Mayim Bialik already had a busy morning — she had an interview about world breastfeeding month at 8:30 a.m., right as Emmy nominations were being announced.
Needless to say, her morning suddenly got a lot busier. The actress, who earned a Best Supporting Actress in a Comedy Emmy nomination for her work as Amy on The Big Bang Theory, (in addition to a Best Comedy nod for the show) got on the phone with EW to talk about how she’ll celebrate (vegan cupcakes), working with Jim Parsons, and what she loves about Amy and Sheldon.
ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: Congratulations! How did you find out this morning?
MAYIM BIALIK: Before I knew I was being nominated I had an interview about world breastfeeding month, at 8:30 when the announcements started coming in. I was making my younger son cereal in Atlanta, I’m staying with my best friend and my boys and I figured the announcements must be in, and I wanted to see if Kristen Wiig got nominated! And then Heather [my publicist] called.
Have you heard from anyone else?
I’ve heard from just about everybody else! I got an amazing set of emails from Jim Parsons. He’s on the East Coast. And Simon Helberg I think is my only cast member who, because he has a new baby, is awake on the west coast, so I heard from him. I’m always pulling for Jim. I’m thrilled for our show. It’s such an extra, ridiculous insane piece of information that I got nominated.
It’s funny — you left TV to pursue education, and now you’re back on TV playing a neuroscientist. Did you ever imagine this is how your career would go?
How ’bout no? No, no, and no. When I went back to acting after I got my PhD [in neuroscience] and just had my second son, I just thought, hopefully I’ll work enough here and there to get health insurance. It was never on my radar that I would A.) Be working on a show anyone had heard of and B.) Be made a regular, and again, this is completely ridiculous, in the best way.
So how will you celebrate today?
We’re taking our boys to Legoland here in Atlanta and my best friend said she would buy me two vegan cupcakes today!
Do your kids know at all?
No, our older son is almost seven, and he’s starting to understand. They don’t watch TV, so he asked [this morning] what was going on, why we were freaking out, and I said, ‘Remember when President Obama wanted to be president? He had to be nominated.’ I said, ‘Well, I got nominated for something.’
What did you like about this past season?
I really liked the Amy and Sheldon relationship. The addition of Melissa Rauch and myself, the kind of ability to bring out Kaley Cuoco’s character so much and really let her shine in new ways, and then obviously to have this Amy/Sheldon relationship be possible through the slowest, sweetest courtship ever. I’m extremely honored to work alongside Jim Parsons. I really feel this belongs to our writers and to Chuck [Lorre] and Bill [Prady] and Steve [Molaro], who put such incredible words in all of our mouths. And I already heard from Mark Cendrowski, our incredible director, who Jim Parsons thanked when he got his first Emmy. So those are really people that I feel really got me here.
What do you like about working with Jim?
I like to say I have the easiest job ever, because if I don’t know how to say a line, I just think, ‘How would Jim say this?’ He’s fantastic. He’s the best person to steal line-readings from because our characters are so similar. When I first auditioned for this show, I did my best mimicry of him. He’s a very generous actor, I learn a lot from him. And we also personally have a lot of fun. That really shows through.
Do you know what episodes from this past season you’ll be submitting?
I think Warner Brothers submitted two episodes that honestly, I wasn’t very strong in. One was ‘The Beta Test Hypothesis’ and the other one was the Ornithophobia one. But I’m just really grateful to be acknowledged. It’s kind of crazy.
And what’s coming up this season with Amy and Sheldon?
We actually don’t know. We don’t know until we go back to work what the first episode will be. And then we learn week to week. That’s kind of how Chuck likes to work, and it works for us. It makes it really fun and spontaneous. I hope for more of the same, and also I hope for subtle differences in our relationship.
Besides a statue, anything you’re hoping for on Emmy night?
Convincing my stylist not to give me heels too high, because I will trip that night [laughs].