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A lot of actors say they don’t like to watch themselves in movies or TV, but when you’re Kaley Cuoco and you’re in a show as ubiquitous as The Big Bang Theory, sometimes you don’t have a choice. So yes, Cuoco will watch herself — but under one very specific condition. Cuoco recently appeared on The Kelly Clarkson Show reminiscing about her recently ended series and finding out that in many ways, she and Kelly Clarkson are the same person.

Kaley Cuoco fancies herself a historian of sorts

Actress Kaley Cuoco during an interview.
Kaley Cuoco | Lloyd Bishop/NBCU Photo Bank/NBCUniversal via Getty Images via Getty Images

When The Big Bang Theory wrapped for the final time last spring after 12 seasons, the cast knew the end was coming. Jim Parsons had decided he didn’t want to continue, so everybody had plenty of advance warning. Even so, knowing that the end was in sight made the waiting for the end harder than the end itself, the actress said. 

“I went through this strange grief period six months before we wrapped. Knowing it was coming, I was crying and hysterical and inconsolable … so when we did wrap, I had kind of gone through it,” she told Clarkson. 

Throughout the show’s runs, Cuoco had insisted on taking Polaroids of the cast, which she posted on Instagram. But why do that when we have smartphones? Well, for one thing, the show started before smartphones truly took off. For another thing, a Polaroid provides a tangible record, something a digital photo doesn’t do.

Clarkson said she’d like to do the same thing for her own show. And between that and Cuco’s shared love of horses, the two came to realize they had quite a bit in common.  

Kaley Cuoco likes to look back

Had The Big Bang Theory not ended earlier this year, the cast would have been working on new episodes. Cuoco mentioned the cast keeps in touch via email, and she and the others agreed that it felt strange not to be at a table read right about now. TV shows may come to an end, but the muscle memory lingers on. 

Although the show is no longer in the first-run business, it will never truly go away thanks to reruns, whether it’s on TBS or any other channel that has a syndication deal. Clarkson accurately said the show always seems to be on somewhere, and she wondered if Cuoco ever tunes in. Cuoco’s answer suggests maybe she isn’t as over the ending as she thought. 

“If it’s an older episode, I can’t do anything recent. It’s too close. But to see early seasons where I don’t even look like myself, I don’t even sound like myself, I went through a lot of changes,” she said. 

What is Kaley Cuoco doing now?

Cuoco told Clarkson that the cast emails have made it clear everybody is fine with moving on.

“Everyone’s really kind of on a new path, and it’s really, really cool,” said the actress.

Part of Cuoco’s path is her horses, but that’s hardly new. Clarkson joked that Cuoco could just be a rancher now. 

However, Cuco is not one to rest on her laurels, likening herself to a shark in that she always has to move forward. Earlier this year she inked a new deal with Warner Bros.’ TV division, which produced The Big Bang Theory.

She will, however, move from comedy to drama, with a new series called The Flight Attendant, which is expected to debut on Warner’s new streaming service HBO Max. That service is expected to debut next spring. The show will co-star Rosie Perez and Michiel Huisman of Game of Thrones

“I love that Warner Bros. is my home away from home, and I couldn’t be more excited to continue this incredibly collaborative and gratifying relationship,” Cuoco said of the deal. “They’re stuck with me now!”