WandaVision‘s Elizabeth Olsen and The Flight Attendant‘s Kaley Cuoco both know how to blend drama and comedy to create a great television show. So it makes sense for them to interview each other about their experiences on TV. That’s exactly what they did in a virtual sit-down for Variety‘s Actors on Actors web series. And it is an entertaining and informative discussion that provided behind-the-scenes insight into acting, producing, and adjusting to very different responsibilities on set.
Whether you love inside baseball talks about Hollywood, or just enjoy listening to talented people discuss their profession, there’s a whole lot to love about this interview. Cuoco and Olsen touched on a wide range of topics; they talked about how different it is to also serve as a producer and not just an actor on a series. Olsen did both on her Facebook Watch show Sorry For Your Loss. And Cuoco was also a producer on her HBO Max series The Flight Attendant.
The duo also talked about the major differences between filming a movie compared to a television show. As a self-proclaimed “TV girl,” Cuoco “felt like the littlest fish in the ocean” when she recently filmed a Kevin Hart movie. She never even had a trailer on The Big Bang Theory. (Though she did have a great dressing room.) But while she loves doing television, she also said the experience of making a film is “so exciting, and like camp for a little bit.” Even if her own personal style is used to the fast-moving world of TV versus film.
The MCU veteran also knows what it’s like to work on a big movie set. But that didn’t provide much help in filming WandaVision. The show was filmed at breakneck speed. That was normal for Kaley Cuoco on The Big Bang Theory. But Olsen said that pace made “every day” of the Disney+ series feel “impossible.” Filming the first episode in a single day, all in front of a live studio audience will do that. (At least they had a whopping one day for pickups on that episode.)
But things didn’t get much easier after that. The “train” couldn’t stop moving on the set. They shot many pages of script every day. And they had to keep going at that rate since the show required so many set changes to match the different sitcom eras.
(That’s not why the limited series is almost certainly not going to get a second season. Elizabeth Olsen confirms that’s all fans will get. With one caveat: “With Marvel, you can never say no.”)
But there are major differences between shooting different kinds of TV shows some viewers might not always be aware of. Whereas a sitcom like The Big Bang Theory usually required two takes of a scene, Cuoco had to adjust to the very different format of shooting her HBO Max series. That meant both multiple takes and close-ups. Neither are common on traditional sitcoms. She had to adjust to having a cameraman right in her face.
And the WandaVision set had a rule that any last-second changes, which are frequent in MCU projects, had to be cleared a week before if they impacted anyone else. A train can’t run on time if someone keeps switching the tracks.
There were plenty of other tidbits for Marvel fans to enjoy too. Olsen basically played Wanda for two years. After a lengthy WandaVision shoot, she flew to London two days later to film Doctor Strange 2. (Which is why she missed all those WandaVision fan theories.) She just finished that film, where she learned director Sam Raimi “loves” looking at dailies. Even if Olsen doesn’t when she’s not producing.
And Kaley Cuoco also provided some great insight into what it was like filming The Flight Attendant. Including how they found the right “tone,” which was very different from the super-serious book it was based on. She’d shoot scenes in multiple ways since they weren’t sure how they would edit it. Cuoco and co-star Michiel Huisman also had to adjust to each other’s very different approaches. He’s “over-prepared” whereas Cuoco prefers to go with the flow and figure things out in the moment. Huisman would probably like working with Olsen, who “loves structure.”
If you like hearing talented people talk about what it’s really like to be a TV and film star, make sure to check out the whole interview. You’ll also learn why they both adore The Brady Bunch movies. Why John Ritter is still one of the most beloved actors ever. And the many problems that come with wearing a microphone pack.
Plus, you’ll also see two popular performers become “instant best friends.” They both love each other as much as viewers love them.