The two secretly dated IRL while shooting the show for two years.

Morgan Noll
Nov 13, 2020 @ 12:17 pm
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Credit: Robert Voets/CBS, Getty Images

TV show fandoms love when actors date both on the show and IRL, but, for those involved, things can get pretty awkward if the real-life relationship doesn't last. On Monday's episode of Dax Shepard's Armchair Expert podcast, Kaley Cuoco talked about her own on- and off-screen relationship with Big Bang Theory co-star Johnny Galecki—and how things changed when they broke up.

Cuoco and Galecki started secretly dating when the show was in its early years. "We got together and just fell mad for each other for about two years. But then we broke up," Cuoco told Shepard. Though the co-stars broke up in late 2009, their characters, Penny and Leonard, started getting involved romantically in-universe that same year.

Fortunately, Cuoco said she and Galecki came out of the breakup "brilliantly" and that the two are closer now than they ever were before. She added, though, that in the weeks after the split, "it was a little sensitive for a minute" between the two of them. However, producer Chuck Lorre—who Cuoco called "the genius behind the show"—didn't seem to be concerned with sensitivity at all.

"I remember those weeks that Chuck had written these episodes where all of a sudden our characters were, like, sleeping together every other second," she said.

Cuoco told Shepard that she suspected this wasn't an accident. "Johnny and I would talk, and I'm like, 'I think—no, but I think [Lorre] did that on purpose,'" she said. When Shepard asked Cuoco if she thought the producer was doing this to try to get them back together in real life or just to mess with them, she responded, "No, just to fuck with us."

Despite this, she doesn't seem to have any hard feelings toward Lorre. "It's the latter, which makes me love him even more. But in fact, if I was with him, I would probably ask him, because that came out of nowhere," she said.

Cuoco, who's been married to Karl Cook since 2018, also reiterated that she and co-star Gallecki, who has a son with girlfriend Alaina Meyer, "came out of it better than before," which is a huge relief for both the co-stars and Big Bang Theory fans.