9:02 am - 03/25/2014

Masters of Sex Paleyfest Panel

At Monday night's PaleyFest panel at L.A.'s Dolby Theater, the cast and producers of Showtime's freshman drama reminisced about its rookie year, which included one note that questioned "too much sex."

There wasn't much to dish on season two of Showtime drama Masters of Sex, considering production began just a week ago. The cast and executive producers at the PaleyFest panel Monday night, however, had plenty to say about last season, including why staying true to a period piece means even wearing the proper undergarment, even for a non-sex scene.

Lizzy Caplan mentioned that on set Breaking Bad's Betsy Brandt, newly added for season two, asked her how the women handle going to the bathroom wearing such undergarments. "A couple days ago, she said, 'How do you do this?!'"

Michael Sheen joined Caplan on the panel, along with co-stars Caitlin FitzGerald, Teddy Sears, Annaleigh Ashford and EPs Michelle Ashford and Sarah Timberman, who said they came directly from shooting a season two scene to the Dolby Theater. They were watching a scene between Beau Bridges and Allison Janney; Timberman said, "We were both weeping and weeping," giving a nod to the actors' well-received scenes in the first season.

Below are some of the other highlights from the panel, as the cast recalled their favorite moments, auditions and all those sex scenes:

1. Michael Sheen and Lizzy Caplan disagree on audiences' smarts

When Caplan was cast for the part of Virginia Johnson, she was then filming the comedy Hot Tub Time Machine and mentioned it was one of the many reasons she took the role, "proving to myself I could do more than one thing," she said. Upon the wild applause the comedy received from the audience, Sheen jokingly condemned the theater. Caplan later praised the show's feminist story, adding "it's so refreshing and proves how smart audiences are to demand more. Hear that, Michael?"

2. Annaleigh Ashford auditioned as a buttoned-up secretary and came out a hooker

The actress talked about how she wore a pink button-up shirt and read for the part of Jane (played by Helene York), but was called back to read the part of the rambunctious brothel worker Betty, as she unbuttoned her shirt as far as she could and put on her now signature accent. The EPs agreed it suited her better. "It was all wrong. But she makes such a good hooker," Michelle Ashford said, to laughter.

3. Showtime gave one sex note

Timberman mentioned how "completely in-step" Showtime and Sony has been for them, but they did receive one note: "There's too much sex in this episode."

4. Location, location, location

The Sony studio parking lot and entrance to one building is used as the hospital entrance and parking lot in the show. Many of the interior hospital scenes were shot in an abandoned tuberculosis hospital from the '30s. "It looked like a Stephen King nightmare," Michelle Ashford said. "It was sexy!" Annaleigh Ashford joked.

5. Teddy Sears' sex audition tape

As the actor talked how it was performing his audition for the show, in which he had to read a sex scene, Sheen jokingly added they had the tape to show everyone at the theater.

6. There's an emphasis on "the more complicated choice"

Sheen brought up the idea of how the show always goes for the more complicated choice, and it's a theme of discussion that ran through the evening. Caplan mentioned how, even amid a love triangle, neither woman played by Caplan and FitzGerald are portrayed as a "villain" or as the "doormat," she said. This three-way relationship, Michelle Ashford added, lasted an entire 10 years in the real-life story of Bill Masters and Virginia Johnson.

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jaimelannister 25th-Mar-2014 02:37 pm (UTC)
That comment about Libby and Virginia not being either a villain or a doormat sounds really hopeful and refreshing. Yay!

The lace on Lizzy's dress looks really pretty.

I wonder if Ethan Haas isn't there because he's shooting a pilot? Either way I'm happy it looks like he'll be around less in Season 2.
evett 25th-Mar-2014 02:41 pm (UTC)
Watched this last night. Such a cute cast. I had no idea Michael Sheen was funny.

