Kaley Cuoco has no shame in the fact that she fell in love with Johnny Galecki at first sight.
From 2007 to 2019, Cuoco, who is 36, and Galecki, who is 47, played Penny and Leonard Hofstadter on CBS’s hit sitcom The Big Bang Theory. Along the way, their chemistry led to a real-life relationship between 2008 and 2010.
In an excerpt from an upcoming oral history of the show, the two people who used to date talk about how they met. Cuoco said, “I had a very big crush on Johnny early on.”
She said this in an exclusive excerpt from Jessica Radloff’s book The Big Bang Theory: The Definitive Inside Story of the Epic Hit Series that was given to Vanity Fair. “He looks so cool. At the time, we were both with other people, but I only had eyes for Johnny. Then, when I realized he liked me too, I thought, “Oh no, this is going to be bad.”
Still, Galecki didn’t know at first that Cuoco liked him. “I have a healthy ego, but you really have to hit me over the head to let me know you’re flirting with me,” he said. “Before I went out with Kaley, I had no idea what a crush was.” But Cuoco says there was no denying their characters’ “chemistry” even before they told each other they liked each other outside of work.
“Before we met in person, it was clear that there was always something going on behind the scenes. We liked each other and had a crush on each other. That’s how the whole first season went until we met up in real life. “
When she talked about Penny’s first kiss with Leonard, which was also the actors’ first kiss, Cuoco brought up the sexy kitten costume Penny wore to Leonard’s Halloween party.
The Meet Cute star said with a laugh, “I knew I looked really cute in that outfit, so I felt great about myself.” “I knew he thought I was cute because he had already told me that I looked cute in that outfit. But before that kiss, I was definitely nervous. Galecki spoke up again, “How about Kaley Cuoco as a cat? Please! “
Even so, Cuoco did say, “Both on-screen and in real life, when it was our first kiss, I was very nervous. I mean, I kissed him as Penny before we started dating, and it’s weird to have a crush on someone and kiss them as an actor. “
When asked when they finally gave in to their feelings for each other, the actors pointed to the 14th episode of season 1, “The Nerdvana Annihilation,” when Leonard saves Penny from falling down an elevator shaft during a dream sequence. Cuoco says that filming the scene wasn’t a lot of fun, but she does think that “we fell a little in love in that elevator shaft.”
Galecki said yes, “We did feel something. I think that was a huge turning point in how we felt about each other. At that point, both she and I knew that we both felt something, and that trying to ignore it was going to take us away from our work more than if we just admitted it and gave in to it. “
Over time, the two people got closer and closer until Galecki asked Cuoco out for a drink on the spot.
“When he texted me, I was so happy. I was like, “Oh my God. I knew that getting a glass of wine with him would be trouble. I knew. We smooched at the bar! It’s so dark in there that you almost feel like you can do anything, but then I thought, “Uh-oh, this is going to be really bad.” she laughed and said.
“We first kissed at the bar, and then we kissed in the parking lot,” she said. “Johnny can get very wrapped up in his own thoughts and want to hide, but I’m the exact opposite. I would have told everyone at the table to read the next day. I would have told everyone, “We’re together!” But he said, “We can’t let anyone know!” So we kept it quiet.
At least that’s what they thought, but they did admit that Big Bang creator Chuck Lorre had caught them at least once. Galecki told him, “Once, Chuck found us hiding in the parking lot behind a car. After the show, we crouched down like kids trying to hide from their parents. He caught us red-handed, but he kept his cool and didn’t say anything. “Just that we didn’t want anyone to be worried.”
For his part, Lorre said, “I can’t think of it. That might have been something I put in a separate box because I thought, “I can’t deal with this. I don’t have the mental and emotional space to deal with a new relationship.
Cuoco said that the answer was “so Chuck!” She insisted that she and Galecki keep their relationship professional, but “never even had [sex] in our dressing rooms. Not in a million years. Not in a million years. I’d never do that. I don’t belong to the “mile-high club.” Not at all.
Looking back, the friends-turned-ex-lovers-turned-friends-again are glad that their off-screen relationship made them more appealing on-screen.
“I think my friendship with Johnny off-screen was a big part of why Leonard and Penny worked so well,” said Cuoco. “They were always being mean to each other. Johnny and I are the same way, which is normal after being together for years. We’ve always looked out for each other, and that’s something you can’t lose. I think it did happen on the screen. It made us laugh and like each other more.
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