Kaley Cuoco stars and Exec Produces The Flight Attendant following her long run in The Big Bang Theory. She plays Cassie, a flight attendant, who wakes up in bed with a dead man and no idea what happened.
The Flight Attendant is a eight part dark comedy from HBO Max. It is officially set to be released from November 26th, 2020 but the first episode was released as a preview last week.
Kaley took part in a TCA press conference on August 5th before the production had gone back to complete the final episodes.
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Big Bang Theory, Season 12, Episode 3 “The Procreation Calculation” – Leonard Hofstadter (Johnny Galecki) and Penny (Kaley Cuoco) © 2018 WBEI, photo by Michael Yarish

Getting the Rights

As Big Bang coming to an end how did Flight Attendant fit the bill for what you were looking for next

Over the past few years I’ve been looking at books and stuff to maybe produce. But nothing excited me.

And honestly, I read one little snippet, a line of the book on Amazon (laughs). It just was one sentence and I got like this weird chill and I called my team and said, “Hey, I’d love to look at the rights to this book.”

And their first question was, “Okay, so you read the book, you love the book?” And I’m like, “Oh, yeah, I totally read the book.” 

I had not read the book, but something had told me jump on this.  They do not know that. They’re going to know now!

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Flight Attendant Episode 3 – Cassie Bowden (Kaley Cuoco) ©2020 Warner Bros, photo by Phil Caruso

So once they started getting into it, all the back stuff, I read it (laughs) really fast and thank god I loved it as much as I thought. 

There was a bidding war and I won the rights and I’m like, “Now what do I do?” I have this what? I got it?” like I didn’t believe it. 

Brought it to Warner Bros and I said, “You know what? I think this is a great character. I think this could be a really great show.”

And they brought me to Steve, Executive Producer and Co-showrunner. Then they brought us to [Executive Producer’s] Greg Berlanti and Sarah Schechter and it just kept rolling. And its cast and I still can’t believe we’re sitting here talking about it at the TCA!

Perfectly flawed

What attracted you to this role?

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Flight Attendant Episode 1 – Passenger Alex (Michiel Huisman) and flight attendant Cassie Bowden (Kaley Cuoco) ©2020 Warner Bros, photo by Phil Caruso

Cassie is extremely perfectly flawed. It was kind of an actor’s dream to play someone like her. She’s got a rollercoaster of issues, but a heart of gold and she’s strong.

It’s just a great female character to play.

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Flight Attendant Episode 1 – Alex (Michiel Huisman) and Cassie (Kaley Cuoco) fall for each other in Bangkok ©2020 Warner Bros, photo by Jirathit Saengavut

Producer Kaley Cuoco

What is your experience as a producer like?

Obviously being a producer and being part of the creative has been a whole new experience for me. I have never done that before. I laughed over the last few years working on this.

I’m like I know too much! Like sometimes you just don’t want to know all the stuff that’s going on. But it’s been totally career-changing for me just to see it from the beginning.

Close-knit group

Had you paid much attention to how stewardesses do what they do?

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Flight Attendant Episode 1 – Cassie Bowden (Kaley Cuoco) ©2020 Warner Bros, photo by Phil Caruso

After I got the rights to the book and I knew that we were going to do this, of course it’s all I was looking at. 

You start looking at the flight attendants and you start seeing what they’re doing when they’re making the drinks and how they talk to each other and how they react to passengers.

You see the friendships that some of the flight attendants have. And it’s a very close-knit group. I mean you really are traveling together. 

So I can’t help it and I’ll probably now, after doing this project, be noticing flight attendants probably for the rest of my life.

Dark stuff happens

Tell about the show’s tone and how much comedy will be involved with the thriller elements

I think the tone has been a fascinating challenge in that we really have ridden a fine line. Dark stuff happens, but there is levity and we have so many funny actors that can make those quirky moments be a little lighter.

It’s a very specific tone. I don’t think we’ve seen much of this on TV, so I’m excited.

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Flight Attendant Episode 1 – Cassie Bowden (Kaley Cuoco) shocked by what she discovers ©2020 Warner Bros, photo by Phil Caruso