5 Questions With ‘The Big Bang Theory’ Star Melissa Rauch

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CBS’ long-running Chuck Lorre comedy The Big Bang Theory wraps its 12-season run on Thursday, May 16, with an hourlong episode. But before then, TVInsider caught up with Melissa Rauch, who joined the series in Season 3 as quirkily feisty microbiologist named Bernadette.

The actress reveals, “When I came in, it was just for one guest star role, and I thought I was just gonna be here for a week. Everyone was so lovely immediately, and that’s something that I can say for this group of people.”

And while saying goodbye to the cast and crew is hard, Rauch says that it’s the fans she’ll miss the most.

She says, “On Tuesdays before tapings, we often had guests from Make-A-Wish and other foundations, and it’s been the most beautiful part of this show, being able to connect with people and the audience who this show has resonated with.”

Rauch also answered our “5 Questions”:

1. What three foods do you have to have in your fridge or pantry at all times?
I would say I eat a lot of spinach, olive oil and … what’s another one I always have? Apples.

2. What movie can you watch over and over again?
Oh, goodness. The Informant! I’m such a huge [Steven] Soderbergh fan, and I love the humor in that movie along with just the phenomenal writing and the way it’s shot — everything. It’s just one of my favorites.

3. Tell us about a time when you were completely starstruck.
Oh, Carol Burnett! I met her when I was 16. I went to see her — she was performing in Moon Over Buffalo on Broadway. I wrote her a fan letter, and I came backstage. She was so lovely, and I told her how I just wanted to be like her. I had a little disposable camera with it, and my childhood bedroom was decorated with all sorts of pictures of Carol Burnett and Lucille Ball and Gilda Radner. She said, “Oh, do you wanna take a picture?” The only words that I could utter to her were, “I have pictures of you in my room!”

4. How did you come up with Bernadette’s unusual speaking voice?
My mother sounds very similar to Bernadette. She’s got a very high-pitched voice except with a New Jersey accent, and I grew up imitating her.

5. What are you hoping to take from the set to remember The Big Bang Theory?
Bernadette has these little owl salt and pepper shakers that I just love, and they’ve traveled with her from apartment to apartment to her home with Howard. It was one of the first things that I remember seeing in a Bernadette set, so I think that.

The Big Bang Theory, Series Finale, Thursday, May 16, 8/7c, CBS