Mayim Bialik Reveals the Surprising Thing She Gets Called Out for While Hosting 'Jeopardy!' (Exclusive)
By Tionah Lee
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Mayim Bialik’s new gig as the host of Jeopardy! has made her a household name. Since taking on the job, after the death of Alex Trebek in 2020, the 45-year-old's world has been flipped.
"It’s changed my life in enormous ways,” Bialik tells ET’s Nischelle Turner. “You know, my recognizability and kind of familiarity that people feel with me is a lot more, especially with, like, a nightly show like that, when you’re on a show that’s always in people’s living rooms or wherever they choose to watch.”
Bialik has also learned that the people have a lot to say. “I’m part of an also, like, an iconic thing that people have a lot of opinions about,” she adds.
And viewers are invested in her role, big time. “Every detail, they're very invested,” the former Big Bang Theory star says. “And also, you know, I think it's OK to say there aren't a lot of females in this kind of position and so I think we're all learning, you know, the different ways we look at women or think about -- you know, it's not like it's rocket science. Like, this is all stuff that we've been reckoning with for thousands of years.”
Also, as the first female host of the show, Bialik says there’s a very interesting detail that fans pay attention to with her, that Alex Trebek never got.
“It's very interesting to me, you know, to say, ‘Well, gosh, what should I wear?’ Alex wore a different suit every single show but people didn't think about it that much because it was navy, or it was gray,” she says. “Whereas I might wear colors sometimes and you might recognize that jacket because we also have a budget. [But] it's not about what Mayim Bialik's wearing, it's about these contestants and, like, all the random, amazing things that they know.”
Of course, Jeopardy! isn’t Bialik's only job. On top of hosting, she is also wrapping season 2 of Call Me Kat and celebrating the release of her directorial debut, As They Made Us. The film stars Dustin Hoffman, Dianna Agron and Candice Bergen. Bialik began writing the film in 2015, after her father died, and worked on it while she was balancing her other two jobs.
Now that the movie is out in the world, Bialik may consider working on another one. “I've been balancing all those things,” she says. “For me, it's been very hard to conceptualize writing right now when I've been so deep in getting this movie out.”
She adds, “Post-production is a beautiful time as a director. A lot of things people don't think about or know about is a beautiful time and I was literally working Call Me Kat and Jeopardy! while trying to edit this film. It's very stressful. It's a very stressful way to make a movie while juggling all these things and then to do post-production. So, I definitely would like a breather and I had no idea what would happen with this movie.”
“Now that people are not saying, 'This is terrible. She has a horrible eye,’ I'm like, ‘OK, maybe I'll try again,'" she adds.