Rati Gupta is having quite the year. The 35-year-old stepped into one of the most high-profile roles as Raj’s fiancé in CBS’s Golden Globe and Emmy Award-winning series the “Big Bang Theory”, and also took a crack at playing a fun-loving spouse in a polygamous marriage in Hulu’s “Future Man” produced by Seth Rogan and Evan Goldberg- but the actress still shows no signs of slowing down. On the contrary, Gupta is fueled even more to find roles that push her limits, test her skills and ultimately shine on the screen. Gupta sat down with Metro to talk about the last season of “The Big Bang Theory” (the finale is May 16th), discuss the wildness of “Future Man” and delve into why network TV and streaming services are so extremely different to work for.
Actress Rati Gupta talks Big Bang Theory's final season and Future Man season 2
How did you first get involved with the show “Big Bang Theory”, were you a fan before you got the role?
I had seen the show, it’s on television all the time- you can’t really miss it. But I had actually read for a different role maybe five or six years ago, a different love interest for Raj. But that character I didn’t really connect with as well, so that’s partially why I didn’t get it. But the casting directors were familiar with me, and I was familiar with the show so they called me back in for this character. With this character, I read the description and read the script and I knew her, I understood her and I felt like I can do this, this is me. So I read for the producers a couple of times and then they gave me the job. I was really proud and excited, my mom has been a fan of the show since the beginning and so it was a big deal for her. She’s excited for me when I get any type of acting role, but this one was just a big deal for my family as well.
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There is such a massive, loyal fan base with the “Big Bang Theory”- were you nervous at all taking on such a huge role on this wildly popular show?
Yeah, it’s probably the most high-profile kind of high-stakes character that I’ve ever played as well. So to take on that big of a character on this big deal show, I felt like I was getting thrown into the lion’s den. Just like here you go, good luck. But what made it easier for me was how welcoming the whole cast and crew was from the very beginning. I was struggling with that first episode, I was feeling my way around the character as were the producers and the writers. We are all trying to figure out how to make this work, and what she needs to be, all kind of struggling to make that work in the first episode and Kunal kept telling me you’re doing great, don’t worry, you’re great. To have him be that kind of emotional rock for me, constantly reassuring me was so helpful and he was so great and such a great scene partner for me, and such a great friend for me throughout this entire season. So having him has kind of made the intensity of this job more manageable.
Since you did end up having a great experience, do you wish that this wasn’t the final season?
I don’t know if I would want the show to run longer, but I think I would have wanted Anu to show up earlier. I think the show is kind of in a good place, the characters are in good places where it’s time for it to end. So if I were to go back in time, I would just wish Anu had shown up sooner. I love her and I love working on the show and playing her- I think she’s a badass and I would have loved to have spent more time with her for sure.
I wanted to jump over to Hulu’s “Future Man”, can you tell me a little more about your role in that show?
I play Rake, [she] was one of five spouses of Wolf who is played by Derick Wilson in the second season. The whole season takes place way in the future, in the year 2162 I think. It’s this insane post-apocalyptic world where rights and civilization don’t resemble anything that we know now. So the way that families work in the future in this world is that everyone is in Polyamorous marriages and there are six parents per child. So I was one of these six parents with Wolf. Each one of us had our own character traits and job, and Rake was kind of just the fun one. She was there to keep everything fun and chill and carefree so in a way, she’s like the polar opposite of Anu, because Anu is practical and everything has to be efficient and she’s kind of a hardass. Rake is just kind of like whatever. So it was a fun show, a very different show from “Big Bang Theory”. I got to do and say a lot of things that I never thought I would do on television, it’s a wild show in an extremely entertaining way and I had so much fun working on it. The cast was great and I loved my spouses in real life, we’re all still a family off camera.
You mentioned with this role on “Future Man” you get to do wild things that you never imagined you would do on television, do you think that’s because this show is produced by a streaming company and not network television?
For sure, network is beholden to advertisers in a way that streaming networks are not. They have to be more family-friendly, with streaming they can take so many more risks. That gives content creators that much more freedom to kind of be bold in their choices and go in directions that you can’t do on network television. So it has been interesting experiencing both of those worlds on shows and seeing the differences and seeing what’s possible in one or the other.