then, at every table read on Wednesdays, we always sat in the same place, and Ken and Nikki always sat behind me. And I would always yell out, “Thank you for hiring me!”
She took on the role of the aspiring actress who moves in next door to physicists Sheldon Cooper and Leonard Hofstadter. Cuoco joined the cast of the show when she was 22 years old and burst into tears while filming the final episode of the show.
The Big Bang Theory is available to stream on HBO Max.
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Source: The Big Bang Theory: The Definitive Inside Story Of The Epic Hit Series