Kaley Cuoco's First Golden Globe Nom 'Is Long Overdue,' 'Flight Attendant' Creator Says (Exclusive)

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The Big Bang Theory couldn't pull off what The Flight Attendant was able to: Earn Kaley Cuoco her first Golden Globe nomination. The 35-year-old star and executive producer finally cracked the awards code Wednesday when she earned not one, but two nominations for the HBO Max thriller. Stunned speechless by accomplishing a career first, Cuoco shared an emotional, tear-filled reaction video of the moment she learned of her achievement. 

That it took this long for Cuoco to receive her first acting nomination at a major awards show left Flight Attendant creator Steve Yockey feeling like the world was finally catching up to her genius.

"I have to say, it's hugely exciting that people are recognizing Kaley's performance because she crushed it. She's the heart of the show and she's really carrying 90 percent of the screen time. And she just effortlessly does all of the comedy in the show so well and is also able to drop in those darker moments. I'm thrilled for her. It's amazing," Yockey told ET hours after Flight Attendant secured two Golden Globe nominations. "And like you said, I feel it's a long time coming this recognition."

"In terms of the show, I think we're all just really, really excited that it seems to have struck a chord with people and reached a lot more people than we thought it ever would or could," he continued, a bit flummoxed by the acknowledgement by the HFPA. "We're all really... We're all really thrilled with the response. I'm sorry, this morning's a little surreal. I didn't expect this."

Though Yockey hadn't seen Cuoco's tear-filled reaction video when he hopped on the phone with ET ("I'm sure Kaley's having emotions for the both of us"), he revealed that he was able to connect with Cuoco earlier that morning.

"She's excited. And even though we've all been talking about what amazing work she's done, and I know she's proud of it, there's that part of you that always is excited when the industry that you worked in your entire life takes notice. And I think that, like I said, it's long overdue. I will say the main emotion that I got this morning in talking to Kaley was excitement," Yockey said with a laugh, admitting he's still in shock. "Excitement and gratitude."

Yockey praised Cuoco and the hardworking cast and crew for delivering during an unsettling time amid COVID-19. (Filming was temporarily shut down due to the pandemic, before they resumed production in New York City last summer.)

"Honestly, it's a testament to Kaley but it's also a testament to the work of the entire cast and crew who really delivered this show in the midst of a global pandemic. The conditions were kind of crazy and everyone just pulled together and did a fantastic job. I think it means that much more that we're just getting this recognition," he said.

If anything, Wednesday's Globe nominations solidified the direction Yockey had already been planning to take as prep for season 2 begins to take shape in the writers' room.

"We had a really outstanding work session yesterday that I think everyone left feeling like, 'Oh, this is really energizing and exciting,' so today is kind of icing on the cake, as far as season 2 goes," he said. "This just gives us a little bit more validation to continue in the direction that we were headed because people across the board seem to be responding to what we were doing. So it's like a thumbs up, keeping going kind of vote."

He was coy when asked about any nuggets he was willing to drop to tide viewers over, but promised he and the writers are "shoring everything up to make sure we have a good plan before we share any details." 

As for any celebrations he has planned, it'll have to wait until after the workday. "I have to work today, so I'm going to celebrate by working on season 2 of The Flight Attendant," Yockey chuckled.


The 2021 Golden Globes, hosted by Tina Fey and Amy Poehler, will air live on Sunday, Feb. 28 at 5 p.m. PT/8 p.m. ET on NBC. Until then, stay tuned to ETonline.com for complete Golden Globes coverage.

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