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Raj is going on a date on CBS’ The Big Bang Theory!
Kunal Nayyar‘s super-sweet, super-awkward science guy may finally have met his match in Lucy, the introverted heroine who seemingly saved his hopelessly single Valentine’s Day — until she left him high and dry shortly thereafter.
On Big Bang Theory, the perennially single Raj found out that Lucy (Raising Hope‘s Kate Micucci) didn’t just up and leave him because he’s not quite the quintessential ladies’ man. Instead, she bolted because she hails from a similar universe when it comes to being incredibly awkward around the opposite sex.
After being saved from his downward spiral (who can forget Nayyar in his tighty-whities?), the ever-suave metrosexual charmer used a string of self-deprecating remarks to score an official date with Lucy, which takes place Thursday.
The Hollywood Reporter caught up with Micucci to get the scoop on Big Bang Theory — she originally auditioned to play Amy Farrah Fowler! — as well as what’s next for her musical comedy duo Garfunkel and Oates (her partner has also guest starred!).
The Hollywood Reporter: Were you a fan of Big Bang Theory before you were cast?
Kate Micucci: I’ve definitely watched a lot of it. I’ll rewind parts just to see a reaction over and over again. I’m a huge I Love Lucy fan — which is cool because I play character named Lucy — and Big Bang is like that show for me when I rewind to catch certain moments. I was watching the episode where Amy goes to a wedding with Leonard and they’re dancing together, and Amy has the sweetest and cutest reaction to Leonard when they’re doing the chicken dance. I rewound that four times, and I love Mayim Bialik in that and told her as much.
THR: Lucy and Raj are both super-awkward. How will they get through this date?
Micucci: Raj has his issue with social anxiety, as does Lucy. They both end up going on a date to the library, which is Raj’s idea. It’s very sweet, and the library makes sense for a first date for these two. It plays out perfectly — he decides he’d be more comfortable, as she would, too, so we text each other throughout the date. We laughed a lot doing the scene, and it was a fun thing to do in front of a live audience.
THR: Is the door left open for a potential second date?
Micucci: The date ends on a hopeful note. I know I’ll be coming back at some point, but I don’t know what the plan is. I love working with Kunal, and we have a lot of fun.
THR: How much will we learn about the source of Lucy’s awkwardness? It’s such a relatable storyline.
Micucci: I was a shy kid for so many years, and a lot of people can relate to her story. There’s a lot about being shy and in dating scenarios — it’s scary, and that’s what makes it fun to watch these two who are so completely scared and nervous in so many ways that they balance each other out. You learn more about Lucy over the course of the date — she’s a loner and she works online — but as far as where the anxiety comes from, not too much.
THR: How might Lucy handle what comes after the library with Raj, considering he doesn’t have any liquid courage in his system?
Micucci: I don’t think she will judge him in any way for his weirdness because she has such a dose of her own problems! (Laughs)
THR: Lucy has already received a warning from Howard after she skipped out on Raj the first time. Will he be able to trust her now?
Micucci: I’m sure she’d take that warning to heart; she’s a very earnest person. But at the same time, I don’t know if there’ll be any interaction with everyone or not. I do think she’d take that info to heart and not want to hurt Raj. He’s such a sweet character, how could you want to hurt him?! She only hurt his feelings because of her own problems, too.
THR: Will Lucy get to take part in a girls’ night?
Micucci: I have no idea at all, but I love watching everybody on the show, they’re so much fun to watch.
THR: Both Bialik and Melissa Rauch started as recurring players before being bumped to series regulars. Do you think Lucy will be around for as long as Amy and Bernadette?
Micucci: I don’t know what the next step is. They thought of me for Lucy because I auditioned for Amy years ago, and they liked and kept me in the back of their minds. When this character came up, that’s how I ended up playing Lucy. I’m so excited to be playing this role. When I first read the scene where she goes back to apologize to Raj — and this is going to sound dorky, but when I get excited, I dance — I did a dance in my apartment because I was so excited to get to play something with such heart that is so funny. It’s been a dream to do scenes with Kunal.
THR: Beyond Big Bang, you’re also an accomplished puppeteer. When you first got the part, that’s how we thought Lucy might communicate with Raj and get over that hurdle with him. Might that be something that comes into play on the show?
Micucci: That hadn’t occurred to me, but that might be a solution! (Laughs.) I really like doing puppetry; I’m not sure if it will find its way into Big Bang, but it always does seem to find its way into a lot of things. But that’s a really good call!
THR: Your Garfunkel and Oates partner, Riki Lindhome, also appeared as Ramona, a Sheldon-obsessed Caltech student. Who on Big Bang is the G&O fan?
Micucci: When Riki was on the show, Garfunkel and Oates had just started. It’s a really wonderful coincidence. I remember Riki having an amazing time working on the show, and I was super-excited when I was cast. The producers definitely know Riki, and they love her, and it was nice to know that they’re aware of Garfunkel and Oates.
THR: Might we see some of your musical comedy make its way into the series?
Micucci: I don’t know if that’s an option right now. We’re working on our fourth album, due in the spring, right now, and a lot of our material may not be safe for network television. Actually, most of it may not be safe — we’d have to change a lot of the words!
What are you looking forward to seeing? Do you think Lucy and Raj will last? Hit the comments with your thoughts. The Big Bang Theory airs Thursdays at 8 p.m. on CBS.
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