Whether you’re watching new episodes of The Big Bang Theory or catching it in reruns, one thing’s for certain: it’s hard to imagine another actor playing any of the characters. And while Sheldon and Leonard may be the two main dudes we’ve come to know and love, thanks to Jim Parsons‘ and Johnny Galecki‘s portrayals, it’s Kaley Cuoco‘s Penny that adds that certain…Penny-ness. But, as with most auditions, before the role was cast the choice came down to two, Cuoco and another actress — and that other actress just revealed her identity. We’re not exaggerating here when we say it’s a bit surprising.
“I tested against Kaley Cuoco for The Big Bang Theory,” Ayda Field told The Mirror. “Not getting that hurts. And you read articles like, ‘highest-paid actress in television.'” Yeah, that has to suck. But it’s not like her life went to shambles.
Field might not be a household name for some but, hey, neither was Cuoco back in 2007. Ayda was coming off of Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip, the Aaron Sorkin series starring some pretty big stars: Matthew Perry, Amanda Peet and Bradley Whitford. Sadly, for those involved anyway, the show was cancelled after one season and it was back to auditioning for Ayda. Things must have gone pretty well in the BBT audition, because apparently it was right down to the wire between her and Cuoco. Kaley obviously got the role of Penny and we know how that story goes; luckily for Ayda, she wasn’t out of work for too long, landing a role on the Kelsey Grammer/Patricia Heaton sitcom Back to You. Unluckily, that only lasted one season as well.
It was a year before that all happened, however, that Field met now-husband Robbie Williams. Now, we’re not psychics but had she ended up on Big Bang, would she have been able to just pick up and move to the U.K.? Probably not. Hell, would they have even lasted long enough to get married and have three children? Who knows? Would they have become great friends with Princess Eugenie and Jack Brooksbank, so close in fact that their their eldest daughter, Theodora, was a bridesmaid at the royal wedding? Probably not!
Long story short, we all have Kaley to thank for adorable Theodora being a major player in the royal wedding. Because if Ayda had been cast as Penny, who knows if Teddy (we call her Teddy) would have existed, much less have been a part of Eugenie and Jack’s big day, OR, if there would have even been a wedding in the first place (that’s right, the space-time continuum could’ve been that messed up; we’d need the brains of Sheldon, Leonard, Raj or Howard to get any real answers).
So really, Kaley getting hired over Ayda was a blessing, despite the hefty paycheques she’s missing out on; because just think how the future could’ve been affected if it was the other way around.