Kaley Cuoco and Johnny Galecki will forever be associated with their respective roles as Penny and Leonard on CBS’ long-running sitcom “The Big Bang Theory.” The actors, similar to the characters they played on the show, were in a relationship, dating from 2008 to 2010. “Big Bang” writers were already planning Penny and Leonard’s breakup when Cuoco and Galecki split in real life. During interviews for Jessica Radloff’s new book “The Big Bang Theory: The Definitive, Inside Story” (via Vanity Fair), both Cuoco and Galecki shared their belief that series creator Chuck Lorre added more Penny-Leonard kissing and sex scenes after their real-life split just to mess with them.
“All of a sudden, we started noticing there were extra makeout scenes for our characters, and/or sex scenes,” Cuoco said. I was like, ‘I think Chuck is fucking with us!’ We were convinced. Convinced! Like, Yeah, they want to date and break up on my show, well, here you go! and he was writing all the little doodads in there.”
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While Penny and Leonard called it quits on the show, their relationship continued to stay at a “will they or won’t they” level and they often fell back on old vices and hooked up.
“Even though it was organic for the characters, I think he would fuck with us,” Galecki said with a laugh about Lorre. “If it was an accident, it was a very timely accident.”
When presented with his stars’ claims, Lorre denied them and said he’d never screw with any actor while making a television series.
“No. Not at all. Making a good show has no room for fucking with anybody,” Lorre said. “There’s no Let’s mess with Kaley and Johnny. The goal was to make a great show and make every minute of every episode count. And that was the only goal. We don’t have that kind of freedom to risk a TV series that you put your heart and soul into to mess with somebody’s head. No.”
Lorre added, “I think that’s charming that they think we had the mental capacity to mess with them. [Laughs] Penny and Leonard having difficulty sustaining a relationship was one of the reasons to keep watching — to see if they could make it. You were rooting for them to find happiness.”
Once Galecki heard Lorre’s rebuttal, he responded: “I guess that was pretty egotistical of us to think that. [Laughs] We were reading into things a little too much. I’m going to sleep a little easier tonight.”
“The Big Bang Theory: The Definitive, Inside Story” hits bookstands on Oct. 11. Head over to Vanity Fair’s website to read the full excerpt from the oral history.
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