Variety associate features editor Jenelle Riley moderated a keynote by Kaley Cuoco, executive producer and star of “The Flight Attendant” on HBO Max, for the Variety Entertainment Summit, in partnership with CES 2021.
The former “Big Bang Theory” actor remembered the moment when she knew it was time to make the jump from acting to producing, having received and read a copy of “The Flight Attendant” back when it was just a 2018 novel.
“I had no interest in producing, it wasn’t something that called my name at the time,” Cuoco said. “I thought if I wanted to, I’ll know when the time is right. And I knew in the moment when I held this book in my hand that this was going to be the next thing and I was ready to dive in.”
Cuoco went on to summarize what it was like to learn the ropes of television production, and expressed joy and pride that women actors are finally starting to nab more hands-on roles in the storytelling spaces they deserve.
“I do think if you have that opportunity to get in there, especially women right now, this is our time,” she stated. “This is our world now. And TV is hot. Dreaming is hot. It’s great to be able to have your own voice and your own opinion.”
While happy to take a victory lap for successfully transforming a story from the literary page to the screen, Cuoco took time to stress how vital of a role teamwork plays in making TV.
“It actually saddens me that I feel I had my head in the sand for so many years,” Cuoco said. “I truly did not know what it took and what a team effort it is. This is not a one woman show. It makes you so proud and it is bittersweet to see it come out and see this thing that you created with all these amazing people that helped you along the way. Just remember how you got there.”