Kaley Cuoco doesn’t just play a true crime fan on TV — she loves the grosser real-life murder stories, too.
“I to like true crime, harley quinn star tells Yahoo Entertainment. “I’ve always had it for years and years and years. I watch all the shows: Deadline, 48 hours, Forensic files. I am obsessed. And now I’m more interested in podcasts thanks to this show.”
“This show” refers to Based on a true story, a new Peacock series that stars Cuoco and Chris Messina as Ava and Nathan Bartlett, a married couple facing a host of financial troubles just as they are about to become new parents. A lifeline arrives when they cross paths with a plumber they suspect is actually Los Angeles’ most feared serial killer, the West Side Ripper. Rather than turn him in to the authorities, they decide to take advantage of their knowledge by making him the star of their own true-crime podcast in the vein of a true audio series like… well, Serial or a fictitious like Only murders in the building.
“It’s like watching an accident happen right in front of your eyes,” Cuoco says of why she’s drawn to true crime. “You watch good people do really bad things, and you’re like, ‘How did you get stuck in this? How did this happen to you?’ Watching good people lie, and you’re screaming at the TV saying, “Why didn’t you just tell the truth!” People sometimes feel so pressured and scared that they make really, really bad decisions. We watch it, and it’s fascinating.
Messina, on the other hand, admits he’s not on the real crime bandwagon, just like his on-screen alter ego, who isn’t thrilled with his wife’s risky money-making scheme. . “I don’t know if I choose to go,” he says kindly. “I like to watch it to understand and reflect if I’m ever in a bad situation, how I could get out of it. I can see the hook. And in the series, [Nathan] just wants his wife to love him and he just wants them back together, so he’ll do whatever she wants to bring them back to where they were.”
According to Cuoco, Ava was not pregnant in the initial version of the series, but the actress’ actual pregnancy required a rewrite. She and her partner, actor Tom Pelphrey, announced they were expecting in October, when production Based on a true story started and welcomed their daughter, Matilda, in March.
“He was a great addition [to the show]”, Cuoco says of acting while pregnant. “It made the stakes a lot higher, because they’re getting in over their heads knowing a baby is coming, it causes a lot more stress.” L actress says she felt a lot less stress “Honestly, I lived at the craft serving table – I had the best time.”
It’s not for nothing, but she and Pelphrey now have a professionally made “home movie” of her pregnancy that they can show their daughter when she’s older. Ask if Based on a true story could be a family frenzy one day, Cuoco jokes that she’s ready to watch it right away with three-month-old Matilda. “She would love that! She can kind of see now.
“I mean, she might be horrified,” Cuoco adds. “I did some really ridiculous things in there that would be really embarrassing for a kid. But I can’t wait to show him and I’m going to make sure we watch it.”
Based on a true story is streaming now on Peacock.