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The Big Bang Theory is an ultra-popular, long running comedy sitcom, and many wonder, as with other celebrities, what are some of the real life happenings of the cast? The show revolves around a wide variety of intelligent scientists, mainly those in the field of psychics, who are smartly naive to the ways of the world. The Big Bang Theory plays on the idea that the uber-intelligent of the science world can at times be hilariously childish, though the actors that play them tend to be more down to Earth. The three higher paid and generally more popular stars of the program are Johnny Galecki, Jim Parsons, and Kaley Cuoco.
In The Big Bang Theory, seemingly the last subject on the minds of the characters is money, but in real life the opposite seems true. As it gained in popularity, the show’s stars began asking for more and more money, knowing they had one heck of a bargaining chip. As of August 2014, Galecki, Parsons, and Cuoco had signed contracts to pay them each $90 million over the next three years, equaling roughly one million dollars to each actor, per episode.
Simon Helberg and Kunal Nayyar are the other two stars of The Big Bang Theory who play Howard Wolowitz and Rajesh Koothrappali, respectfully. While many insist their characters are as vital to the program as the others and just as popular, their pay may suggest otherwise. When Helberg and Nayyar heard the news, they threatened to leave the show unless they received similarly large salary increases. Their complaints earned them both contracts that will pay out $70 million over three years. Previously, only the cast of Friends and Seinfeld were able to achieve such inflated salaries and only in their final seasons.
Viewership determines the salaries of these actors, and the number of viewers for The Big Bang Theory continue to skyrocket. The stars have come a long way in a short amount of time, having only made $60 thousand per episode in the first three seasons, and was bumped up to $200 thousand an episode after that. Should the series continue after the next several years, it is not a longshot to imagine what the next round of contract negotiations will look like. Though some believe their salaries are inflated, many more are interested in other real life happenings of the cast of The Big Bang Theory.
For instance, some still do not know that Cuoco is not the real-life daughter of Captain Kirk himself, William Shatner. Their appearances together in commercials portray them as such, but this is simply fiction. Recently, Cuoco has been cast in a more controversial light with her comment about “not being a feminist”. The truth is, Cuoco is a self-made woman who simply did not want to be labeled as a feminist, despite believing in equal rights and sex-equality. Labels can hinder people, be they famous or not.
There are times when life imitates art, such as the once romantic relationship between Cuoco and Galecki. For a number of years the two were a couple–on and off of the show–but valued their privacy as individuals. The two broke up years back but continue to work with one another, showcasing their professionalism. If the stars of the show are anything, they are all professionals.
Parsons, who plays Sheldon Cooper on The Big Bang Theory, is one of Hollywood’s biggest openly homosexual actors, and is now the highest paid LGBT thespian in the world. He joins the ranks of Zachery Quinto and Neil Patrick Harris in being homosexual actors who have become famous playing straight characters. Unlike Quinto however, Parsons and Harris have their own Hollywood stars.
Parsons has said that he is not currently looking to marry his boyfriend of 12 years, Todd Spiewak. Last year during an interview on The Ellen Show, Parsons felt quite pressured by Ellen to get married and join the cause. He said, “At this point I’m used to life how it is, and while we’re not against it, I’m kind of loser for the cause itself.” This goes to show that just because something is legal in the United States that has not been since the country’s founding, one does not have to take advantage of the opportunity simply because others choose to.
Both Helberg and Nayyar’s lives have been in the public eye as of late for their choice in mates. Nayyar married a former Miss India pageant winner, Neha Kapur. To many geek hopefuls, like the one he plays on the hit show, he landed a dream-girl. Vogue even went as far as to dub them “Beauty and the Geek”. The 31-year-old beauty queen Kapur is spending the day celebrating Nayyar’s birthday, who turns 34 today.
Helberg has been married for over seven years, but has seen his share of romantic issues during that time. Apparently, the couple had a bad separation for a time, which led Helberg to chase her and win her back. He turned the experience into a movie that he also directed called We’ll Never Have Paris. In it, the main character cheats on his longtime girlfriend and she somehow finds out, and flees to Paris to get over her lover’s betrayal, only to have him follow her to try to win back her affections. Though Helberg says the exact circumstances are a bit exaggerated, the main plot of the story is true.
Like all characters in television, the public always wonders just how much alike they are to their real life counterparts. Fans of The Big Bang Theory are no exception, which is why it can be hard to find many details of their lives even in the age of the internet, everyone tries to keep a certain level of privacy. This is true be someone a politician, celebrity, or an “average Joe”. The Big Bang Theory was out for over 4 seasons before anyone knew that Parsons was gay, despite never hiding it. The cast of The Big Bang Theory all have long careers ahead of them, and even more real life happenings for the media to pick up on.
By Benjamin Johnson
Photo by Dustin Moore – Creativecommons Flickr License