This Monday on ‘The Big Bang Theory‘ (9:30 p.m. CBS), the nearing of Valentine’s Day finds priorities colliding when Leonard must decide who will accompany him to Switzerland to tour the geektastic Large Hadron Collider. Wolowitz, meanwhile, juggles holiday plans of his own, now that he has girlfriend Bernadette to keep happy.
Simon Helberg shared with Fancast his take on ‘Big Bang’s most unexpected romantic success story and pondered a possible encore by a certain ‘Battlestar’ babe.
‘Big Bang Theory’ is now commanding a huge audience of 15 million viewers. Has anything been different for the cast as a result?
A lots of things have shifted, yeah. The difference between where we were with our first season, [drawing] 8 or 9 million, is huge. So definitely, when out in a public place, you can sort of “feel” how many people are actually watching the show. It’s sort of surreal, scary and great.
And on top of all that, I imagine there has been an upgrade in craft services.
[Laughs] I have really high standards, so I want a sushi buffet three meals a day. No, we have always had very nice craft services. It’s not like we have gold-plated sinks in our dressings rooms!
In this week’s episode, does Howard have any interest in going to Switzerland to see the Collider?
No, Howard is completely consumed with Bernadette. We don’t see her, but he’s talking to her on the phone about his big plans for Valentine’s Day – and they involve P.F. Chang’s. [Laughs] He’s kind of the most functional of them all right now as far as romance. Leonard, of course, wants to take Penny [to Geneva], and Sheldon doesn’t understand. “Why would he take a girl who doesn’t have any interest in the supercollider?” – even though for Leonard it would mean spending Valentine’s Day in Switzerland.
What was your reaction when you learned that Howard would not only be getting a girlfriend but for multiple episodes?
At first, it was for just one episode. Then we just did it and everyone liked it. Melissa Rauch is terrific and offers an amazing take on the character, one that fits perfectly into the dynamic of the show. It opens up a world of possibility and adds depth for my character.
Yeah, one of the things that was nice about the recent Katee Sackhoff cameo was it gave us a peek into Howard’s psyche.
It’s great when you can round out the characters, to see who these people are and why they are the way they are. They did that last season, too, when Howard cried to Penny…. My character walks a fine line between being romantic and borderline illegal, so it’s nice to see, “Oh, he’s just a wounded romantic.” Like everybody, he has standards that are not only out of touch with reality, but he was also looking for the wrong thing.
Might we ever get an encore from Sackhoff? Maybe Howard can “consult” her in the bath tub if things with Bernadette start to hit the skids.
I know they loved having her, and in an interview she made an allusion to coming back as my “conscience,” which is a cool idea. It’d be fun to have her as my Jiminy Cricket – though prettier!
What could send the Howard/Bernadette romance off the rails?
In every episode they go off the rails a little bit. He is constantly perplexed; he doesn’t know the road a relationship has to travel. You have to remember, these guys are not adaptive in many ways, and Howard’s whole M.O. is hitting on women. So I suspect he’ll screw that up – he’s doesn’t know a life without flirting – or his mother could come in between them, or he could get jealous…. Whatever the case, it will be fun to watch him learn to be a human being and see if he can actually do it.