OnlyOnAOL: What truly freaks 'Big Bang' star Johnny Galecki out
By: Donna Freydkin
Back in 2006, Johnny Galecki starred in the Broadway play "The Little Dog Laughed," playing a prostitute named Alex. So he's used to the ins and outs of being a stage-rat.
What he wasn't prepared for, says Galecki, was shooting his October horror movie "Rings."
"That was the point of doing it. I thought doing a movie of that genre would be fun. It was actually a lot of work. The character I play in 'Rings,' Gabriel, is very self-involved. His motives are purely selfish. That's very rarely the case with Leonard," says Galecki, referring to the Emmy-nominated experimental physicist he plays in "Big Bang Theory," the long-running CBS hit series. (Watch our interview with his costar Simon Helberg above).
Comedy aside, Galecki says slasher films get under his skin. "I can't see a frame of 'The Exorcist.' Any film with that choral soundtrack, I'm running for the door. That's a testament to the films. But that's what I'm looking for in my career at this point -- a challenge. I grew up putting on plays," he says.
Now, as Leonard Leakey Hofstadter, he gets to put on a mini-play every week in front of a live audience. The show is in its tenth season, a feat almost unheard of in network television these days.
"It's pretty surreal. How many people get to say that?" muses Galecki. "If there was a recipe for it, everyone would do it. There's no manual. It's reinventing the wheel every week. I personally can only project what's appealing for me and that's the characters and dynamic between them. They are underdogs in a certain way."
The dynamic between the cast has changed. All of them have personal lives and try to spend time with significant others. "The core of us all being incredibly fond of one another and respectful of each other has been there since day one. We used to go on vacation together. We became close very, very fast," says Galecki.
Of all the plot twists involving Leonard, it's the one with Penny (Kaley Cuoco) that hit him the hardest.
"The main reason I wanted to play Leonard is that I knew I'd get to traverse these stories of heart with Penny. I didn't know if the relationship would come to fruition. The storyline a couple of years ago, when he shared that he loved her and she didn't respond in the same manner –- that was something that allowed Leonard to grow a whole lot. When you have your heart shattered like that, it evolves you. You're a different person after that," says Galecki.
This season, Leonard and Penny have a proper wedding reception, after eloping last year.
Galecki says he has "very little" in common with Leonard. "We're both pretty sensitive. It's an albatross if anything. We both endeavor to be romantic love. When we love we love hard. That's about it. None of the same interests whatsoever."