Kaley Cuoco Explains The Difference Between ‘Big Bang Theory’ And ‘Harley Quinn’

Kaley Cuoco in black at the DC Universe Harley Quinn panel

By Elyse Johnson |

Kaley Cuoco in black at the DC Universe Harley Quinn panel

(Getty Images)

Kaley Cuoco has come a long way from her days on the hit show The Big Bang Theory. She first joined the cast of show in 2007 as Penny, the next-door neighbor of the two main characters. Since the show has ended, Cuoco has moved on to new projects. According to the actress, her most recent work on DC Universe’s Harley Quinn is vastly different from her time on The Big Bang Theory.

Kaley Cuoco goes to the dark side

In 2018, it was announced that Cuoco would be the voice for Dr. Harleen Quinzel, aka Harley Quinn, in the adult-animated show, Harley Quinn. This is a complete deviation from Cuoco’s usual portrayals, particularly that of her character on Big Bang Theory. Cuoco’s character and the theme of BBT was more-or-less dry humor that didn’t cross any lines or have very adult content to it. One of the executive producers of Harley Quinn, Justin Halpern, explained that even though Kaley Cuoco was known for her role as Penny, Warner Bros. wanted her to play Harley.

“We hadn’t really thought about it because she’s always just been Penny on The Big Bang Theory and so we were like, ‘We love her, but let’s just talk about it,’ and we talked to her about it and she just completely got it,” Halpern spilled to

Helpern continued that Kaley Cuoco was “excited” to play the madwoman who’s known for her brazen demeanor and foul language. “She was excited about it. She was definitely like, ‘Woah, you guys really went for it,’ which she definitely, really loved. The first line that Harley says in the show is, ‘Listen up, you pieces of [expletive]’, and I think from that first line, Kaley was like, ‘Okay, I’m on board,'” he said.

She’s enjoyed being able to let loose

Kaley Cuoco herself has also spoke of her delight in playing such an edgy character. “It has been so much fun, because like [Harley Quinn co-star] Lake [Bell], I have a little bit of a potty mouth myself. And it’s been great to be able to just scream and cuss and fight and be the badass that Harley Quinn is,” she explained to People.

The actress elaborated, saying that when it came to her portrayal of Quinn, she wanted to make sure her performance was different since the character’s voice is so distinct. “I was getting a little bit nervous that the true Harley fans would be, like [angry] — because she’s very New Jersey-ish, New York, Chicago. And that’s not me. So I knew people would know my voice right away,” Cuoco stated.

She’s also proud of the fact that she’s so intimately involved in the show. Harley Quinn is the first production that her company, Yes, Norman Productions, has a stake in. Kaley Cuoco has gone from a side character to a main character to a lead to an executive producer, and that’s an incredible achievement.