Penny might be in for a professional shift on The Big Bang Theory. Kaley Cuoco’s character has largely remained static over the show’s nine seasons, save an eventual marriage to Johnny Galecki’s Leonard and an infamous pixie haircut. She has also abandoned her failed acting endeavor in order to become a pharmaceutical sales rep. But Big Bang Theory executive producer Steven Molaro has told Entertainment Weekly‘s “Spoiler Room” column that Penny may be looking at her options when it comes to her working life.
“We’re starting to think about where Penny is in her life professionally. While she’s doing well in her current career, she may not be in love with it. There will be another step.”
If Big Bang Theory fans want to see the gorilla movie alumnus go back to the audition room, they might be disappointed — at least if Cuoco has any say in the matter. Kaley told EW that she has no desire for Penny to revive her acting career. To hear Cuoco tell it, it is that primate entry on Penny’s resume that she doesn’t want to revisit.
“H— no. I never want to shoot ‘Serial Ape-ist’ again. That fake movie was the torture of my life. No, I’d like her to stay in real life and really have her have a real job.”
E! Online reported back in 2014 that Cuoco had her arms and legs covered in hair to film Penny’s participation in the fictional sequel to her lost film. It was a moment Cuoco captured on Instagram. Big Bang Theory fans will remember Penny was fired from that movie, as was her co-star Wil Wheaton, when he stuck up for her.
Even if Penny isn’t going back to acting, fans can perhaps look forward to eventually meeting her mother. To date, the show has featured many of the characters’ long-lost relatives. Sheldon’s Mee-maw showed up to chastise his girlfriend Amy for breaking off their relationship. Howard met his father’s other son. Now, TV Line reports that the season will end with an appearance by another Dr. Hofstadter — Leonard’s father.
Viewers of The Big Bang Theory are already familiar with Leonard’s mother, Beverly, who is close to Sheldon but has a strained relationship with her own son. Christine Baranski has long held that role and Vulture reports that she has also shared the screen with Judd Hirsch on The Good Wife — prophetic since Hirsch will now play Leonard’s father.
It turns out Galecki invited Hirsch to play the role, after running into him at a James Burrows tribute event earlier this year. Galecki then pitched the idea to Molaro. Variety reported that Galecki told the story at PaleyFest on Wednesday.
“I ran up to him and just kind of bombarded him with verbalization. I did share with him, and this is true, that when we were shooting the pilot I watched the first two or three seasons [of ‘Taxi’]. Not because I wanted to base Leonard on his character, but the purpose that his character served in this group of people. [He was] just as much, at times, a voice of reason as he was just as confused as everyone else.”
The Big Bang Theory‘s cast of significant guest stars also includes Galecki’s former Roseanne co-star, Laurie Metcalf, who plays Sheldon’s mother Mary.
The Big Bang Theory airs in syndication with new episodes Thursday nights at 8 p.m. on CBS.
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