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Thursday, Nov 03 2011 09:58 AM

Johnny Galecki on Co-Star Justin Timberlake and Big Bang Theory's 100th Episode

By Parade Magazine
Johnny Galecki goes for laughs every week as resident genius Leonard Hofstadter on The Big Bang Theory. Now, the actor is changing things up with a role in the science fiction thriller, In Time.

Galecki, 36, talked to Parade.com about his new role, bonding with co-star Justin Timberlake, and Big Bang Theory's upcoming 100th episode milestone.


On his latest film, In Time.
"I just thought it was so intelligent and clever. I went in to some meetings with [director] Andrew Niccol to talk about the character, and I said, 'Why don't you let me read it?' I'm never really opposed to auditioning; in fact, I'm more comfortable with it. I probably shouldn't say this because I'll be kicking myself later, but you don't hire a guy to paint your house by sitting down and having coffee with him, you want to see what kind of work he does."

On stretching his dramatic acting chops.
"That was definitely a draw to this role. I love playing Leonard, but if you have an opportunity to do something different, you jump at it. I was actually doing the movie at night and the TV show during the day and sleeping in my dressing room at Warner Bros. for a couple hours in between. I want to mix it up creatively."

On co-star Justin Timberlake.
"He's a perfectionist. I was really impressed. He has a great instinct, whether he's on or off camera. I've never seen someone who had such success in another area of entertainment be so willing to work as hard as he does. He doesn't rest on any of those laurels. He knows that performing at Madison Square Garden doesn't necessarily mean you're going to be a great actor in an action film."

Photos: Musicians Turned Movie Stars

On breaking the ice with JT.
"The first scene we were going to shoot together was the goodbye scene, so I went to set a couple days before just to kind of pal around with Justin a little bit. I didn't want to shake his hand and then start a very emotional goodbye scene between us. The bar scene was fun too because we ran off to a nearby shooting gallery on our break. He is a far superior shot than I am. I don't think the producers were necessarily thrilled about that, but you gotta blow off some steam somehow!"

On his early acting ambitions.
"I started talking about it when I was literally three-years-old. It's almost creepy. I have no idea how I even knew what the word 'actor' meant. My parents tried to dissuade me, but there was a local community theater doing auditions for a production of Fiddler on the Roof that we read about it in the paper. I auditioned and got the role. I was just a kid in the chorus, but that was the beginning."

On his passion for live sitcoms.
"It's theater, really. That's how we approach it. Our goal is to make these 22-minute plays every week. If it wasn't for that live audience, I wouldn't be half as happy and creatively satisfied as I am. That's really the pot of the gold at the end of every workweek. I can be in some foul mood, but I hear that audience come in and I think how lucky I am. I get to go out there and try to make a few hundred people laugh. That'll make anybody's day!"

On his love for Leonard.
"Initially, I loved playing his frustration with his life. In the last season, I'm really enjoying his growth and his maturing. It's happening at a snail's pace, but that's fun to mine. We're approaching our 100th episode, and I'm trying to wrap my head around that. It's just crazy, but I love working. I'm always happiest when I'm working."

Test your Big Bang Theory IQ with our 10-question quiz!

On being a poster boy for brainiacs.
"It's funny, I did not foresee that. These characters are so relatable apparently. I can't tell you how often I hear, 'My 12-year-old is just like your character,' or 'My great grandfather is just like your character.' It doesn't have any boundaries in age or geography. It really is very wide-reaching and that's just a testament to the writers more than the performances."

On his takeaway from his years on Roseanne.

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