Feature: Johnny Galecki

Gerard: How does it feel to have your character, Leonard Hofstadter, accepted by so many people that he represents?

Johnny: Considering the early misconceptions that we were going to make fun of intelligent people, the reception has been amazing. There’s so much gadgetry and technology that we depend on in our lives that these people are now fashionable and interesting to us. They are molding our culture and the future of our society, and because of this, they are now almost lauded as rock stars. I mean, look at Steve Jobs. It has made me look to it in ways that I have never looked at it before. When you’re essentially not happy with your reality you immerse yourself in fantasy. As you know, in the comic books for example, so often the characters were people who were not empowered until all of a sudden they were able to develop some sort of power that showed their value and strength, and for us to be able to unify with that feeling of interest and loneliness is deeply touching. Every Peter Parker or Bruce Wayne has felt that way.

Gerard: Did you think early on people would connect with these characters?

Johnny: I wish I could say yes, but the acceptance of these characters I could not foresee.

Gerard: How much of Johnny do we see in Leonard Hofstadter?

Johnny: My own life experiences definitely color the character. They must, or it wouldn’t be grounded anywhere or portrayed with any honesty. That’s about it.

Gerard: In your personal life you keep a very low profile, what do you think about generating things from your personal life as part of entertainment?

Johnny: There is a part of it that’s good for business, I suppose, but that’s the business of being a television star. When one thing starts to overwhelm or distract from the other, the work suffers, and eventually no one is gonna want to photograph or interview you anyway. There are some people in our industry that seem to operate outside of the business in a way that I feel is more for a personal sense of value, and having that doesn’t validate me. From an audience member’s perspective, you are almost ripping yourself off. I don’t want to see someone on the screen and all I can think about is the divorce they’re going through in their personal life at the time.

Gerard: What do you do in your downtime?

Johnny: I get the hell out of Los Angeles. If my break is too brief to allow me to leave, I write somewhat well, play music and paint poorly. I think it’s important to have hobbies you are awful at. It takes the expectation off the finished result and allows you to fully enjoy the process.

Gerard: What’s the best advice given to you?

Johnny: Most recently, it was something my current boss and producer Chuck Lorre said: ‘Never ask a question when you know the answer is going to be dishonest.’

Gerard: Where would you like to see yourself in five years?

Johnny: I’d like to have retained the happiness I feel today. It may organically grow, I wouldn’t be opposed, but to hope for such seems greedy. I am extremely blessed for many, many reasons.

Gerard: As this year closes, do you have any New Year’s resolutions for 2012?

Johnny: I’d like to drop these damn cigarettes, man.

Gerard: When it’s all said and done, what would you like people to know about you?

Johnny: I try – in every moment, with all I have and with all the tools I’ve been given up until that moment.

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