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Kaley Cuoco on assembly Sharon Stone and enjoying 17 variations of herself in ‘Flight Attendant’


Seeing double: Cuoco performs 17 variations of herself in “The Flight Attendant”

Is the HBO Go miniseries “The Flight Attendant” extra flash than substance, opting to place a premium on mere madcappery over that means? Effectively, not if you happen to ask Rotten Tomatoes. The evaluate aggregator has given the present’s eight-part first season an astounding 97 p.c approval ranking—with good motive.

The sequence, about promiscuous alcoholic flight attendant Cassie Bowden (star and producer Kaley Cuoco of “The Huge Bang Concept”) who wakes up with a useless man (Michiel Huisman) beside her throughout a layover, is deeper than all of the hype in regards to the novel-turned-TV sequence suggests.

After an evening of drunken stupor, sexual abandon and psychological torpor, the hardly useful and prompt gratification-seeking Cassie isn’t even positive if she slashed the good-looking businessman’s throat herself.

By the point Season 1 wraps up, we notice that the present’s self-destructive protagonist didn’t actually do the dastardly deed. Cassie thereafter begins her arduous however inspiring journey on the highway to sobriety.

That’s simpler mentioned than finished, nevertheless, as we quickly discover out within the newest season—which takes us again to Cassie’s life a yr later. We’ve seen six of the eight-part sophomore season thus far, which cleverly explores the trauma and the dire circumstances that led to Cassie’s deep-seated woes.

One of many newest season’s absolute highlights present Cassie getting dragged again by her brother Davey (the terrific TR Knight of “Gray’s Anatomy”) to her estranged mom Lisa’s house, performed to heart-rending perfection by the award-worthy Sharon Stone.

Kaley Cuoco —PHOTOS COURTESY OF HBO GO

Kaley Cuoco —PHOTOS COURTESY OF HBO GO

Tough scenario

This time round, Cassie, who’s now “dwelling her finest sober life in LA” along with her new boyfriend Marco (Santiago Cabrera), has been recruited as a civilian asset for the CIA.

However when she inadvertently witnesses a homicide throughout what appeared like simply one other perfunctory task in Germany, Cassie turns into entangled in one other worldwide intrigue—a difficult scenario that necessitates a return go to to her Thoughts Palace, the place she is confronted by totally different variations of herself to assist her retrace her tracks as she seems to be for clues surrounding the crime.

“Cassie thinks she’s very good this season as a result of she’s sober and he or she is sort of telling the world, her household and associates that she’s dwelling an entire new life,” mentioned Kaley, when requested to clarify Cassie’s way of thinking in Season 2 throughout our current interview along with her. “However we discover out in a short time that she’s mendacity to herself and everybody round her … that she actually has not made the adjustments she claims she has.

“She thought sobriety was going to be a simple change for her … like, ‘Oh, take a look at me now! I’m doing nice.’ In actuality, she’s doing worse than ever. She’s received this facet gig as a CIA asset—it’s a really small job, and he or she’s probably not an agent.

“Simply the identical, this excites her—particularly now that she says she’s not consuming. This has change into the thrilling facet of her life. She doesn’t really feel bored as a result of she seems like a spy! She thinks she’s extra necessary on this area than she really is—which is why she retains getting in hassle.

“Cassie likes the truth that she has a secret. However she’s dying to inform somebody, that’s why it doesn’t take her lengthy to inform her finest buddy Annie (Zosia Mamet) and her boyfriend Max (Deniz Akdeniz).

“She checks out issues [for the CIA], however she misses the highs that she will get out of alcohol, in addition to the loopy ways in which she was. So Cassie’s throwing all that into her new job, however it’s actually not doing the trick for her.

“Our writing group and producers have been deeply concerned in ensuring that every one the conditions involving the CIA and the jargon have been proper. I left that to the professionals as a result of I had sufficient to do exactly enjoying 17 Cassies (laughs)—sure, that’s the official rely!”

