When The Flight Attendant last left us, we were reeling from Cassie (Kaley Cuoco) having solved a major, international crime and managed to narrowly escape death. Her flight attendant colleagues, as it turns out, had been harbouring major secrets of their own, from Shane (Griffin Matthews) working as a secret CIA operative to Megan (Rosie Perez) fleeing the country after committing treason.
The season gave most viewers whiplash, which was almost entirely its intended purpose. Along with priding itself on a witty, gritty depiction of a very complicated woman’s life and the subsequent fallout for everyone she pulls into her orbit, the show was hailed as being one-of-a-kind in a heavily saturated market.
For her unflinching performance as Cassie Bowden —the high-functioning, alcoholic flight attendant who can never seem to stay out of trouble —Kaley Cuoco was nominated for an Emmy, SAG award and a Golden Globe for outstanding leading actress. While the praise brought great joy, it also brought a certain level of pressure when it came to the creation of a second season (landing on BINGE on April 21), which Cuoco says she was all too aware of.
“I think knowing that season one did do so well, I was obviously very nervous about doing another season and having people accept it like they did. Once you do something well, it’s a risk to go out and do it again,” Cuoco told marie claire Australia in a round table interview.
So, given the chaos we grew accustomed to in Season One, many are wondering where Season Two is going to pick up (read, is Cassie doing better or worse?)
“I can safely say she is not doing well,” Cuoco said with a laugh. “We open with her having this thing that we call ‘the pink cloud.’ She’s in beautiful LA, going to AA [Alcoholics Anonymous] and not drinking. She’s also got this new side job that is keeping her very active and a new boyfriend – all these things that look so wonderful on the surface, but we find out very quickly that she is struggling now, if not more than she was in Season One and she’s putting on such a show for everyone.”
When asked if playing this different version of Cassie proved more or less challenging, Kaley was quick to confirm that she found it a lot harder.
“Every person’s journey through sobriety is their own, and people go through it differently,” she said. “For some it comes easy and for others it’s a lifelong struggle. Cassie was at her worst when she wasn’t drinking,, she’s a functioning alcoholic and drinking actually kept her normal, in a way. This season, we’re taking that away, so I wanted to make sure that there was something missing inside of her and she was trying to fill it.”
While Kaley describes herself as a highly “reactive” actor who responds to things spontaneously and often in the moment, she needed to draw on something deep within herself to convey the struggles Cassie was going through this season. For her, that proved difficult at times, as she often struggled to leave those feelings on set and not bring them home with her, but in order to give a meaningful performance, sometimes actors need to put themselves on the line.
“I wanted to do it as authentically as I could — how I would face it and how I face my issues. I’ve been depressed too, and I know what that dark hole can feel like, so I kind of was pulling from that,” Cuoco explained.
The actress went on to explain that Cassie often treats herself poorly, which is something she said she is working on as Kaley, to treat herself better.
“It was hard to have that self-hatred and to go home with that. I tried to cut that off when I left the set but it kind of lingers with you – there was a lot of emotion and it was heavy. That’s why I was constantly trying to add in the quirky moments and the comedic one liners, because I think that’s what gives our show its unique levity.”
While this season has undoubtedly taken a personal toll on Kaley, she’s grateful for the amazing opportunities it has brought her to travel, get back to what she loves, and of course, reunite with her cast and crew whom she describes as “unbelievable.”
As for plans for a third season, Kaley revealed that she never thought Season Two would be on the cards, so at this point, she’s not banking on it, but she’s not ruling it out either.
“I thought it was over after Season One, so I couldn’t imagine us doing another season, and then we did Season Two. Now, here we are and I’m back again saying ‘I can’t imagine doing another season.’ I’d like to see how it premieres, what the response is and give it a little bit more thought. But I can safely say to you that you are not the first person to ask me that.”
The Flight Attendant Season 2 premieres on BINGE on April 21. Sign up for a free trial here.