As the end of the hit CBS series The Big Bang Theory rapidly approaches, it’s easy to wonder what the future holds for the show’s stars. Take Kaley Cuoco, for example. Cuoco has long been a fave of ours on TBBT and we’re still getting used to the fact that we’ll have to say goodbye to her when the show wraps for good in May. But luckily, thanks to Cuoco’s new partnership with Shell to inspire consumers to protect our environment by choosing low carbon transportation options and their new digital series The Great Travel Hack, it looks like we won’t have to say goodbye to her for good. Instead, this exciting new gig with The Great Travel Hack is just one of the many ways Cuoco is preparing for life after TBBT — and we were so excited to speak with her in an exclusive interview to find out more about it.
Keep reading to see what Cuoco has to say exclusively to SheKnows about The Great Travel Hack, what it was like as the host of a show and what she’ll miss most about playing Penny Hofstadter on Th Big Bang Theory.
SheKnows: Tell us a little bit about how and why you got involved with Shell for this project.
Kaley Cuoco: Shell’s doing great things with The Great Travel Hack, which is a digital series on YouTube. It’s a competition series with a great message and it takes two teams. I’m traveling from L.A. to New York on a road trip and the winner is whoever uses the least amount of CO2 emissions. So it’s been very fascinating to see the different modes of transportation that they have been able to use to get from Point A to Point B. It still is a competition show at the same time and it’s really fun. It’s five episodes [that you can] watch [too]. It’s a great message as well as being fun.
SK: Can you tell us about your digital series, “The Great Travel Hack”? What was it like as the host of the show? Would you consider doing something like this in the future?
KC: It was really fun to host it. I loved seeing the progression of the teams and where they were. We would check in with them intermittently and where they ended up and their highs and their lows. I mean, they really went for it in these two weeks and they made great decisions and they were really cute and entertaining. It was awesome, and then it was great to crown a winner. It was just a fun experience. I think everyone loves to travel and it’s important that we’re open to new cleaner ways to get there. [Protecting the environment] is an important topic that I know that is a very serious topic, but I love how this has kind of shown in a light-hearted, fun, easy way to make a little change.
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SK: This digital series is one of the first project post-The Big Bang Theory we’re hearing about, but what else is next for you? More projects? Lots of rest?
KC: I would absolutely do a project like this in the future. It takes a lot for me to stamp my name on something and fully support it and when I do, I go all the way. I thought this would be a really good match for me for sure. I launched my first production company a year ago called Yes, Norman Productions (named after my dog) and I optioned my first book called The Flight Attendant, which is on Amazon. You can buy it now and I’m going to be starring in it and producing it. So, I’m really excited. It’s the first time I have a project that I’m really involved with from the beginning to the end, so it’s a little nerve-wracking, but I’m excited for this new adventure.
SK: Speaking of TBBT, were there any special ways you said goodbye to your TBBT team (like that awesome flash mob dance you and the crew performed in February) or final things you did with them before wrapping?
KC: The flash mob was a big one that was really important to us as a cast and a crew; it really brought us all together. I mean, every single person got involved on a little more of an intimate, personal level. The five women that are very close to me on the set are on my wardrobe, hair and makeup [teams]. [For] my wardrobe girls, I gave them… we all have little diamond twelves that I gifted them during the holidays, so we all wear them around. That was kind of like a little special memento. We can always remember our time together.
SK: And last but not least, we’d love to know what you’ll miss most about playing Penny on TBBT.
KC: You know, she’s iconic. She’s the best character I’ve ever played. She has every single quality. She’s funny, she’s [silly and] I’m sill, she’s sarcastic. She loves Leonard and she loves these guys and she’s a real girl. You know, we’ve tackled a lot of issues this year. Her even not wanting to have kids and her wanting to be a businesswoman. I don’t think we’ve seen that a lot in television. I was really impressed that they went that path and yeah, she’s a reason why I’m doing everything that I do in the future will be sent back to Big Bang.
Watch the first episode of Shell’s The Great Hack here and make sure to catch Cuoco on to The Big Bang Theory every Thursday at 8/7c on CBS.