I'm sure there aren't too many neuroscientist-slash-actors out there. How were you cast as a neuroscientist on "Big Bang Theory"?
When I first appeared on the show, it was a guest spot, the finale of Season 3, and my character had no job. She was just a girl Sheldon was being set up with. The way Bill Prady tells it, our creator and executive producer, they figured, why not make her what I am so I can fix things if they're wrong?
The TLC show "What Not to Wear" recruited you because they thought you were "a schlumpy mommy mess," and that was the first time they'd ever done that.
I was the first celebrity that they made over. Fred, my younger son, was 9 months old and was on the set off camera, nursing on demand. It was a week of craziness, but it ended up being positive publicity-wise, and it got me to understand some of the politics of appearance in this new Hollywood that I'd really been out of for about 12 years. I learned that it's important for everyone to see how skinny I am at all times. I learned what colors are good for me and what parts of my body are the best features to emphasize. I learned never to trust myself getting dressed again.