Sharon Stone bitch slaps Kaley Cuoco – not once or twice, but 3 times! Yeah, let that sink in for a second. While promoting “The Flight Attendant” season 2 on “Jimmy Kimmel Live!” recently, the 36-year-old actress recalled an intense moment with Sharon, who plays the mother to Kaley’s Cassie Bowden.
“She was supposed to say, ‘I like you, but I don’t love you very much. That’s what she is supposed to say. She says this line to me, she grabs my face and she whacks me!” said Kaley. “Sharon comes back and says, ‘Oh my God, I love you. It just felt right for the scene,” Cuoco said. “I was like, ‘That was incredible. Whoa!’ So I’m like, ‘I just got bitch-slapped by Sharon Stone.'”
In addition to the unscripted slap (on episode 6) – which Kaley described as “Emmy-worthy” – the blonde bombshell also unpacks where Cassie’s headspace is in this season (hint: a hot mess), her journey, favourite behind-the-scenes moment, and of course, the question everyone wants to know: “Are we getting another season?” Scroll down to read more.
Q. The ﬁrst season of the show was a huge success. Did you have any idea it would get the reaction that it did?
KC: Oh my god, no, not for a second. I’m still shocked. I would have preferred to leave it in a little bow and move on with our lives! I was afraid to do a second season because I didn’t know how we could make it better. But we ended up doing the second season and I think it’s bigger and better than the ﬁrst. We did so much more. We have multiple Cassies. And it felt like returning to family seeing all these characters come back and meeting the new characters. It’s deﬁnitely a wild ride… again!
Q: Did you feel nervous going into the second season?
KC: I was nervous. When something is good, how do you make it better? You’re pushing yourself again and again and it’s like, ‘how can we do it?’ And then when I heard I was playing ﬁve Cassies I was like, ‘ok!’ I needed to buckle in and ﬁgure that out and make sure each character is unique and interesting so you’re not just watching ﬁve of the same thing. It took a lot of brain power and emotions. There were a lot of highs and lows as the character, and as me, myself. It was a really crazy experience.
Q: Season one was based on the book whereas season two doesn’t have the same source material – how was it decided how Cassie’s journey would continue?
KC: We knew we were going to travel again and we picked Iceland and Berlin which I thought was crazy and that we were insane, but we had the best experiences there! It was so picturesque I’m afraid people are going to think it’s fake. The mind palace (where we met dead Alex in season one) was a very speciﬁc part of our show and so we wanted to keep that for season two but it was like, ‘how do we do it?’ We didn’t want to do the same thing, so it was like, ‘who is she going to meet in there and why is she there?’ Then we realised she needs to meet herself and all the different versions of herself; the things that she hates and the things that she wants to be. When I learned how we were going to have to shoot it, I was like, ‘<how> are we going to shoot it?!‘ (laughs).
Q: What was that like to ﬁlm?
KC: It was quite an undertaking. The amount of preparation and work put in by so many people – I’d never seen anything like it. Our team met with the Orphan Black team because they did a similar thing and they helped us out a lot but it was a major challenge and I’ve never done anything like it. I was basically working against myself. I would come in as one Cassie and we would shoot all her stuff and then I would change [into the next Cassie]. I would watch on playback how I did it and then they would put me in the scene and I would literally be working against myself, so I had to be very exact in my timing which was very strange for me. I’m a very in-the-moment actor and I don’t like to know what I’m about to do, but in this process I had to. There were multiple days where I played all ﬁve Cassies. There were multiple body doubles and a lot of these girls would stand in for me and had to learn all the dialogue. They worked off camera with me and helped me tremendously, they were incredible. It was a challenge for everybody.
Q: How would you describe the ﬁve Cassies?
KC: We’ve got regular Cassie, gold dress Cassie, black sweater Cassie, future perfect Cassie and nihilist Cassie. We used to laugh that future perfect Cassie is the most fucked up of all of them even though she’s very put together and perfect. We thought, ‘no, she’s the one with the most problems!’ I had not missed Cassie’s gold dress [from season one] let me tell you. I would like her to go away. There’s a lot of gold dress and regular Cassie – the two of them face off a tonne this season.
