1. Show Time
This was one of the rare episodes we did not film at our normal taping hour. Because of the number of small scenes and flashbacks, we filmed for two long days in front of small groups of audiences who were rotated according to their tour schedules of the Warner Brothers lot. I missed a regular tape time with the anticipation and excitement of a few hundred people in the audience, but we made do with our smaller audiences very well!
If I’m not mistaken, I believe I’m the only one from the eight of us in the show last night (the Stuart character was in the episode along with the regular seven of us) who has never decorated a Christmas tree. Sure, I’ve been to homes that have Christmas trees and I vaguely remember stringing popcorn and cranberries for my friend Sara’s Christmas tree when we were in 7th grade, but I grew up in a home with no Christmas tree and really enjoyed watching it done for this episode! I think the tinsel is pretty and the lights are pretty too. The ornaments are neat and I would imagine it is fun to hang them all and arrange them all. I don’t wish I had a Christmas tree, but I’m also very comfortable enjoying the process from afar.
3. Missing Jim
All but one of Jim Parsons’ scenes was filmed via FaceTime from an adjacent set. I missed having him in all of our scenes in person. He was like a disembodied voice all week from the next set over!
4. Water Cooler Factor
Whenever there are scenes that involve all or almost all of our cast, the potential for chit-chatting and joke-cracking increases. It increases almost exponentially with every added person to a scene. Although Jim was missing from almost all of the scenes in our set, the very talented and very sweet Kevin Sussman (“Stuart”) was with us for this episode and we all had a great time chit-chatting and cracking jokes throughout the week. Episodes such as this one, because they are so complicated and depend so much on editing after we film the episode, can get tedious to film. Having the whole gang around may make for us goofing off more than our director appreciates but it also makes it extra fun.
The suits which Stuart, Raj, and Leonard wear in their flashback scenes to make them look 100-150 pounds heavier than they are took hours of assembly. I think taking off the makeup almost took as many hours as putting it on! What I found funny about those scenes was not the guys’ size (because I don’t like laughing at people if they are overweight), but rather how different each of them looked with all of the makeup and padding added underneath their costumes, and it looked so realistic. I thought the special effects makeup department did a phenomenal job; the guys even had added fake flesh on their hands for those scenes.
The moment where Amy realizes she has become Sheldon’s screensaver is, I think, a really sweet one. All of those small moments help add to the emotional motivation we actors have to utilize for more monumental scenes and episodes, which may come later this season. I’m not trying to drop hints and I have no idea what the future of Amy and Sheldon is for this or any season, but I know that our writers are really smart and plant little seeds for all of the characters in almost every episode. They’re good like that. Maybe that was one!?
7. The Holiday Season
Since I didn’t grow up with Christmas at all and since I don’t celebrate Christmas as an adult, it’s very interesting to work with a group of people (meaning our staff and crew) who pretty much all celebrate Christmas. Jews make up approximately two percent of the population of the United States, which is comparable to that of the Amish population. There are times when, especially because I live in L.A., it seems that Jews are “all around.” But in reality, we are a teeny tiny minority. I honestly appreciate, however, learning about different people’s Christmas traditions and understanding that I can appreciate those traditions without any desire to make them mine and without a need to denigrate those traditions. Since a healthy percentage of our cast is Jewish (Google it), there’s a general “Happy Holidays” vibe at work and it’s neat to experience the “holiday spirit” in my workplace for sure.
I hope you enjoyed our Christmas episode. Happy Holidays!
Photo credit: CBS