Kaley Cuoco and Johnny Galecki portrayed characters who fall in love in “The Big Bang Theory.” In the mega-popular series, Penny Teller (Cuoco) and Leonard Hofstadter (Galecki) start as neighbors but ultimately date, get married, and have a child. The two make a humorous, unlikely pair on the sitcom: Leonard is a nerdy physicist, whereas Penny is a bit ditzy and boy-crazy — at least at first. One of the best parts of “The Big Bang Theory” is how Leonard and Penny’s relationship show opposites do attract.
Mirroring their on-screen characters’ love life, Kaley Cuoco and Johnny Galecki dated in real life from 2008-2010. In an interview with Vanity Fair, Cuoco explained that this dynamic helped the characters’ relationship on camera: “I think a lot of what made Leonard and Penny work so well was my relationship with Johnny off camera.”
However, the actors’ romantic relationship ended nine years before the show ended, so they had to figure out how to continue to work with each other.
How they handled the breakup
Cuoco and Johnny Galecki described to the outlet how they fell in love on the set of “The Big Bang Theory” and how they dealt with their breakup. It would be no easy feat to continue a professional relationship with someone who used to be your romantic partner. But funnily enough, their professional relationship is the thing that helped heal their friendship.
Johnny Galecki shared, “I was told Kaley and I would be interviewing each other for a special feature on the season three DVDs. I don’t think it had even been a week since we had broken up. I was like, ‘Oh f**k, are you kidding me?’ Nobody knew we had broken up. So we went downstairs and cracked each other up so much to the point she nearly peed her pants. She laughed so hard. I walked out of the interview, and thought, ‘OK, we’re going to be all right.’ It was a really beautiful moment, a definite turning point.”
Rather than being an obstacle to their healing process, continuing to work together helped Cuoco and Galecki expedite their healing. Despite their real-life romance ending, the pair continued to portray a convincing and loving couple on “The Big Bang Theory” that fans adore.
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