Kaley Cuoco rose to fame during her 12 seasons on The Big Bang Series, eventually becoming one of the highest paid stars in the history of TV, raking in $1 million an episode. She sat down with Variety to discuss the ups and downs on her wild ride, and where she’s headed next.

DIVORCE, SHOW END She shared insight into her split from Ryan Sweeting in 2015 after less than two years of marriage, joking they “got married in, like, six seconds.”

Three years after her divorce, she learned that co-star Jim Parsons was pulling the plug on the show.

“Jim said, ‘I don’t think I can continue on,"” she recalled to Variety on Wednesday of a meeting in cocreator Chuck Lorre‘s office. “And I was so shocked that I was literally like, ‘Continue on with what?’ Like, I didn’t even know what he was talking about. I looked at Chuck: ‘Wow. I thought we were — I’m so blown away right now."”


Cuoco, who married Karl Cook in 2018 before the show ended, and starred in The Flight Attendant, which bowed on HBO Max in November. She is starring in, but also exec producing the show, and it’s the first project she feels she fully owns. She said of first encountering a description of the book by Chris Bohhalian:Amazon gives you one sentence, and it was something like ‘fun-loving, drunk flight attendant wakes up next to dead body in a strange hotel.’ And I got a chill.”

She credits the late John Ritter, with whom she starred in ABC‘s 8 Simple Rules, with teaching her how to lead a show: “The respect and the kindness and the joy he brought to that set, it was unbelievable. In the future, if I was that No. 1, I knew how I was going to run my set.”