What would The Large Bang Concept have been like with out Kaley Cuoco?
That was nearly the fact. The brand new e-book, The Large Bang Concept: The Definitive, Inside Story of the Epic Hit Collection by Jessica Radloff, particulars how actresses Marisa Tomei, Tara Reid and Elizabeth Berkley had been all up for the function of what finally turned the Penny character. And, actually, for a sizzling minute, Penny, the aspiring actress turned pharmaceutical gross sales rep and half of the favored Penny/Leonard pairing, was “Katie.”
The historical past of Penny on BBT, which ran from 2007 to 2019, is an attention-grabbing one. Per a e-book excerpt in The Hollywood Reporter, after Jim Parsons and Johnny Galecki had been solid as Sheldon and Leonard respectively, it was on to solid Penny. Nevertheless, on the time, CBS had one other pilot with a personality named Penny, so creator Chuck Lorre was requested to vary the identify. It turned Katie — and the function was nothing just like the bubbly Nebraska native; she was older and cynical.
Cuoco, off of 8 Easy Guidelines, really display examined for the unique Large Bang pilot, however did not get it. Casting director Ken Miller stated she was “so sunny and bubbly” and whereas they “simply beloved her,” Katie was a darker function. Cuoco “simply wasn’t the essence of Penny in that first incarnation.” And at simply 20, she was too younger for what was envisioned.
Cuoco stated, “I do know Chuck actually needed me for the function of Katie, and I used to be undoubtedly bummed once I didn’t get it, however I form of have a approach of transferring on as a result of it’s important to.”
The present moved on, too. Parsons recalled that he “learn with Marisa Tomei… I bear in mind going to the snack room after we had been accomplished and telling Ken and Nikki [Valko, casting director], ‘I’ve by no means been in another person’s audition earlier than!’ And so they stated of the [Oscar-wining actress], ‘Nicely, she was form of actually auditioning you.’ And I went, ‘Oh, that is smart.” However oh my gosh what a unique world that will have been” had Tomei been solid.
Present co-creator Invoice Prady stated, “Tara Reid additionally got here in for the function of Katie, and I believe Elizabeth Berkley went to community for the function, too. She was terrific.” Canadian actress Amanda Walsh had an audition, however did not land the function.
Lastly, they discovered their Katie in actress Jodi Lyn O’Keefe (Nash Bridges, Vampire Diaries, Jail Break). They did the primary desk learn for the pilot, then Parsons, Galecki and O’Keefe and others went out to a restaurant. By the point all of them arrived, O’Keefe obtained phrase from her agent that she had been fired.
“I hadn’T accomplished a ton of desk reads in my profession by that time, however I am not an fool — I do know when somebody’s not good,” Parsons stated. “And Jodi was nice. I used to be surprised. However they realized throughout that desk learn that the character’s method to the opposite characters was too harsh, too no matter, though Jodi, in my view, nailed what they’d written.”
The present had three days to recast and so they had been in such a crunch that they even held auditions on Easter Sunday. Walsh was known as again to audition once more and landed the recast half on the spot. She began instantly.
Prady informed Leisure Weekly in September that Katie was “form of tough” and “harmful in a approach” along with being “[not] very good to the blokes,” two nerdy however endearing physicists. At a take a look at screening of the unaired pilot, “the viewers hated her,” Lorre stated.
Lorre informed that outlet, “We did not understand early on that the viewers considered [Sheldon and Leonard] as youngsters. They had been very naïve and childlike, no matter how clever they had been. They had been very weak, and the viewers did not need a poisonous presence round them.” He stated Walsh not understanding was on them, calling the function was “misconceived.”
The community requested for unlikable Katie to be recast, however the creators determine to retool the present primarily based on suggestions, including “extra of those good misbegotten characters,” together with Howard Wolowitz (performed by Simon Helberg) and Raj Koothrappali (Kunal Nayyar) who the take a look at viewers preferred, and revamping Katie, making her kinder and extra charmed by her geeky neighbors. Walsh needed to return again and have one other crack at enjoying the newer model, however they determined to recast. That is when Cuoco turned Penny.
The Large Bang Concept premiered on September 24, 2007. It aired 279 episodes, acquired quite a few awards (together with Parsons’s 4 Excellent Lead Actor Emmys) and earned its spot in TV historical past.
Leave a Reply