It didn't take Kaley Cuoco long to know that The Flight Attendant would be the perfect project to usher in the next stage of her career after the end of The Big Bang Theory. In fact, she knew before she'd even read the book the show is based on.
The upcoming HBO Max drama The Flight Attendant is an adaptation of Chris Bohjalian's best-selling 2018 novel about a flight attendant who wakes up with a hangover and finds a dead body in her Dubai hotel bed, leading her to try to piece together the mystery of the man's death. In addition to starring in the series as flight attendant Cassandra Bowden, Cuoco also executive produces. Speaking at a digital panel for the show on Wednesday, Cuoco said it only took one line of Bohjalian's novel to convince her she had to get the rights to the book.
"I read one little snippet, a line of the book on Amazon. And it just was one sentence, and I got like this weird chill," Cuoco said. "I called my team and said, 'Hey, I'd love to look at the rest of this book,' and their first question was, 'OK, you read the book, you love the book,' and I was like, 'Oh yeah, I totally read the book.' I had not read the book. But something had told me that I needed to jump on that."
The actress, who described her character as having "a roller coaster of issues but a heart of gold," said she liked that the role blended drama and comedy, making it the ideal transition after 12 seasons on The Big Bang Theory. "I love making people laugh," Cuoco said. "I thought if we could find the right team and bring some levity to such a dark book that it could be kind of cool."
And even though the series is based on a book and billed as a limited series, it sounds like the team behind The Flight Attendant is already thinking about another season — and Cuoco isn't playing coy about it. "Oh, we have plans for another season," she said.
Showrunner and executive producer Steve Yockey emphasized that the show is a limited series but added, "I think we have everything that we need in place, should the show move forward after this initial mystery."
The Flight Attendant is coming to HBO Max this fall.