The Role Kaley Cuoco Was 'Devastated' About Losing After The Big Bang Theory Ended

Kaley Cuoco as Penny in The Big Bang Theory
(Image credit: Warner Bros. Television)

The continuously-working Kaley Cuoco is primarily known as a TV actress, with her notable roles on the small screen including Penny on The Big Bang Theory, Cassie Bowden on The Flight Attendant and Harley Quinn in the same-named animated series. That said, she’s also assembled a sizable amount of film credits over the years, including Hop, The Wedding Ringer and Alvin and the Chipmunks: Road Chip. Unfortunately, Cuoco lost out on the opportunity to star in Rian Johnson’s Knives Out 2, which left her “devastated” afterwards.

As part of making the press rounds to promote The Flight Attendant Season 2, which can be watched with an HBO Max subscription, Kaley Cuoco stopped by Glamour to talk about both her professional endeavors and personal life. When the publication asked if there was ever a role during or after her time on The Big Bang Theory that she either couldn’t make room for or simply didn’t get, Cuoco answered affirmatively, saying it happened “actually quite recent.” She explained:

It was the sequel for Knives Out. And I was convinced [the part was mine]. Kate Hudson ended up getting it. But I was so convinced that my bags were packed for Greece. And then I didn’t get it. I was so devastated. And I’m not [normally] devastated over roles. I had done chemistry reads, I had done Zooms. And I didn’t get it. I cried and I cried all night long. And it went to Kate, who’s great.

Kate Hudson of Almost Famous and How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days fame  was revealed to be joining the Knives Out 2 cast back in May 2021, and now we know that Kaley Cuoco was up for the same role. Ultimately writer/director Rian Johnson felt that Hudson was a better fit for this character, but I feel bad for how not scoring this role affected Cuoco so negatively. There is a happy epilogue to this story though. 

The day after finding out she wouldn’t be in Knives Out 2, the Big Bang Theory star was called about another movie, Meet Cute. Initially Kaley Cuoco wasn’t interested in reading the script, but she soon relented and found it to be “the most magical little script.” While she still felt “gutted” about not getting to be in Knives Out 2, Cuoco acknowledged that this paved the way for her to star in Meet Cute with Pete Davidson, and that she was “supposed to do this.”

I was thinking I was hot shit: I’m going to be with Daniel Craig. This is amazing. But I couldn’t be happier with how things turned out. That’s what it was supposed to be, and Knives is going to be great and Kate’s great. She was supposed to do it and I was supposed to do this. And maybe I’ll get to audition for the third one.

Much like the secrecy surrounding Marvel and Star Wars movies, among other major blockbuster properties, Rian Johnson has been kept tight-lipped about what’s in store for Knives Out 2, which will be available exclusively to Netflix subscribers following the first movie being distributed by Lionsgate. All we know is that Kate Hudson’s character will be among the suspects Daniel Craig’s Benoit Blanc will be investigating during his time in Greece. Hudson’s other costars include Dave Bautista, Edward Norton, Janelle Monáe, Kathryn Hahn, Leslie Odom Jr., Madelyn Cline, Jessica Henwick and Ethan Hawke. Knives Out 2 is expected to drop on Netflix sometime in the last quarter of 2022.

As for Kaley Cuoco, Meet Cute doesn’t have a release date yet, but you can see her back in the world of The Flight Attendant when Season 2’s first two episodes premiere April 21 on HBO Max. Cuoco is also co-starring with Kevin Hart and Woody Harrelson in The Man from Toronto, which will now be released exclusively on Netflix just like Knives Out 2.

Adam Holmes
Senior Content Producer

Connoisseur of Marvel, DC, Star Wars, John Wick, MonsterVerse and Doctor Who lore, Adam is a Senior Content Producer at CinemaBlend. He started working for the site back in late 2014 writing exclusively comic book movie and TV-related articles, and along with branching out into other genres, he also made the jump to editing. Along with his writing and editing duties, as well as interviewing creative talent from time to time, he also oversees the assignment of movie-related features. He graduated from the University of Oregon with a degree in Journalism, and he’s been sourced numerous times on Wikipedia. He's aware he looks like Harry Potter and Clark Kent.