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Mayim Bialik's Biggest Challenge On The Big Bang Theory Might Surprise You

Mayim Bialik didn't take the traditional career path that most actors take. First gaining stardom for her role as the titular character in the NBC sitcom "Blossom," according to Yahoo, she took a long hiatus from acting to get her Ph.D. in neuroscience before she returned in 2010. Bialik told Yahoo that, surprisingly enough, the life of an actor left her with more time for her family than continuing her career in neuroscience. "I figured actors never work, so it's the perfect job to have," Bialik joked. "I'm glad that I completed my PhD and I'm very proud of it, but the life of a research professor would not have suited my needs in terms of what kind of parenting I wanted to do."

Since her return to acting, it's hard to nail down her biggest role: her portrayal of Amy Farrah Fowler for nine seasons of "The Big Bang Theory," her starring role on the Fox sitcom "Call Me Kat," or her gig as one of the hosts of "Jeopardy!" following the death of Alex Trebek. However, Bialik found one part of her job on "The Big Bang Theory" to be particularly challenging.

She had to try not to be a female Sheldon

In a 2015 interview with Variety, Mayim Bialik shared that the biggest challenge in playing Amy was to make sure that her character was distinctly different from Bialik's co-star Jim Parsons' portrayal of Sheldon Cooper. "​​Everybody loves Jim Parsons, and we don't need another Jim Parsons," Bialik said. "He's perfect the way he is. So my challenge has been how to give my character different flavors, so she's not just imitating him."

She revealed that this was especially difficult because of her lack of classical training as an actor. "Kaley Cuoco-Sweeting and I are the only ones who didn't go to conservatory," Bialik admitted. "I do feel a certain sense of inadequacy sometimes. I worry about it. Is my process adequate? But that's also the nice thing. [I]t's such a gentle cast. We all help each other out."

One of the big differences between the characters of Amy and Sheldon is that, while Sheldon shows no interest in sex, Amy shows a great deal of interest in it (with the exception of her first few appearances). In an article for Queer Voices, author Jenna-Nichole Conrad makes the argument that Sheldon is asexual, with "The Big Bang Theory" being an example of asexual erasure because Sheldon's friends constantly pressure him to have sex, ignoring his obvious preference. Conrad points out, however, that Amy does not join in. So while Bialik may not be a classically trained actor, she certainly carved out a character that was a suitable companion for Sheldon while not being an exact clone of him.