Johnny Galecki and Kaley Cuoco reveal The Big Bang Theory season 1 scene that made them fall in love in real life. The pair play an on-screen couple and the show’s primary love line, Penny and Leonard Hofstadter. For 12 seasons of The Big Bang Theory, the couple’s relationship was developed; some of their milestone moments include their multiple attempted engagements and two weddings.
While they played an on-screen item, Galecki and Cuoco also dated in real life. Instead of using it to promote The Big Bang Theory, however, the pair decided to keep it a secret throughout the whole duration of their relationship. Luckily, even when they decided to break up, the actors maintained a great rapport with each other, allowing CBS to move forward with the sitcom for a decade more until The Big Bang Theory ended in 2019.
Cuoco and Galecki’s enduring friendship go beyond their stints as Penny and Leonard on The Big Bang Theory. So, for the sitcom’s 15th anniversary, the pair sit down with Vanity Fair to open up about their real-life relationship during the early years of the sitcom. As it turns out, filming a dream scene from The Big Bang Theory season 1 episode “The Nerdvana Annihilation,” in which their characters make a romantic escape in the building’s busted elevator, really started their romance. Read their full quote below:
Cuoco: It was not an enjoyable experience for me.
Galecki: We had to be in each other’s arms — and for quite some time, because it was a bit of a stunt that we were doing. That was certainly one of the moments that I think.
Cuoco: I think we fell a little in love in that elevator shaft.
Galecki: We felt something, yeah. I think that was a massive turning point [in our relationship]. At that point, both she and I knew that something mutual was felt, and that it was going to be more of a distraction from the work to try and continue to ignore it than to actually recognize it and surrender to it.
How Cuoco & Galecki’s Relationship Affected Penny & Leonard’s Big Bang Theory Story
Interestingly, just as they decided they were better off as friends in real life, Penny and Leonard also split up on The Big Bang Theory, which both admitted posed some difficulties for them. The writers and staff of the show didn’t want to make things more awkward for the co-stars, but they didn’t have any choice but to play out their characters’ separation. Luckily, by the time Penny and Leonard got back together, Cuoco and Galecki had gotten over their real-life break-up, although the former did feel like there were more intimate scenes between the on-screen couple following their split. This is something, however, that The Big Bang Theory co-creator Chuck Lorre denied.
At the end of The Big Bang Theory, Penny and Leonard were revealed to be pregnant with their first baby. It was a great development for the pair after the show stagnated their relationship for several seasons. But, the creative turn garnered a divided response from many fans, since Penny was previously adamant about not wanting to have kids. So, if CBS ends up making The Big Bang Theory season 13, it would be great to see Cuoco and Galecki back as their characters to justify that turn in their collective story. Considering the pair’s enduring friendship, it won’t be difficult to convince them to work again with each other.
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