If you tuned into The Big Bang Theory this week, you were in for maybe the biggest surprise in the show’s history, as Billy Bob Thornton guest starred as a urologist crushing on Penny after she took off (or rather, wore on the opposite hand and hid in her pocket) her engagement ring to make sales, as the Inquisitr previously reported. The Wrap “likened” Thornton’s character, Dr. Oliver Lorvis, to “a Sheldon Cooper if he developed crushes on pretty girls.”
By the end of the episode, the guys had befriended him, especially after seeing all of the memorabilia he had in his basement. They didn’t even mind that he had locked them in down there so he could go make another pass at Penny because Leonard was playing such a great game of Donkey Kong. Meanwhile, Dr. Lorvis had moved onto Amy after she made the mistake of touching his shoulder for a Mississippi too long and when he saw Bernadette, he proved he wasn’t picky. Check out highlights from Thornton’s guest spot below.
Showrunner Steve Molaro talked to Entertainment Weekly about landing Thornton for the role, and it all came about because the actor happens to watch the show and mentioned it in an interview.
“A few months ago, we had seen an interview with Billy Bob talking about shows he likes. He was saying how much he likes Big Bang Theory, and watches it all the time, and gets so into it [that] he starts talking to the characters on the screen. We thought that was so cool, and we think he’s so great.”
The showrunner went on to explain that they presented the idea for the episode and the character to Thornton and his people and “went from there” once they said “they thought it was really fun and cool.”
Perhaps it’s because it was such a surprise that it was such a treat to have Thornton in the role. It’s so easy for something like that to get leaked, and usually networks like to promote an episode with a big guest star like Billy Bob Thornton, but still, “somehow it stayed a secret,” Molaro acknowledged and also addressed the possibility of the actor returning to The Big Bang Theory for another episode.
“He said he had a wonderful time. All of [us] just fell in love with him. It was a magical week. If it can work out, we’d love to have him back. After we finished taping, we had a table read the next morning. Everyone was a little sad that Billy was gone. It was that much fun having him around.”
The Big Bang Theory airs Thursdays at 8 p.m. on CBS.
[Image via CBS’s Twitter]