‘The Big Bang Theory’: How Did Johnny Galecki Say His Final Goodbye to Leonard?

After such an emotional series finale, Johnny Galecki was asked in an interview about how he handled the whole thing. He talked about his feelings leading up to the last taping, and what he thinks about the show ending after 12 solid seasons. Galecki also explained how he said goodbye to his character, Leonard Hofstadter.

There has been a lot of speculation over why The Big Bang Theory was ending. It saw such high ratings from the start, and almost twelve years later, it was one of the most successful shows on TV. So why end the show when it’s clearly got staying power? Some thought that it was Jim Parsons who wanted it to end. Others felt the show just needed to end on top.

Galecki helped clear up all those rumors during his interview with TV Line, at The Big Bang Theory wrap party. He also went into detail about his own feelings on the matter.

How does Johnny Galecki get into character for ‘Big Bang’?

Johnny Galecki
Johnny Galecki | Jason LaVeris/FilmMagic

Many actors talk about their characters and being able to relate to them in some way. After all, how can you play a role well, if you have nothing in common? Over time these characters become an alter ego of sorts. 

On the surface, Galecki has nothing in common with Leonard Hofstadter. They are different, both physically and intellectually. While his now iconic character has a Ph.D. in Experimental Physics, Galecki only made it to eighth grade. He does, however, believe in continuing education and even taught himself how to play the cello. That’s impressive!

His character also wears glasses, but Galecki does not. On the show, he wears lens-free frames to get into character. It has even been said that he wears shoe lifts to make Leonard a little taller. That would make sense because Parsons is very tall, but their height difference isn’t that big on screen.

It is almost impossible to think of any of these guys as being actors because they play nerds so well. According to IMDb, Galecki did say that he and his co-stars researched their characters to prepare for their parts. 

“We talked to physicists at UCLA. We watched Nova,” Galecki explained. “I tried to read some books, but they gave me anxiety attacks by page two. We realized that we couldn’t pretend to think like geniuses. But we can learn to relate to them, emotionally.”

What does Johnny Galecki think about his character, Leonard?

Although Galecki and Leonard Hofstadter seem to have little in common, he is still able to bring this character to life. That probably has a little to do with the character’s relatability. Of course, it also helps that Galecki has been acting since he was 7-years-old.

Galecki has been playing Leonard Hofstadter for almost 12 years. He helps his character build relationships, fall in love, and come out of his shell.

With all that investment in time, it is no wonder he had such a hard time saying goodbye during the finale. He was basically in a long term relationship with Leonard Hofstadter and the rest of the cast. Now that The Big Bang Theory has wrapped, he had no choice but to say goodbye to Leonard.

How did Johnny Galecki say his final goodbye to Leonard Hofstadter?

At the end of taping the final episode of The Big Bang Theory, He admitted that he was the one that took the finale the hardest. He went as far as describing himself as “a quivering puddle of tears on the floor.” While everyone was worried about how Kaley Cuoco would take it, he ended being the wreck.

He also described the moment he took for himself to properly say goodbye to his favorite role. “I took a little walk by myself around the soundstage after we wrapped and kind of said goodbye to Leonard — as odd and crazy as that sounds.” We don’t think that’s crazy at all.

Now that the show has officially ended, Galecki was asked about his feelings about ending at season 12, when there was still more life in the show. He explained that they all agreed it was time. The cast had talked years earlier about ending after 12 seasons. It turns out the finale was a group choice.