Lizzy Caplan, Sex-Ed Teacher to the World

You’re nominated for an Emmy for outstanding lead actress in a drama series, “Masters of Sex.” Can we be presumptuous and assume you’re going to win on Aug. 25?
I don’t think it’s fair to assume that at all. I’m Jewish, so I’m predisposed to assume there’s no chance in hell that’s going to happen.

Are you excited to be at the Emmys, or is it just something you’re obligated to do?
I mean, obviously I haven’t been nominated in the past, but anything where you’re getting super gussied up and wearing uncomfortable shoes and watching people make speeches hasn’t been my cup of tea. I’m legitimately excited, though.

When you watch an award show at home, are you reverent about it, or do you make snarky comments?
A combination of the two. I generally watch it with friends, and we wear sweatpants and eat a lot of food. It’s my ideal way to enjoy an award show. I’m never jealous of the people who are there in uncomfortable clothing and restrictive ensembles.

You’re a fan of the “Real Housewives” series, correct?
I am. Finally, someone who knows something important about me.

Why do you think they have continually been denied Emmys?
That’s a wonderful question. Clearly they all deserve Emmys for those riveting performances as normal human beings. I find reality television to be so delectable. I cannot even fully express how much it means to me.

Why is that?
It’s this idea of taking a somewhat normal human being and then putting them on this frying pan of fame. In real time, you can watch fame ruin somebody and makes them go insane.

“Masters of Sex” is set in the sexually repressed 1950s, and yet it doesn’t seem that far removed from today.
That’s the main thing I’ve learned from doing this show. On the surface, yes, we’ve come a great distance from the 1950s. You can see sexual imagery everywhere you look. Just flipping through your channels, you’re inundated with it. That said, the discussions about sex still come with uncomfortable giggles. But it’s become part of my job to have conversations like that.

Since doing the show, are you more comfortable talking about sex? Are you more likely to be the one who says something like, “Hey, let’s talk about dildos”?
Yeah, I mean, that’s pretty much how I start the majority of my conversations — “Hey, let’s talk about dildos” — especially around the Hanukkah table. I think people might be surprised. It’s as if people thought “Sex and the City” created this idea of girls out to brunch with each other, speaking very explicitly about sex. That has been going on well before that show, and will go on until the end of time.

If you become a parent, how are you going to approach the subject of sex education with your kids?
I think I’ll go old-school and tell them that if they masturbate they’ll go blind. That to kiss anybody other than your husband on your wedding day is terribly sinful. I plan to shame my children into remaining virgins for the rest of their lives.

In your coming film, “The Interview,” you play a C.I.A. agent, which is something you seriously considered as an actual career choice.
I have a habit of getting very obsessive about one thing, but it usually lasts no more than three days. The C.I.A. thing went on for longer, but my serious consideration was limited to doing an online application for the C.I.A. I poured my heart and soul into it and never heard back from them, so that’s where that story ends.

What did you think was involved with being a spy? Were you basing it on movies?
One hundred percent on movies, and not even James Bond movies. Like, “True Lies.” I wanted to be some combination of a C.I.A. agent and a hit man.

And be best buddies with Tom Arnold?
That goes without saying. You need a funny guy in the van, right?