Needless to say, comics villain Harley Quinn doesn’t have much in common with Penny from the Big Bang Theory — and Kaley Cuoco has loved the transition between characters.
The actress, 33, will star in and produce DC Universe’s upcoming adult animated series, Harley Quinn, which features Cuoco voicing the Queenpin of Gotham as she wreaks havoc on both the heroes and villains of Gotham City. The show also stars Lake Bell as Harley Quinn’s best friend, Poison Ivy.
Speaking to reporters after the panel for the show at the 2019 Television Critics Association press tour on Tuesday in Los Angeles, Cuoco said being able to drop F-bombs after 12 seasons of starring in the squeaky-clean Big Bang Theory was “very freeing.” (The hit CBS sitcom ended in May.)
“I f—ing love it,” she said. “It has been so much fun, because like Lake, I have a little bit of a potty mouth myself. And it’s been great to be able to just scream and cuss and fight and be the bada– that Harley Quinn is.”
Cuoco joked that the habit has also seeped into her off-screen life: “I’m like, ‘Oh my God, you need to calm down. You are not Harley Quinn when you’re out getting a coffee. Just calm down.’ “
While the two are fairly opposite characters, Cuoco said the shift from Penny to Harley Quinn “felt natural.”
“I was still shooting Big Bang when [Warner Bros. chief executive] Peter [Roth] called me, so it all was happening at the same time,” she said. “But yeah, it felt like the right move, and it’s just been a blast, to be honest. And another opportunity for me to mark my producing skills — that’s the new path that I’m wanting to take. So this was the start of that.”
And though the iconic villain has been depicted countless ways, Cuoco said Margot Robbie‘s portrayal of Harley Quinn in the 2016 movie Suicide Squad was what first caught her attention.
“I’m really going to be honest, it was when Margot Robbie came out,” she said. “And I know that was newer than most people, but that’s when I took notice of it. Also, I’m a huge fan of hers … and that’s when I got really obsessed with Harley Quinn.”
When it came to own portrayal, Cuoco said she was apprehensive at first because her voice is “very recognizable.”
“I was getting a little bit nervous that the true Harley fans would be like — because she’s very New Jersey-ish, New York, Chicago. And that’s not me. So I knew people would know my voice right away. So I’m like, ‘I’m not going to try and be someone that I’m not. It’s going to be my voice on crack.’ That’s what we decided early on … and I think we’ve accomplished the Kaley Cuoco voice on crack. That’s going to be a whole new thing.”
One thing’s for sure: Penny’s Big Bang Theory neighbors, Leonard and Sheldon, would be over the moon about this gig.
“I think they would think it was the hottest thing in the world,” Cuoco said. “I’m sure they wish there was an episode written about this now at this point. But yeah, I think this is in their wet dreams, for sure.”
As for what life has been like since saying goodbye to the show and her longtime costars?
“You know what, I haven’t really talked to anyone,” she said. “This feels like a summer hiatus for us, so we all go off in our own directions. I think it’s going to hit us all more in September, when we would normally [go back to the show].”
A premiere date for Harley Quinn has yet to be announced.
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