I’m Yael Tamar, and I recently had a chance to do a phone interview with my favorite TV actor Mayim Bialik, and for Zennie62Media.
Besides being an Emmy-nominated actor, Mayim has a Ph.D. in neuroscience, which corresponds to the career pursuits of her current TV character, Amy Farrah Fowler, on the Big Bang Theory. She has two boys, aged 9 and 6.
Mayim Bialik combined her two loves for Jewish food and vegan lifestyle in her new book Mayim’s Vegan Table: More than 100 Great-Tasting and Healthy Recipes from My Family to Yours featuring simple and easy-to-do vegan recipes of delicious foods anyone can make to increase their consumption of vegetables and to move toward a cleaner, healthier and a more balanced diet.
Yael: I read that you were one of the seven actresses who had a quirky personality to audition for the role as Amy Farrah Fowler. Why do you think you got the part? And did they tell you why?
Mayim: I auditioned with a bunch of other women, who all had sort of different ways to play this character. I just did my best to do an impression of Jim Parsons and play the female “Sheldon,” which is what was asked when I was brought on. It was the season finale for Season 3, and it was just one episode which established how the whole dynamic would play out in our cast. So it was me joining along with Melissa Rauch who played Bernadette.
Yael: So how is it being vegan in Hollywood? Do you ever invite your Hollywood friends for vegan potlucks?
Mayim: Not really. None of my friends are Hollywood people. Well, I am friends with the people that I work with, obviously, but you’ll find that although a lot of people in Hollywood eat very healthy, very few of them are vegan. So no.
Yael: That’s very interesting ‘because it seems like there is a lot of vegan voices. You know, Jessica Alba, Gwyneth Paltrow, Charlotte Johansson… I guess I didn’t appreciate that so few of your fellow actors are vegan.
Mayim: The vast majority of people are not vegan, and so it’s the same in Hollywood. Sometimes if you go to the higher-end vegan restaurants, you may see other celebrities there; but still, it’s a pretty small group.
Yael: So we see you often eating on The Big Bang Theory. Do you get to choose your meal and do you get to finish it? Are they good in getting you something you like?
Mayim: We eat a couple of standard things on The Big Bang set if we have to eat on camera; it is either Chinese food, in which case they just get me vegan fried rice, meaning rice with vegetables and no eggs, and sometimes there’s vegan dumplings that have soy in them and vegetables. We don’t eat a tremendous amount on set. If there’s pizza, they make some without cheese for me.
There was an episode recently where I actually had to be eating during the scene and so our props master was in charge of all the cooking. He is also a cook, and he made a vegan lasagna for the first time in his life.
Yael: That’s really nice of him; did he get the recipe from your book?
Mayim: No, and it wasn’t very good. He actually admitted it.
Yael: Haha, OK. Next time he should try a little harder and use the right recipe.
Mayim: I agree.
This Hanukkah, check out Mayim’s cookbook Mayim’s Vegan Table for recipes of vegan jelly doughnuts (sufganyot), root vegetable latkes and many other awesome recipes from Mayim.
About the blogger: Yael is a techie, a food and travel writer, an active member of the health and fitness community. She founded a natural food supplements company, Pure Standard. She blogs on a variety of subjects from health to technology.