Brutal Big Bang honesty

"This is a little weird world" ... Penny and Leonard (Kaley Cuoco and Johnny Galecki) ... The Big Bang Theory,
"This is a little weird world" ... Penny and Leonard (Kaley Cuoco and Johnny Galecki) ... The Big Bang Theory,

It's 10 minutes into an interview with the stars of the television drama Private Practice, when one of the publicists looks across at the assembled journalists.

Flown in from around the world, some are nodding sagely at the actors' responses, either genuinely interested in what is being said or desperate to cover up the fact they have minimal English and almost zero idea of what's going on.

Others have given up trying to pretend and are surfing the web on their phones.

And one is snoring. Head down on the table as everyone stares, noisily impersonating a chainsaw.

It would be surreal if it wasn't for the fact that international press junkets (as they are unhelpfully called) are filled with similar moments.

The reporter who has memorised a single question in English and asks it of everyone, no matter how inappropriate ("What makes you feel glamorous?"), the one who is more interested in what kind of yoga the actors prefer than what their role is actually about, the ones who fight, try to pocket "souvenirs" from the set, pose for photographs with the stars and more.

But it's the actors, as usual, who steal the show.

With hundreds of questions asked back to back over a full day, they start to get a bit loose.

The publicists who were worried about someone falling asleep suddenly realise they've got something far worse on their hands — an actor who is actually speaking his or her mind.

The Big Bang Theory's Kaley Cuoco, for example, stunned the room when she explained her starring role was "just a job" and one she wasn't particularly attached to.

"This is not real life," she said. "This is a little weird world. It will never become my reality, ever. There's no way, because I'm not going to have this forever. I'm just going to enjoy it now, and the minute it's gone, I'll have other things to do."

You could have heard a pin drop. But surely being a star in this celebrity-obsessed world was what she'd always wanted?

"I've never been in an acting class in my life. I would rather kill myself. There's no way. I mean every word. That sounds awful."

Possibly, but it was also the most honest answer anyone had heard in years. And nobody was asleep.

This story Brutal Big Bang honesty first appeared on The Sydney Morning Herald.