Rosie Perez

Rosie Perez

Larger problem

For Kaley, the diploma of problem can be higher within the brand-new season as a result of as an alternative of speaking to the murdered Alex (Michiel) in her thoughts—aka the Thoughts Palace—she is confronted by totally different variations of herself!

“To inform Cassie’s persevering with story, we wished to make the most of the Thoughts Palace once more, however we didn’t need to inform the identical story,” Kaley defined. “We have been like, ‘Who’s she going to fulfill within the Thoughts Palace this season? And it was determined that she would meet herself, which suggests all these totally different components of herself that she doesn’t like.

“At first, it seemed like an incredible concept to play 5 or extra of me—till I did it, and I used to be like, ‘What the hell was I considering?’ It was a wild expertise! There have been a variety of weeks the place I used to be mainly working towards myself, and with a variety of my physique doubles.

“The one different present I’ve heard of doing it at this extent was [the Canadian sci-fi series] ‘Orphan Black.’ We spoke to a variety of their individuals who helped us determine this out. I’d shoot as one Cassie for hours, then I’d change to a different Cassie, mainly working towards myself.

“Many physique doubles have been performing with me, which was tremendous useful. However I additionally had to verify my eyeline was proper, and that I used to be shifting my fingers appropriately. It was loads to consider, particularly for somebody like me who usually lets issues come within the second. All the things about this needed to be very deliberate out.”

“It was actually bizarre. I’ve by no means finished something like that earlier than, however I believe it’s going to be very cool. We undoubtedly took a giant leap. This season is 10 occasions greater than it was in Season 1.”

“The Flight Attendant’s” Season 2 launches on Thursday on HBO Go.

TR Knight

TR Knight

Our Q&A with Kaley:

What do you and Cassie have in frequent?

Cassie and I each like to drink, though I don’t like consuming at her degree (laughs). She loves animals—that’s a giant one we have now in frequent. She likes to journey. She loves her associates, like Annie, Max and Megan (Rosie Perez), and would die for them. Then again, my household is nowhere as dysfunctional as hers, in order that’s the place we differ.

Your scene with Sharon Stone enjoying your estranged mother defined a variety of the whys from Season 1. How did she find yourself doing the present?

Clearly, casting Cassie’s mother was going to be a giant deal, and we wished to forged the proper particular person for it. Once we heard that Sharon really cherished our present and wished to do it, I nearly fell out of my chair, as you possibly can think about (laughs).

She was interested by enjoying Cassie’s mother and had actual affinity for the present. She has a variety of tales about her household and what it’s like coping with alcoholism—which made her really feel very near the story.

I’ll always remember when Sharon first landed on set. I used to be doing a scene with Theo (TR Knight), who performs my brother. We have been in a automotive and rapidly, Sharon popped her head into the window, and he or she was like, ‘My children!’ Then, she leaned in and gave us this enormous hug.

Sharon was instantly being very motherly with us. Whenever you see the scenes between Cassie and her mother, you’ll perceive a variety of the trauma that they’ve each been via their entire lives.

The present was developed by showrunner Steve Yockey primarily based on Chris Bohjalian’s 2018 novel. Did you contribute to the story for the second season, as a result of it’s all new materials, proper?

Yeah, that is all new. We adopted a lot of the e book for Season 1—which was our jumping-off level for Season 2. This time, it’s primarily based on our personal story and concepts. We got here up with our personal stuff.

Might you discuss in regards to the themes of the present, and what viewers can take away from it?

It’s about self-acceptance and forgiveness. It’s important to be taught to forgive your self. Cassie is so busy attempting to impress the world and the folks round her that she has but to really take a look at herself and settle for the person who she is.

There are totally different components of ourselves that we hate and components of ourselves that we love. What’s so cool about this season is that you simply see this experience that Cassie goes on earlier than we see her lastly being OK with who she has change into.

That’s all we will do as folks generally. I imply, I’m engaged on that myself … to be OK with the errors all of us make each single day, and to just accept that that’s a part of life.

Stream or obtain the sophomore season of “The Flight Attendant” starting April 21, solely on HBO GO.

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