Q: At the start of season two we meet ‘regular Cassie.’ What can you tell us about her?
KC: She’s putting on this facade. She’s started a whole new life and turned over a new leaf; she’s moved to Los Angeles and she’s sober and eating healthily. She has a side gig as a CIA asset which I think she loves because she’s missing the high of the partying and the alcohol so she’s putting it all into this asset. That’s the exciting part of her life. But we ﬁnd out very quickly that she is lying to everybody, and most importantly to herself, about how she is feeling.
Q: How is she really feeling?
KC: Like sh*t. She is not feeling good! Sobriety is a journey that is different for everybody. Everybody has a different path of how they deal with it and get through it, and face their own demons and Cassie is facing a lot of demons. At the end of season one, she’s got her ﬁrst AA [Alcoholics Anonymous] chip and she’s a few days sober and she thinks it’s going to be very easy. She does all the things that in the ﬁrst year of AA, you’re not supposed to do – she moves house, she starts a relationship, she gets a new job. She does all of them in the ﬁrst six months!
Q: Cassie is a hot mess and always makes bad decisions and yet we root for her – why?
KC: I think people feel for her because of the trauma in her life from her childhood and family. She has a lot of scars and a lot of demons that she has been pretending don’t exist for so long and it’s time that she has to face them. This whole season is about self-forgiveness and self-acceptance – that’s why she meets all the different parts of herself that she hates, but they’re who she is. We all have parts of us that we don’t love and that we wish were different and we work to try and change those ways but those are the marks of who we are and our personality. Cassie is trying to hide all the bad and she just wants the good to be shown, and that’s not realistic.
Q: Do you ﬁnd her as infuriating as the rest of us?
KC: I would deﬁnitely call her annoying! You know how there’s certain people in your life where you see so much potential and you’re like, ‘why can’t they just get their life together?’ I feel like that with Cassie. Her friends see it too. It’s like, ‘if you could just conquer this, you would have the most incredible life!’
Q: As executive producer, how much say do you have in Cassie’s journey?
KC: It’s totally collaborative. We have an amazing team. I deﬁnitely have a big voice in how I want Cassie portrayed and how I want her to look and feel in certain moments. There were a lot of scenes where I wasn’t sure how I wanted it to end up on the screen, so we would do a comedy take and then I would do a really dark, sad take and then we would decide later what worked. We could edit this show to be a comedy and we could edit it to be the darkest drama of your life – it could go either way and that’s the challenge but also the beauty of our show and what we aim to do.
Q: Sharon Stone is playing Cassie’s mother this season. How did that come about and what was it like working with her?
KC: That was a wild experience. She was not on a wish list because I didn’t even think it would be in the realm of possibility that we could get her. We had heard through the grapevine that she loved our show and that she wanted to play my mom and we were like, ‘oh my god,’ so we were all obsessed with the idea and wanted to make the deal as quickly as we could. As the months went on and we were trying to ﬁgure it out, I thought, ‘there is no way this is going to happen.’ I didn’t really believe it but then she started texting and calling me and we had all these conversations about the scenes. Sharon Stone texting me is still the craziest thing ever. She has a lot of personal experience of alcoholism in her family and felt very close to this character. She ended up being incredible; not only was she wonderful to work with as an actor, she was lovely, so warm, and very funny and sarcastic. We got along really well.
Q: It looks like a lot of fun behind-the-scenes. Do you have a particular highlight?
KC: My favourite behind-the-scenes anecdote is that my beloved dog, Dumpy, is in the opening sequence of the ﬁrst episode! He’s the little Chihuahua that yawns. I’m very proud of him, it was the most fun to shoot and he even gets a credit which is the most hilarious part of all of it. I was like, ‘Dumpy has to have a credit at the end of this,’ and they were like, ‘no,’ and I was like, ‘yes!’ and they ended up doing it. (Laughs)
Q: Has there been any talk of a season three?
KC: It will be discussed at some point. I think I need to see how this season premieres and see the response. You’re not the ﬁrst person to ask that!
Images by HBO GO. Catch “The Flight Attendant” Season 2 only on HBO GO.
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