The Big Bang Theory's Kunal Nayyar Shares Funny Filming Detail (And It Actually Makes Total Sense)

Raj in cafeteria on The Big Bang Theory
(Image credit: HBO Max)

Learning on-set secrets years after a series has ended is always a fun experience. Of course, The Big Bang Theory is no exception. The show’s cast has already revealed multiple stories so far about what happened on the set, including the big issue some guest stars had while doing the comedy, and it only ended a couple of years ago. Kunal Nayyar was the latest alum to spill some behind-the-scenes magic from the set, as he revealed the exepectedly logical way the sitcom filmed its memorable stairway scenes.

The Big Bang Theory alum spilled this amusing behind-the-scenes info while being interviewed by The Independent, offering insight into how the insta-classic CBS sitcom filmed those amazing stair scenes. Those sequences were some of the show’s best, and showcased some of the quirkiest and funniest interactions between the beloved characters. But those scenes were not always quite what they seemed, according to Kunal Nayyar, who said: 

The way it works is, you go down the stairs, and then they yell, ‘Hold.’ They change the scenery from like if the apartment says 1a it suddenly says 2a or 3. They change the set, so it looks exactly like another floor.

Fpr anyone who's ever given a second thought to how The Big Bang Theory's crew handled scenes shot across multiple floors, Kunal Nayyar has you covered. The actor revealed he and his co-stars had to wait in place — either in the stairwell or the platform — while the production crew would merely change the apartment number. Then after the changeover was completed, the cast members in the scene would have to repeat the same ascending-or-descending walkthrough while spouting different dialogue. Kunal Nayyar bluntly mentioned that the lower stairwell went nowhere as they repeated the same action during those moments. 

It makes absolute sense that filming tricks were applied to make the set feel bigger than it was, as if they were filming inside an actual apartment building. Constructing and maintaining multiple sets of the exact same hallways would’ve obviously eaten into the comedy’s budget for no real reason. So, reusing the same set with minor detail changes was more efficient in all the ways, as the camera set and blocking for a new set can eat into the production’s time. At least now, fans know how those memorable scenes came together.

That wasn’t the only stairwell secret the Suspicion star revealed about the beloved CBS comedy as of late. Nayyar also divulged that co-star Johnny Galecki left his mark on the set by sticking his chewing gum on the lower stairwell’s walls. It wasn’t just a one-off, either, and was a running part of the Big Bang Theory star’s routine throughout the series’ 12-season run. Sticking gum on a wall is just one of many behind-the-scenes facts that have been revealed about the show over the years, and there are no doubt many more to come as the years go by.

If you want to revisit those hallway scenes, you can watch all 12 seasons of The Big Bang Theory by subscribing to HBO Max. There are plenty of great shows on HBO Max to watch while you’re there. You can catch Kunal Nayyar in Succession along with other excellent shows on Apple TV+.

Adreon Patterson
News Writer

A boy from Greenwood, South Carolina. CinemaBlend Contributor. An animation enthusiast (anime, US and international films, television). Freelance writer, designer and artist. Lover of music (US and international).