Actress Mayim Bialik has earned three Emmy nominations for her sweetly hilarious portrayal of Dr. Amy Farrah Fowler, Sheldon’s (Jim Parsons) often hard done by “girlfriend” on The Big Bang Theory. With seven series regulars on the sitcom helping to create the often laugh-out-loud hijinks and many social faux pas, Bialik, 39, a mother of two, admits, “What’s really great about having such a deep cast and so many different kinds of talents, is that literally anything can happen week to week. And it often does.” Mayim was a child star when she starred as Blossom Russo in the TV series Blossom from 1990-1995. We caught up with her to talk about geeks, nerds, being a PhD and also a mom.
Mayim Bialik (left) as Dr. Amy Farrah Fowler
Q—What do you like about your character Dr. Amy Farrah Fowler?
A—I like her not only because she’s a neurobiologist and my real training is in neuroscience, but I also get to be the most socially awkward as this character. I like her honesty, and sometimes she says things that come out unfiltered and too quickly. I think there’s some of my own awkwardness in her and I also have a very quirky sense of humor, which is similar to Dr. Amy.
Q—Why does Dr. Amy and her fellow characters resonate with viewers?
A—Our show is about very interesting people, who are very different than what we’re used to seeing on sitcoms. They’re a group of social misfits, who have unusual interests and careers, but don’t feel the need to try and blend in and be like anyone else. They’re happy with themselves. They’re quirky in lots of different ways but no one is diagnosed, or being medicated or is deranged. Which is sweet.
Q—Is your character more need or geek?
A— To me “geek” usually implies a certain set of interests and hobbies that we see depicted on The Big Bang, like Dungeons & Dragons, Star Trek trivia, and comic books. “Nerd” is a more intellectual or academic classification. But that might be just splitting nerd hairs. I think Dr. Amy is more nerd than geek, and the guys are much more into the comic book culture and the games. The female characters are much more your classic nerd!
Q—How much are you into technology, Mayim?
A—I’m not very tech savvy. I still have a record player and love using vinyl. I don’t have a tablet. The only thing I’ve had, sort of fancy, was a Nano. I and my kids don’t really watch much TV. There’s a time and place for technology and obviously through my training in neuroscience and in my life, I use my computer and have been a Droid user. But, I’m just not very savvy that way.
Q—How do you fit in being a single mom with a full time gig in Hollywood?
A—I have two young sons, so the sitcom schedule, and filming in LA, works really well. I’m a divorced mom. But they’re with their dad when I work but the sitcom schedule is a lot like school hours, as work on the show is pretty much school hours. Then I’m off on the weekends and we’re also off about a week every month. And, I’m off in the summer so I think of myself as a regular mom, absolutely!
Ashley Jude Collie is a journalist/scriptwriter and Huffington Post guest blogger, whose upcoming young adult novel “Rejex” deals with issues of intolerance, science gone mad, and what it is to be human.