Anatomy of an Emmy-Worthy Scene: Stewardess’s Kaley Cuoco and EP / Writer Steve Yockey Revisit Cassie’s Rude, Darkly Comedic Awakening


Flight attendant incumbent Cassie Bowden had a very rude, very bloody wake-up call during her layover in Bangkok – and with her intense reaction, HBO’s dark comedy Max really took off.

In the minutes leading up to the worst morning ever, we met Cassie (played by Kaley Cuoco, also an executive producer) as a fun-loving flirt, sipping vodka. But once she woke up in bed next to a brutally murdered “3C” (businessman Alex Sokolov, played by Michiel Huisman), Cassie’s penchant for bad decisions – as well as the The Flight Attendant’s distinctive tone – has come to the fore, as Cuoco and the series creator / writer Steve Yockey detail below.

STEVE YOCKEY | It happens 10 minutes into the show, but it’s like 40 slugs [scene transitions] in the script, so we spent a lot of time moving Cassie around in her life and setting a certain tone. I think back down [to reveal a dead Alex] It’s great because at that point we’re not just saying, “Oh, this is a show where bad things can happen. We’re giving you a pretty extreme look at him with a slit throat and blood, because we really want you to understand why this moment and this hotel room and this character are etched in Cassie’s mind, and why she continues. to come back to it for the rest of the series. Everything had to be as visceral as possible at that point, and we had a really good team to do it.

KALEY CUOCO | I feel like what we accomplished was extremely difficult and deviously funny. We loved the way in the middle of a horror scene – waking up next to a bloodied dead man – a hilarious ringtone [Wham’s “Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go”] starts to scream!

YOCKEY | When you take that awful moment for Cassie and run into something comical like the ringing cell phone, then you let it keep playing as she hyperventilates against the window … and then you jump on that whim very voyeuristic… and then boom !, we’re in the opening credits… it really lets you know: “I’m watching a show where anything can happen, from the hilarious to the horrible.”

CUOC | We wanted you to be on an emotional roller coaster, never knowing if you were going to laugh or cry. And I think we did it very well.

YOCKEY | The way Kaley falls against the window and slides down, the position she finds herself in, she ends up revisiting in episode 7, when she gets to the deepest and darkest [childhood] memory that she does not want to remember. It was great that she made these choices in her movement that we were able to reference again, because they were specific and memorable. Kaley was going to this place all the time with emotion, even when it was Alex’s cover but it was partially visible. She’s really good at delivering over and over again, and especially at a time like this, it’s asking a lot of an actor. But she went above and beyond.


CUOC | Cassie running away after waking up next to the dead Alex, after calling Annie (Zosia Mamet), is a lifelong metaphor. She’s been running away from pain and trauma since she was a kid, and now she’s running away from it. The difference here is that this situation will not go away. She can’t sweep this under the rug. Unfortunately, there is a lot more to contend with under this rug! What I love about the show, about Steve and our writers, is that they really let me go to the ball. I mean, you saw it on screen. I kind of left it on the ground and walked away like, “Well, damn, I hope it worked!”

YOCKEY | This whole scene is incredibly important because it sets the tone for the show, while Kaley’s performance makes it clear that Cassie is immediately above her head, and we kind of watch an ‘original com rom’ turn into something. deadly serious.

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