Kaley Cuoco, who plays Penny on The Big Bang Theory, became the first cast member to receive a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame on Wednesday, Oct. 29, 2014. The 29 year old actress has been in two long running sitcoms, TBBT and 8 Simple Rules for Dating My Teenage Daughter, as well as an impressive stint in the final season of WB drama Charmed. In addition, she has won a Critic’s Choice Television Award, as well as a People’s Choice Award.
Cuoco will receive her star very close to the star of the late John Ritter, who was her mentor and previous costar on 8 Simple Rules. The honor of receiving a star is very humbling for Cuoco, who admits that things didn’t always come so easy to her, though she agrees that her tenure in the business has been fairly charmed.
“I have been so lucky,” she said. “I remember going to my agent (at age 14), and she said, ‘I don’t think you’re going to work until you’re 16, until you have your GED, and you’re done with school.’ And she was right. I did not work from 14 to 16. Then that’s when ‘8 Simple Rules’ came around and, knock on wood, I was able to work consistently ever since then and play my age and kind of grow up a little bit in the business.”
She does, however, admit that while television has been a blessing for her, film roles are still somewhat elusive, which is why when she landed a coveted role in the independent drama, Burning Bodhi, she was thrilled at the opportunity to show a different side of herself.
“I got to show a completely different side of me,” Cuoco said. “No one really wants to take a chance on me like that, but I’m a very emotional person so it comes easier to me than you would think.”
“She was just so raw and beautiful. I knew from the audition that she was a fine actor, but range is an accessibility to your emotions, and she can get there,” said Matthew McDuffie, the writer/director of Burning Bodhi who’s just finishing up the film and prepping to submit it on the festival circuit. “The coolest part in working with her is that she’s a really good storyteller as an actor.”
Big Bang creator Chuck Lorre points to her ability to work with the audience’s reactions as a coveted skill in her repertoire. “There’s a tempo that happens in front of an audience that an actor has to listen for,” Lorre said. “Kaley’s experience allows her very easily to ride those waves off the audience’s laughter and responses. It’s kind of second nature to her at this point.”
Kaley is contracted to Big Bang until 2017, but is eager to really jump into her pursuit of film, which, in addition to Burning Bodhi, includes comedy The Wedding Ringer with Kevin Hart and Josh Gad. That is not to say that she is excited to leave the show behind, just that she is prepared to expand her repertoire.
“The show has done wonders for me, in a million ways. If I played something like this for the rest of my life, I would be absolutely thrilled. After the show, I don’t know if I’d want to do TV anymore. It’s extremely close to my heart, but I would love to move into movies.”
Watch the full Hollywood Walk of Fame presentation for Ms. Cuoco below. Congratulations, Kaley! Watch her weeknights at 6 & 6:30 on FoxCT.