Hey You're Cool!
By Rob Brink
Mass Appeal #49
Lizzy Caplan commutes 45 minutes daily in pajamas for her favorite morning coffee in hometown LA. She's quick-witted and clever, refreshingly bullshit-free. To the point where her making fun of you actually feels good. And, despite obvious cute-slash-hotness, the 25-year old is more modest than she needs to be.
Caplan never really harbored any secret desires to become an actress until she defaulted to drama when playing the piano at the Hamilton Academy of Music in Los Angeles got boring—then she "just went for it."
You might remember her as Janis from Mean Girls. You know, the gothy, atypically attractive chick with an influx of eye shadow? But that was eons and a short-lived TV sitcom ago. These days, Lizzy spends her time eluding the Hollywood scene and working with powerhouses like J. J. Abrams, Harrison Ford and Sean Penn, while firmly rooted in the denial that she will soon be sought after and posing for cell phone photos with fans.
RB: I just spent 18 hours Googling you and the only dirt I found was some paparazzi picture of you on a cell phone snarkily entitled, "Lizzy Caplan loves her cell phone!"
LC: I don't want to hear it! I'm actually really uncomfortable even knowing that you looked all that shit up.
There's not a lot of Lizzy hate out there.
Oh, you just wait and see. It's a really troubling time to want to be an actress. There's people who are famous for the sake of being famous, which I just can't wrap my head around at all, so it scares me. It keeps me up at night so I just avoid it.
How do you feel about interviews then?
I hate reading any interview because I come off in print like a total idiot. Always. My grammar is incorrect and I ramble on. So I'm not looking forward to reading this, no.
Have you ever met any hardcore Mean Girls fans?
The second after that movie wrapped I dyed my hair blonde and just went a completely different direction, so I was never recognized on the street. But when I'm with Daniel Franzese, a good friend of mine, who is in that movie, he gets swarmed by people and says, "Oh, and that's Janis,"' and then they kind of freak out a little bit. Otherwise I could be standing right next to him and people would have no idea, which is great. I don't know how to react to people wanting to take pictures of me. I just get really uncomfortable, it's pathetic, and it's totally my problem.
You're potentially looking at being the chick that everyone wants photos with very soon.
Maybe. I just can't picture it. I may have to change my hair again. That'll protect me.
What about when Maxim calls you and wants you to be "the hot chick from the J. J. Abrams movie"?
I'll passaroo on that. I actually did Stuff magazine years ago.
Damn, I've gotta find that.
No! Ah! I shouldn't have told you. It's very weird. You could be talking about something that has nothing to do with anything to them, and it'll be like, "Oh, God, and his cock is so huge, I love cock!" And its like, wait, I didn't say that! What? And it's blown up huge and printed over your face in the mag.
Working on the Abrams film and another movie with Sean Penn and Harrison Ford, are you thinking, "I've got a big year coming up. This could be my year"?
I don't. Only because I felt like that before with different television shows or whatever I was doing, and allowing people to put ideas in my head that "Okay, things are gonna be really different for you this year so your life's gonna change, get ready." And I mentally prepare myself and it doesn't happen. So I have zero expectations. What's the point of getting ready for something until it actually happens? I don't think you can really prepare yourself for "your life completely turning upside down."
I was told I could only inquire about the Abrams audition but not the movie…
The audition was actually weird though, cuz we auditioned with Alias scenes. We had no idea what the movie was about. And we had to sign on not reading the script. And they kind of told us a few things. We thought it was gonna be a mid-twenties coming-of-age comedy. Then there would be an Alias scene where you'd have to plunge a dude's heart with a syringe, and it's like, "Well, what is this movie?" And they all think it's really funny that nobody has any idea.
With all the cryptic hype, does that add to the pressure? It's a lot to live up to.
One hundred percent. But the new trailer comes out in about a week and I think people are gonna be impressed. We had no idea we were making such an insanely large-scale movie. The Class was all Friends creators and there was so much hype and so much pressure around that show. It ended up hurting us because it wasn't Friends. For this though, people love J. J. Abrams so much they seem to be much more accepting of whatever he's gonna throw out there and more into thinking that everything he does is great.
It seems like movies used to be the more legit thing to do. Now you can be a legit actor on TV and taken more seriously.
Absolutely! And it's cool. I think the roles for women are just better in television across the board. Like, comedies. You can actually have a comedic voice as a woman. You see that more often in TV than in movies.