hysteric_23 (hysteric_23) wrote in ohnotheydidnt,

Lizzy Caplan Vogue Interview

With her hit role on Masters of Sex, Lizzy Caplan has become a modern heroine: barbed, intelligent, seductive.

“I’m choosy to a fault,” says Lizzy Caplan, the dark-eyed 32-year-old actress who has become something of a cult heroine for her crack timing and sardonic fizz. “You want to hold out for a project that means something. You’re the one who’s there working fifteen hours a day, and if you don’t believe in it, it can feel a whole lot longer.”

Caplan certainly has a knack for finding roles that hit a nerve, whether as Jason Segel’s offbeat girlfriend in Freaks and Geeks or Lindsay Lohan’s straight-talking conscience in Mean Girls. In an era of adorably self-mocking actresses stuck inside their own heads—think Zooey or Mindy—Caplan has sting. Aiming her barbs at the world rather than herself, the quintessential Lizzy Caplan persona is a brainy young woman who hides her fear of intimacy within a spiky thicket of words.

Of course, as a lifelong Angeleno, the actress knows that a trademark role can easily become a trap. “I’ve loved being the sarcastic chick,” she tells me, “but I didn’t want to be her forever.” That’s why she knocked herself out to land what she thinks is her best and most complicated part yet, the female lead on Showtime’s Masters of Sex (returning for season two on July 13). Just as Mad Men channels the seismic transformations of the fifties and sixties through the prism of advertising, this series examines the science of sex to capture that same period’s radically changing ideas of male and female desire. Caplan plays the real-life Virginia Johnson, a single mom and onetime nightclub performer who goes from being the secretary of the bottled-up Dr. William Masters (a very good Michael Sheen) to his lover, wife, and collaborator on trailblazing sexual research. As Johnson, Caplan reveals a new warmth and vulnerability while still seeming smart as heck.

“Lizzy’s the most contemporary girl on Earth,” says Masters of Sex’s creator, Michelle Ashford, who worried at first that Caplan might be too edgy for a period show. “She has a crackling intelligence, she’s wickedly funny, and she’s unblinking about sex—without making a fetish of it. She gives Virginia a modern buzz.”

This October, Caplan will costar with James Franco and Seth Rogen in the upcoming comedy The Interview, playing a CIA agent. “It’s funny,” she says. “When I was younger, I actually wanted to be a CIA agent. Really. I even did the online questionnaire.” She waits a beat. “Somehow they never got back to me.”
Tags: actor / actress, award show - emmys, interview, masters of sex (showtime), television - showtime

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