LOS ANGELES - The Big Bang Theory's Mayim Bialik is a busy woman these days. Not only is the Emmy-nominated actress starting her fourth season on the CBS sitcom, but she recently signed on to host TVLand's Candid Camera reboot, and is the new face of Texas Instruments -- quite literally, in a new selfie contest designed to make STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) education fun.
Bialik, who is a neuroscientist in real life, got involved with Texas Instruments around the time she began working on Big Bang. "I've had a TI graphing calculator since I was about 14, so it was kind of a no-brainer," she told Variety of being approached to be a brand ambassador.
In the role, Bialik works with the company to reach out to STEM students and classrooms to make studying feel more approachable and exciting. With her own experience as a student and instructor, as well as her parents' almost 70 combined years as teachers, it was easy for Bialik to sign on to the cause. "Not only do I love what Texas Instruments does in terms of their technology, but the outreach, the education, the teacher support -- that's all the stuff that I think helps them be at the forefront."
Anyone over the age of 13 can submit a selfie with their favourite TI tech on Twitter or Instagram through September 21 with the caption "I make math/science... with TI." Entrants must include the hashtag #TISelfieContest for the chance to win a video conference with Bialik as well as TI prizes. Bialik will personally select the grand prize winner.
In her new gig as co-host opposite Peter Funt on Candid Camera, she gets to experience a new kind of science: the social science of watching people experience the antics set up by the production. "It's been great," she said of her experience on the show. "It's rare that you find things that are such a pleasurable and good match."
Created by Allen Funt, the hidden-camera series has been on and off the air since 1948, and the new run of episodes allow for some modern-day teasing, including an online-dentist and failed drone delivery services, as well as some classic bits like the engine-less car.
"That style of humour -- that notion of watching people be human and the sort of social experiment that comes [with it], to me that's timeless," said Bialik, noting that she has fun watching how things go down in the various set-ups.
The actress has also upped her own selfie-game along with her Big Bang costars, Jim Parsons, Kevin Sussman and Kunal Nayyar on Instagram, mostly thanks to Kaley Cuoco. Bialik shared that Cuoco "had her finger on the pulse of things I didn't even know existed, so she was the person I learned so much about social media from."
She added, "It's been really fun having an Instagram relationship in addition to our other relationship... It's something neat that we get to do in addition to spending all of our time together at work."
"Big Bang" fans continue to be fascinated by the unorthodox love story unfolding between Bialik's Amy and Parsons' Sheldon, and the actress admitted, "I love working with Jim, our stuff is really special." She remained tight-lipped on spoilers for season eight, but teased that there could be more stories coming for Amy, Bernadette (Melissa Rauch) and Penny (Cuoco), though she mostly puts her faith in creator Chuck Lorre to deliver consistently interesting scripts.
When asked how it feels to be a fan-favourite on the hit comedy, Bialik laughed, admitting that she hadn't even seen the show when she was asked to audition for it. "I wasn't planning for that at all," she said wryly of her fan-favourite status. "It's been a very pleasant surprise!"