From Carrie Fisher to Bill Gates, The Big Bang Theory featured dozens of celebrity guests over its 12-year run. But in season 3, Kunal Nayyar found himself face to face with his childhood crush, Danica McKellar. And he tried his best to act cool in the scene where they kiss.
Kunal Nayyar played Raj on ‘The Big Bang Theory’
On The Big Bang Theory Nayyar portrayed Rajesh Koothrapali, an astrophysicist at CalTech who didn’t have much luck dating. In the first season, his character was unable to talk to women. But by season 3, he overcame his social disability (with the help of alcohol) and started actively pursuing a love life.
In season 6, Raj briefly dated Lucy (Kate Micucci), an introvert who eventually dumped him, but also helped him completely shed his fear of women. The next season, Raj got into a serious relationship with Emily (Laura Spencer), a dermatologist with an affinity for the macabre. Emily and Raj dated until season 9.
Raj’s last serious relationship on the show was with Anu (Rati Gupta). The two got engaged in the last season. But by the series finale, Raj was left single again.
Danica McKellar appeared as Raj’s love interest in season 3 of ‘The Big Bang Theory’
McKellar is most known for her iconic role as Winnie Cooper on The Wonder Years. She starred on the series opposite Fred Savage from 1988 to 1993 and her performance earned her numerous accolades.
In season 3 of The Big Bang Theory, McKellar appeared as Abby, a woman Raj meets at a university mixer for grad students and faculty. In the episode, titled “The Psychic Vortex,” Raj impresses Abby with Sheldon (Jim Parsons) as his wing man. He talks to her about India and astrophysics. And at the end of the episode, Raj and Abby are seen making out in Sheldon and Leonard’s apartment.
Kunal Nayyar had a crush on Danica McKellar as a kid
In a 2015 interview with Independent, Nayar revealed that he was nervous when McKellar came on set. He had a crush on her growing up. And when he learned that he’d be kissing her for a scene, Nayyar was scared his nerves would trip him up.
“Life came full circle when I got to kiss Winnie Cooper,” The Big Bang Theory star said. “The Wonder Years was one of my favorite shows growing up, and Winnie (McKellar’s character from The Wonder Years) was the woman of my dreams.”
“The night before the shoot, I was tossing and turning and thinking, ‘Oh my god, is this reality, is it going to happen?’” Nayyar continued. “I remember wondering how I could pull off an ‘I don’t care’ cool look. It felt like being in high school again. Of course, it was all in my head; all she was thinking was, ‘I’m going to be on this great show.’”