Mayim Bialik is taking a departure from her work on The Big Bang Theory to celebrate the season. She has the lead role in a new Lifetime movie, The Flight Before Christmas. As she revealed in a blog post on Grok Nation, the movie was in many respects a departure for the actor who has been in the spotlight since childhood.
“[I]t was the first time I got to play a lead character. Lead roles typically go to ‘classically beautiful’ females, unless the part calls for a character actress as part of the plot. This movie did not call for a ‘character’ actress; they simply chose one – me! – as the lead which I am very grateful for.”
To boot, Bialik was cast opposite a head-turning male lead, Ryan McPartlin. She described him as playful and goofy, despite his good looks. McPartlin is perhaps best known for his role on Chuck from 2007 to 2012. But even though there is likely to be some romantic overtones in the film, Bialik assures fans it’s family friendly: in fact, her young sons will have the chance to watch her on television for the first time.
Bialik, who also blogs on Kveller, noted that she is a Jewish person who normally plays Jewish characters. She said her character in The Flight Before Christmas is “half-Jewish,” a point she seemed to refer to when she posted a picture of herself and McPartlin on her Instagram page. The couple swapped holiday symbols for the photo.
The movie features Bialik and McPartlin as two characters with relationship problems, both heading home for Christmas. Their plane is delayed and, as Bialik put it, “hijinks ensue.” Lifetime’s synopsis reveals that after their flight is grounded, the characters get the last remaining room in the Montana town where they are held up.
Bialik began her career as a child actor, starring as a young Bette Midler in the movie Beaches and eventually starring in her own sitcom, Blossom. The series’ main character was known for her quirky outfits, including floral prints, bright colors, and floppy hats. The show’s costume designer told Refinery 29 in 2011 that she shopped at vintage stores to assemble Blossom’s look.
All these years later, it’s no wonder Mayim Bialik considers herself a “character” actress. She revealed in her Grok Nation post that although she now appreciates her own beauty, she once considered going under the knife.
“I used to want plastic surgery for my nose, and for my chin. I look in the mirror as little as possible because I start analyzing what I could do to look more like most women in Los Angeles. Don’t even get me started on my body! But I can accept who I am and what I look like, even if most producers or casting directors generally go another way.”
Most modern television audiences know Bialik as Amy on The Big Bang Theory, where she is paired romantically with another non-traditional leading character, Sheldon Cooper. This season the couple’s breakup and baby steps towards reconciliation — it was recently revealed Amy and Sheldon will consummate their relationship on the December 17 episode — have been a consistent theme.
Bialik’s notable achievements outside of Hollywood — she’s written parenting books and holds a Ph.D. in neuroscience — demonstrate that she’s able to create success even if she doesn’t fit into a typical show business look.
The Flight Before Christmas airs December 5, 2015 at 8 p.m.
[Photo by Jason Merritt/Getty Images Entertainment]