I love how the actresses started discussing how they go pee with girdles on.
braindiva 25th-Mar-2014 02:48 pm (UTC)
Michael Sheen is hilarious. Whenever he's on Graham Norton's talk show in the UK or on Craig Ferguson, you know it's gold.

He hasn't done a lot of comedies, but he was so good on "30 Rock".
evett 25th-Mar-2014 02:52 pm (UTC)
I only ever knew him from dramatic stuff so when he was on 30 Rock I always thought it was such an odd casting choice but it now makes more sense.

I'll have to watch one of his Graham Norton episodes.
heynightingale 25th-Mar-2014 06:19 pm (UTC)
Michael Sheen is charming as fuck.

No wonder he gets all these gorgeous women.
mistress_f 25th-Mar-2014 02:45 pm (UTC)
can't watch rn but i'm sooo ready for this to comeback. it's been a million years :(
everything about this show is flawless, minus the male characters, and it gives me life.
evett 25th-Mar-2014 02:47 pm (UTC)
also the answer about trying to redeem Ethan after the slap was interesting.
mistress_f 25th-Mar-2014 02:50 pm (UTC)
oohh i was gonna complain about that, that's my only problem with this otherwise perfect show. i can't wait to watch the vid
braindiva 25th-Mar-2014 02:48 pm (UTC)
Thank you for posting this! I love this show, and this was a great panel.
hysteric_23 25th-Mar-2014 04:28 pm (UTC)
You're welcome :D
kanimaki 25th-Mar-2014 03:20 pm (UTC)
Can't wait for the next season, I've started to develop such a crush on Michael Sheen. Also they need a hot butch on the show asap for my loins.
i_am_nerg 25th-Mar-2014 03:30 pm (UTC)
Flawless cast, flawless show.

I'm glad Betty's a regular in S2, but I'm so sad we're losing Jane. It's not fair!
er1s 25th-Mar-2014 03:44 pm (UTC)
we're losing Jane? crap :( I liked her
hysteric_23 25th-Mar-2014 04:29 pm (UTC)
I know! I'm so sad about Jane.
heynightingale 25th-Mar-2014 06:26 pm (UTC)
We are? Nooooooo. :(
therearewords 25th-Mar-2014 03:38 pm (UTC)
Miss Caplan, I've got quite the crush on you.
i_am_nerg 25th-Mar-2014 03:59 pm (UTC)
Don't we all?

therearewords 25th-Mar-2014 04:00 pm (UTC)
I was going for special snowflake here

Edited at 2014-03-25 04:02 pm (UTC)
i_am_nerg 25th-Mar-2014 04:06 pm (UTC)
therearewords 25th-Mar-2014 07:58 pm (UTC)
hysteric_23 25th-Mar-2014 04:35 pm (UTC)
Line starts behind me

therearewords 25th-Mar-2014 07:55 pm (UTC)
You're not open for same-time-sharing?
hologram23 25th-Mar-2014 04:11 pm (UTC)
Lizzy is so pretty! I so ship her and Michael Sheen. :(

I didn't know the "three-way relationship" lasted for ten years! It would be interesting to see how they're going to portray that on screen.
mauichic 25th-Mar-2014 04:15 pm (UTC)
omg I would fall and break my damn neck in those shoes

gracefulstalker 25th-Mar-2014 04:47 pm (UTC)
Are there any other panels floating around? Like Parks and Rec?
heynightingale 25th-Mar-2014 06:19 pm (UTC)
This flawless cast and show. <3
heynightingale 25th-Mar-2014 06:22 pm (UTC)
Also, I ship the show's Bill and Virginia SO HARD. Irl Bill and Virginia's relationship might be skeezy, and it's a little skeezy on the show too, but Michael and Lizzy has such awesome chemistry, and Michael plays Bill with such subtle tenderness that I couldn't help but feel for him.
prophecypro 25th-Mar-2014 08:45 pm (UTC)
Girls look good.
I need to rewatch the season again, it kinda was dry in a lot of spells for what I was hoping it would be
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