Nobody was more nervous about Bernadette becoming a bigger player during The Big Bang Theory's fourth season than actress Melissa Rauch. "I was a huge fan of the show, and it's always nerve-wracking when new characters are brought in," she tells ETonline. "Could you imagine how awful it would have been if I was the one to ruin it? Even I would have been on message boards talking smack about myself."
Luckily, this didn't come to pass since incorporating Bernadette and Amy into the fabric work of the show has provided a slew of divine moments (Girls Night Out with Sheldon being a particular high point) and helped cement BBT's status as one of TV's premiere comedies. In anticipation of tonight's season premiere, we caught up with Rauch to find out what fans can expect from season five and if a wedding is in the cards!
ETonline: How are you feeling about tonight's big premiere? Melissa Rauch: I'm so excited. At the end of last season, since we ended on a big cliffhanger, I was almost more excited than the fans to find out what was going to happen. I was waiting on my doorstep for the first script to arrive, like it was Christmas morning! Not that I celebrate, or anything - but if this little Jewish girl knew what Christmas felt like, I'm sure it would be very close.
ETonline: Last year really brought Bernadette and Amy (played by Mayim Bialik) into the fold through Girls Nights with Penny. Was it fun to learn more about your character thought those conversations? Rauch: I absolutely love filming those girls nights - not just because I love Kaley [Cuoco] and Mayim, but I think the chemistry between the three is neat because we're all so different personality-wise. Penny is the go-to girly girl and the super analytical Amy is living out her teenage fantasy of being friends with the cool girl. With Bernadette, she's obviously a nerd in her own right, but she has a mischievous edge, and as we learned last year, a temper [laughs]. I was excited to learn that, very similar to myself in real life, that, when pushed, Bernadette can absolutely explode. You always thought she had the patience of a saint for putting up with Howard, but as we learned, she can only take so much before she turns into a mad woman, which I think is neat. I love the different layers they give her to play with.
ETonline: Howard and Bernadette's relationship has seen a lot of ups and downs, why do you think it finally clicked? Rauch: It's interesting because I was a fan of the show before I joined, and if you told me that Howard would be the first one to get serious about marriage, I wouldn't have bought it. I think the audience has such a love for these characters and genuinely wants them to be happy. I think what makes it work is Howard does seem genuinely happy for the first time. He doesn't need to be that womanizing sleazeball anymore. He found someone who makes him as content as his mother makes him [laughs]. He's in love, and happy, which I think is very neat.
ETonline: Let's talk about the giant mother in the room. First, do you think we'll ever see her? Rauch: From what I hear, we'll never see her - they've described her as this heinous woman, who is the size of a bus, hideous and has facial hair every which way. I don't know what kind of beast they'd need to make. So I don't think we'll ever show her, but I do think she'll remain a constant on the show.
ETonline: In the episode airing September 29, Howard and Bernadette end up spending the whole weekend with Mrs. Wolowitz. What can you reveal about that? Rauch: That's a very interesting episode. It's said that you always marry someone's family, but I think in this situation, it's extremely true. So Bernadette is definitely gearing up to not only marry Howard, but Mrs. Wolowitz as well. I think Mrs. Wolowitz is sort of like his first wife, so Bernadette is sort of marrying into a Jewish sister-wife situation. But because we found out last year that Mrs. Wolowitz likes Bernadette, it makes it even more interesting to watch them navigate the new family unit.
ETonline: Given how many hurdles their relationship has already faced, do you think we'll actually see a wedding this season? Rauch: Well … I'm told it will be a season filled with wedding planning, but it's not determined that we'll make it down the aisle together. I'm as curious as everyone else if we'll actually make to the altar. Even though we're happy now, there have been lots of bumps down the road for Howard and Bernadette. But truthfully, I'm kind of most excited to see who will be more of a bridezilla, or a groomzilla. Or a momzilla [laughs].
The Big Bang Theory premieres tonight at 8 p.m. on CBS.
Related stories on ETonline.com:The High-Tech Vigilantes of 'Person of Interest'The 'Big Bang' Cast Talks Show Romance