Kaley Cuoco Explains How Her Pregnancy Did — and Didn’t — Reshape Her ‘Based on a True Story’ Storylines

Kaley Cuoco says her pregnancy and first child were not a goal until fellow actor Tom Pelphrey came into her life, fueling a quick decision to start a family resulting in an unexpected storyline shift for Based on a True Story.

Speaking to Emmy magazine, Cuoco and showrunner Craig Rosenberg explained the ways in which the series’ story was reshaped by her pregnancy. The eight-episode series, which is executive produced by Aggregate Films’ Jason Bateman and Michael Costigan, follows a realtor, a former tennis star and a plumber as they attempt to capitalize on America’s obsession with true crime through a unique opportunity.

Cuoco was between her fifth and ninth months during production, but before filming in L.A. even started, the actress says she had a sit down with the producers to reveal her pregnancy and then pitch it as part of her character’s identity.

“I’m like, ‘What if this character was pregnant?’ And they’re like, ‘Umm …’ And I’m like, ‘Think really hard about it because maybe it’s a really good idea — and it might be the only option,’” she recalled. “They were looking at me, and I’m smiling, and they all went, ‘Oh, my God, are you pregnant?’ I’m like, ‘Uh-huh.’”

Based on a True Story‘s executive producer and creator Rosenberg told the magazine that after hearing the news, he felt the only two options for the upcoming Peacock show were to attempt to conceal it or add it to Cuoco’s character’s storyline. He went with the latter, as it offered the chance to set her performance apart from the one she delivered in her last comedic thriller Max’s The Flight Attendant.

“Kaley as a pregnant woman — we haven’t seen that before,” he said. “We would still get the Kaley we wanted, but we’d have a new Kaley, so to speak, going through all different story elements and the challenges that come with being pregnant.”

It also added “another interesting complication” to her character’s arc, with Rosenberg noting that “once you have a kid on the way, you’re not just making decisions for yourself.”

Cuoco said that she loved how Based on a True Story — which premiere’s on June 8 — remained “super edgy,” even with her pregnancy, by dressing her in belly shirts, featuring her in her bra and building a baby bumb for her photo double, which allowed the show to keep planned sex scenes.

But ultimately, her pregnancy — and daughter, whom she welcomed in late March with former Ozark star Pelphrey — just weren’t “on my radar,” she said, adding that “this was not a goal of mine.”

“As a young girl I dreamed of it, but I became involved in my career. Then when we met, it was instantaneous — ‘Oh my God, I want to have a kid with you.’ We both wanted it so badly, which was not what I thought my life would be,” she said. “I love my career and wanted to just keep living my life. But Tom came along, and something changed. We’re not 20, so we felt like we probably couldn’t wait too long. Then we got so blessed — it happened right away.”

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