The Big Bang Theory star Kaley Cuoco couldn't believe her luck when she discovered Reese Witherspoon hadn't snapped up the rights to a beloved book.

The actress launched her production company last year (18) and immediately picked up the film rights to author Chris Bohjalian's New York Times bestseller.

"We have a bunch of projects in development and I had my first book that I auctioned, called The Flight Attendant," she tells Access Hollywood. "It's a great book... I fell in love with the book and I called and said, 'Did Reese Witherspoon get the rights to this because I want it', and she didn't, so I got in there and took it... It's my first one, my first adventure."

Kaley admits she was surprised Reese hadn't been in touch, because the Oscar winner has a knack of grabbing great books.

"She gets them all, which is good," Cuoco adds. "She's my idol with that."

As well as producing the movie, Kaley will also star as flight attendant Cassandra Bowden, who finds a dead body lying next to her as she wakes up in her hotel room hungover from the night before in Dubai.

Talking about her new role as a movie producer, the actress says, "We cannot just let things just happen, no matter if you're coming off the biggest show in the world; it's not gonna be handed to you... You gotta keep going no matter who you are."

Meanwhile, Kaley is counting down the final episodes of hit comedy The Big Bang Theory, which ends in May (19). She has been playing Penny on the show for 11 years.