She plays a neuroscientist on TV, but The Big Bang Theory star Mayim Bialik also happens to be one in real life, something that proved helpful when her sons, 4½-year-old Fred and 7½-year-old Miles, began asking about the birds and the bees.
“They’re very interested in where babies come from. That happened. We had a very explicit conversation about that,” she jokes to PEOPLE. “Fred is almost 5 and he was very late to talk, so he’s asking a lot of interesting, cognitive questions that he’s clearly been waiting years to ask.”
Bialik continues, “Many of them are biological, like, ‘Why do we have body hair? What’s that for? When will I get it?’ Fun things that scientist moms love to have their kids ask.”
Charley Gallay/Getty for Gillette
But one question the boys won’t be asking? About mom’s Hollywood resume, as the star admits she’s never let her sons see any of her acting work — or much television in general.
“I think they’ve seen a commercial,” she says. “It kind of freaked my older son out. His jaw was on the floor.”
“I don’t show them television,” she explains. “I feel when they’re closer to the age I was when I was in Beaches, for example, I would love to show them what my life was like then, but there’s so many other things about me that I think are more interesting, important and sometimes annoying to them. I think that’s enough of an identity.”
While on break from filming the hit CBS comedy, Bialik, 37, intends to spend the summer doing everyday things with her boys.
“We do beach days in the summer in a group of homeschooling families; we go camping with two other close friends of ours who have kids,” she says. “There’s a little resort [in Mexico] that’s hosting us for a little relaxation. [I] just want to spend as much time as I can with the boys, even doing normal daily things and cooking for them and all that stuff because I go back to work in August.”
In addition, the star is hoping to pass on a passion of hers to her children: comic books.
“I grew up in a pretty heavy comic book literate home. My dad grew up in the 1940s and 1950s collecting comics and my brother was a comic book collector. I spent a lot of my childhood in comic book stores,” Bialik says. “Particularly Superman, I still have my favorite Superman figurine from when I was a kid. With two young boys, we’re already kind of introducing them to the world of comics.”
That love, which ironically her onscreen alter ego Amy Farrah Fowler does not share, is why the actress partnered with Gillette on a new campaign that pits her against director Kevin Smith and fellow scientist Bill Nye, among others, to discern how the Man of Steel shaves.
“I just sort of thought a bit about hair follicle structure and came up with this protein theory, which I think is a pretty good one,” she says, noting her degree also gave her an edge in formulating it. “I think also being the only female gives me an unusual set of notoriety on the panel.”
— Kiran Hefa