MIAMI (CBSMiami) – She’s a woman of substance and style, she empowers and inspires, she’s Mayim Bialik. CBS4 News Contributor Tara Gilani, the Trend Tracker®, sat down recently with Bialik for an exclusive, one-on-one interview in her series “Women To Watch.”
Ms. Bialik, star of “The Big Bang Theory” on CBS was in South Florida delivering a special lecture at Florida International University.
The lecture was not on acting, it was on science. Science is one of Ms. Bialik’s favorite subjects. It’s also a topic she’s very well versed in.
Bialik does it all. “Movie actress, TV actress, mother of two, college lecturer, cookbook author, scholar of two subjects; science and Judaic studies,” explained Gilani during her interview. But her two main jobs right now are starring in the number one TV sitcom, “The Big Bang Theory,” and being a neuroscientist. Yes you heard right. She’s also a neuroscientist.
“I was a child and teenage actress. I was in the film “Beaches” with Bette Midler and on TV in “Blossom” till I was 19. I fell in love with science in middle school and wanted to pursue it so I left the industry for 12 years. I got my undergraduate and graduate degree in neuroscience. I taught for 5 years after that. And then, I found myself auditioning again,” explained Bialik.
The rest, as they say, is history.
Bialik was instantly catapulted back into mainstream consciousness with her hilarious portrayal of geeky, brilliant Amy, lead character Sheldon’s love interest in “The Big Bang Theory.”
But there’s a lot more to Bialik than meets the eye.
Gilani describes her as “deep, smart, sweet and funny; the whole package. She’s a multi-faceted woman of great achievement. That she is shaped by her history and motivated by her past makes her story all the more powerful and moving.”
Bialik said she is who and what she is because of her heritage.
“I humbly walk in my mother’s footsteps and my grandmother’s and great grandmother’s. I come from a very difficult history. My family came from Eastern Europe during World War 2. I’m here by the grace of God. I don’t take for granted the fact that my family almost didn’t survive the Holocaust so I’ve learned all those collective lessons for thousands of years that were passed on to me.”
She is bold and always open to new experiences.
“I try not to be afraid to try new things,” the actress said. “Sometimes that’s where you’ll find inspiration.”
In addition to acting, child rearing, studying the Talmud and lecturing on neuroscience, Bialik also loves to cook.
“Also being the key word,” marveled Gilani.
Indeed, Bialik makes it look and sound easy. “I wrote this cookbook, it’s called Mayim’s Vegan Table. I’m not a fancy cook or a celebrity chef, there’s not weird, expensive ingredients; I cook by myself and those are the recipes I most often make for all of the non-vegan people I know because most of the people I know are not vegan,” she explained.
Gilani had a theory of her own. “Mayim Bialik is exactly like her character in “The Big Bang Theory.” She’s a brilliant geek. Life imitating art. Bang!”
Bialik identifies with her character, to a point.
“I’m also socially awkward and don’t dress well yeah so I’m a bit like Amy; she’s got a lot of me in her; obviously we exaggerate all these personalities to make for good comedy,” she explained.
Being The Trend Tracker®, Gilani had to ask Bialik the question all “Big Bang Theory” fans ponder: “What about Sheldon? Oy with Sheldon. He’s missing the boat. You’re such a catch. Sheldon, hello, wake up,” said Gilani.
Bialik laughed out loud at Gilani’s estimation of the situation.
“We’ve kind of settled into a non relationship-relationship,” Mayim said. “But as we saw recently, there was a good night kiss that has shown there are some indications of normal patterns but it’s unusual, for sure.”
“Now for the trillion dollar question,” said Gilani. “How are you an actress, a neuroscientist, you’re here lecturing, you have a cookbook, 2 small children, how do you do it?”
Bialik’s answer was swift and sweet.
“I have a boring life, I don’t watch television and I don’t sleep a lot. These are my secrets.”
In the wrap up portion of this delightful chat, Gilani summed it up with compliments, delivered directly to Mayim. “You are multi-tasking, multi-faceted and multi-lingual, I’m guessing.” Mayim interrupted Tara: “Yes I am.”
The two broke out laughing.
“Okay that’s it,” said Gilani, “I’m feeling completely inadequate now!”
For laughs and inspiration, watch Mayim Bialik on “The Big Bang Theory” every Thursday at 8 pm on CBS4.
For more on this talented “Woman To Watch,” visit her website: www.MayimBialik.net
Questions? Comments? Follow Tara on twitter: @TrendTracker or email: Tara.Gilani@TrendTracker.com