Kaley Cuoco Was in a 'Dark Place' While Filming New Indie Movie 'Burning Bodhi'

"It took me out of the norm. I'm pretty proud of it," Kaley Cuoco said of her latest project

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Kaley Cuoco is best known for playing fun-loving Penny on The Big Bang Theory, so her latest role in new indie drama Burning Bodhi was quite a departure from her usual work.

“It was cool for someone to take a chance on me, to do something other than comedy,” Cuoco told PEOPLE at the movie’s world premiere at the Austin Film Festival in Austin, Texas, on Sunday. “I mean, I auditioned for it, I went through the whole thing to get the job. So I was really proud of myself, and I dove into a whole different world that I am not used to.”

The actress, who announced her split from husband Ryan Sweeting on Sept. 25, added that she was “kind of in a dark place” while filming.

“I only shot for nine days, and I was kind of there the whole time in my head,” Cuoco said. “The town was a little dark, the whole thing, the energy just made you feel that way.”

Cuoco added that “this was a pretty serious piece” and “there wasn’t that much messing around.”

“We had so little time, so we just tried to get the work done, so I would say this is kind of one of the more serious work experiences I’ve had,” she said.

The actress also revealed that she did a lot of her own hair and makeup for the movie.

“I was painting my eyes black, I cut my hair, and every morning I was putting new pins in it. It was fun, I just really wanted to look completely different than I normally do,” she said. “When I say I had makeup on, I didn’t have any face makeup on, it was all eye makeup. I wanted it to look super real.”

The actress said the whole experience was “quite different” for her: “It took me out of the norm. I’m pretty proud of it. ”

Now, Cuoco said she is looking forward to some vacation time – and to reunite with her new dog, Chester, whom she adopted from a California animal shelter in late October.

“I can’t wait to get home to him,” she said. “I’ve kind of been surrounding myself with all of my animals lately, and it’s been huge.”

Since Cuoco and Sweeting announced their breakup exclusively to PEOPLE over a month ago, the actress has kept busy competing in horse-jumping events and hanging with friends.

Cuoco filed for divorce from her tennis player ex Sept. 29, citing irreconcilable differences.

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