Penny (Kaley Cuoco) has long given up on her dreams of becoming an actress, but the latest episode of The Big Bang Theory with guest star Kevin Smith could pave the way for her to return to acting. Originally moving to Los Angeles in the hopes of becoming a thespian, Penny worked as a waitress at the Pasadena Cheesecake Factory to get by as she auditioned for parts. At one point, she even quit her day-job, confident enough that she'd land a gig if she focused all her attention on her dream job. That obviously didn't happen.
Long before she met the nerdy guys from Apartment 4A, Penny starred in a low-budget horror movie titled Serial Ape-ist where a genetically-engineered sex-crazed gorilla kills her while on a rampage. Penny didn't think that the film was ever released, but it turns out that a copy of it has been leaked online as found by Howard (Simon Helberg). In season 8, she got a call from a casting agent with regard to starring in Serial Ape-ist 2: Monkey See, Monkey Kill, which she eventually did with Wil Wheaton after some minor commotion. Her performance in the sequel prompted Smith to invite her to read for a part for the then-in-development Clerks 3. We never heard anything more about that opportunity, although Penny admitted that she felt that her test screening stunk. Since then, she has successfully transitioned to another industry by being a pharmaceutical sales representative and is currently working at the PR department of the same company. But a recent narrative development in the show might allow her to fulfill her dreams of becoming an actress.
The latest episode of The Big Bang Theory finally brought in Smith (along with a slew of other guests stars) for an appearance after his voice cameo back in season 8. Oddly, their previous encounter was never brought up, although Penny and even Leonard (Johnny Galecki) were both in the same room as the filmmaker at one point. Just because nothing came out of their initial meet-up doesn't mean that it's not going to lead into anything moving forward, though. Now that Penny personally knows Smith, it could be the link that she needs to return to acting. Since we never really found out what the verdict was with her Clerks 3 audition, there's a chance that Smith still liked her performance, it's just that the threequel is no longer happening. Perhaps once Smith and Penny finally get reacquainted with each other, the former can offer her a part on Jay And Silent Bob reboot which was recently picked up by Saban Films and is now officially moving forward.
Coincidentally, The Big Bang Theory's next episode, titled "The Conference Valuation", will focus on Penny's work life with Bernadette (Melissa Rauch) as the two head to San Diego for a pharmaceutical convention. It's weird that we’re shining a light on that this late in the series, especially given a lot of other loose ends the show needs to resolve before it wraps up. That is, unless it’s setting up the endgame for either of them. We know Bernadette is happy with the work that she does, but it was never really clear with Penny since she only transitioned to the pharmaceutical industry because it's a job that pays well.
In the grand scheme of things, fulfilling Penny's dreams of becoming an actress is not only a great way to close out her The Big Bang Theory arc since it brings her full circle. It also makes it easier for viewers to understand her stance about not wanting kids. Executive producer Eric Kaplan seemingly ruled out the possibility of a surprise pregnancy for the Hofstadters in the series finale but fans are still not sold on the idea. At least if a baby is really not in the cards for her, we know that Penny is doing the thing that she genuinely loves which is something that everyone can get behind on.
The Big Bang Theory air Thursday nights on CBS.