Calvano said she was "so nervous" to ask the legendary comedy creator to write a recommendation letter

By Wade Rouse and Reagan Alexander
Updated June 01, 2015 03:30 PM
Jason LaVeris/FilmMagic

There’s no doubt Chuck Lorre can write a hit TV comedy series, but how about a college recommendation letter?

Lorre, who has created such legendary shows as Two and a Half Men and The Big Bang Theory, was recently asked to do just that by his Mom star Sadie Calvano, and he said penning the letter was “an honor.”

“She is such a terrific young lady, hardworking, very smart,” Lorre said Sunday at the 5th Annual Critics’ Choice Television Awards in Beverly Hills, California. “Any college would be lucky to get her.”

Continued Lorre with a laugh: “I just asked her, ‘Stay local! Please don’t go out of state!’ ”

His letter – and advice – worked: Calvano will be attending Occidental College in Los Angeles part time this fall.

“I got the idea because my mom was talking to me about who I should ask to write a letter, and they ask that your employer write the letter, and, really, my employer is him,” Calvano told PEOPLE.

“I felt like he was the only person I could ask because it’s the only thing that fit the criteria, and it just so happened that the person that I’m employed by is a little bit different than any other job that a teenager really works. So I wanted to just stick to being as normal as possible, and that meant asking Chuck Lorre. So yay for normality!”

Calvano, who plays Violet, the sarcastic daughter and granddaughter of Anna Faris and Allison Janney on Mom, said she was “so nervous” to ask the executive producer and co-creator of her show for a letter.

“I thought I was going to have an anxiety attack,” she said. “I wrote a paragraph in my phone, and I memorized it because I didn’t want to forget anything or sound stupid when I talked to him!”

Continued Calvano, “I pulled him aside after a table read one day, and I recited my paragraph from memory, and thank goodness he said, ‘Yes!’ He was so supportive and made sure I was staying in California and in the fall, here we go.”

Calvano said that she wants to emulate people in the entertainment business who are “really intelligent” and to be around kids her own age.

“[I want] to be with kids that aren’t in all of this craziness, that don’t care who I am,” she said. “I’m creating my own major, so it’s going to be kind of a blend between women’s studies and directorial film kind of a major about me.”

Lorre said the letter was “easy to write” because Calvano is “a hard worker, a joy to be around, and quite courageous.”

“The fact that she wants to continue her education despite the fact the she is becoming a TV star, that she still wants a legitimate education, how can you not want to support that?” asked Lorre.

Lorre is very supportive of education: He and the cast of Big Bang recently started a scholarship fund for STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) studies at UCLA in order to help students pursue science education.

“There is a great need for kids who have high merit, kids who can really cut the mustard in terms of their academic abilities, but they have these gaps in their funding,” explained Lorre. “We figured we could fill those gaps.”

While Lorre said the fund will support five new students every year right now, he hopes to expand that.

“There will be 20 freshman this fall and then every year five more,” Lorre said. “We’d even like to grow it beyond UCLA, do something with Caltech and other universities, but it’s good to start local so that we can meet these kids, we can get to know them. They were 10 years old when the show started, so it’s really exciting to be able to be a part of their lives.”