Kaley Cuoco says she was 'freaking out' after 'The Big Bang Theory' ended because she'll never have that salary or cast again

Kaley Cuoco played Penny in "The Big Bang Theory". Taylor Hill / Getty Images; CBS Photo Archive / Getty Images
Kaley Cuoco said she couldn't "compare" any future projects with "The Big Bang Theory" on Wednesday.
After the show's finale in 2019, Cuoco said she accepted that she would no longer have that cast or salary.
The actress eventually decided to leave the CBS show in "its own location" as a "unit of its own".
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"The Big Bang Theory" star Kaley Cuoco recalled concerns that none of her future projects after the end of 2019 would compare to the hit CBS series.
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During an interview on "The One Show" on Wednesday, the 35-year-old actress discussed how to move away from her role as Penny when "The Big Bang Theory" ended in May 2019. Given that she had spent over a decade turning 12, Cuoco said it was difficult to imagine her next steps.
"When I started freaking out about the comparisons or my next project, I realized there was nothing you could compare to 'Big Bang'," she said, adding, "As a separate entity, I'll never have that again."
Cuoco continued, "I won't have that line-up again, the money, the schedule, the 12 years ... I mean, it was all insane."
The series' original cast members - Jim Parsons, Cuoco, Johnny Galecki, Kunal Nayyar, and Simon Helberg - were not only closely related, but also some of the top-earning talents on television.
In 2018, Forbes reported that Cuoco was the second highest paid television actress of the year, earning $ 24.5 million in input tax between June 1, 2017 and June 1, 2018. That ranking was submitted after the actress along with the four other original cast members who each cut $ 100,000 in salaries in 2017 to allow Melissa Rauch and Mayim Bialik to make more, according to Variety.
Knowing that many people would inevitably base their future work on the popular sitcom, Cuoco said she had decided to pursue projects for herself.
"I thought, OK, if I can accept that nothing compares to that, I can't control what other people are going to say about me, but I knew my next project was going to be for me and I would leave that." his own place, "she said.
After the series finale of "The Big Bang Theory", Cuoco Executive produced and starred in the HBO Max series "Flight Attendant".
Her on-screen performance earned the actress her first Golden Globe nomination, for the best actress in a musical or comedy category.
Last month, Cuoco described the day she found out "The Big Bang Theory" came to an end during an interview with Variety's Kate Arthur. She remembered being called into co-creator Chuck Lorre's office and assumed the meeting was around season 13.
However, Parsons was there to get the word out that he couldn't continue the show, leaving Cuoco "shocked". Although the actress said she "really" wants to continue shooting "The Big Bang Theory," she respected her co-star's decision.
"We're all for one, one for all. And we're not going to do this without the whole team," she said, adding, "That was the only thing we all agreed on - we came together, we go outside together . "
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