photographer / Shanna Fisher @ Day Reps
stylist / Jessy Cain @ Wall Group
makeup / Sabrina Bedrani@ Tracey Mattingly
hair / Alex Polillo @ Forward Artists
writer / Megan Laber
shot @ Avalon Hotel Beverly Hills
An ideal day for Lizzy Caplan doesn’t fall far from the internet memes we resonate with strongly. Netflix, our bed and saying yes to every food craving.
“My perfect day would be sleeping in for a disgusting amount of time. I’m talking 12 hours, with joy. I would get up very late. I would probably eat a lot of food. It would be like gorging myself on very unhealthy, gross things and laying around and either watching really shitty TV or really good movies in bed. Then getting up, taking a shower and going out to dinner with friends. Pretty much sitting on my ass and stuffing my face! That would be my dream day.”
All of this makes a lot of sense when you read over the juggling act Caplan’s been performing in her Emmy-nominated role on Showtime’s “Masters of Sex.” Winner of the Critics’ Choice Television Award for Most Exciting New Series, the show stars herself and Michael Sheen as the real-life history making medical duo Virginia Johnson and William Masters. The show is now on its third celebrated season. Set in the ‘50s and ‘60s it covers the immense studies the couple did to bring the medical field where it is today regarding human sexuality, while simultaneously playing out the drama of their long-running affair.
This isn’t the Caplan role you’ve seen before. Her comedy roots began in roles like Jason Segal’s disco-loving girlfriend in the late ‘90s cult series “Freaks and Geeks” and as the notorious high school alt-girl Janice Ian in the forever-referenced “Mean Girls”. Caplan continued to switch from the big screen in underrated comedies like “Bachelorette” to television series “Party Down” and “New Girl”, continuing the trend of playing smart women with a sarcastic bite (hint: a decent summary of Caplan’s real demeanor.)
What’s the biggest shift she makes going from more lighthearted humor pieces to an Emmy nominated TV drama? Caplan says there’s just as much energy and thought put into each new role.
“I don’t see a tremendous difference from an acting standpoint between comedy and drama in terms of how I would approach it. At the end of the day it’s about being, for lack of a better actor word, authentic in what you’re doing. And because of the comedies that I tend to enjoy doing, they have a lot of dramatic elements and vice versa for the dramas. I feel like I get to use all tools in my tool belt.”
What the show “Masters of Sex” is doing for their audience is eye opening, especially to their millennial viewership, giving insight into how 60 years ago we we’re very unaware of the intricate facets of female sexuality, not to mention the quiet ways sexism weaves it’s way through the storyline letting the viewer see the vast differences in regards to gender relations. What the show is doing for Caplan is showing the audience that she is nowhere near getting pigeonholed by Hollywood.
“I’ve done primary comedies in my off-season when we’re not shooting the show, which has been a very nice balance considering the subject matter of the series tends to take a lot out of the actors. Getting to do comedies and going back to do drama has been really fortunate these past three years.”
Caplan’s character, Virginia Johnson, is a single mother, who never attained her medical degree but pioneered our perception of sexual dysfunction and arousal via the studies conducted with William Masters as his research assistant. As the series goes on, the two use the study to begin a sexual relationship, despite Masters’ marital status and the validity of their professional work being put at risk.
“I think there’s stuff in her personal life that’s a little difficult to admire, although I do admire the chances she took and the lifestyle she chose to lead at the time where that lifestyle was frowned upon by everybody around her. As far as her work, she left an indelible imprint on our world. Women were told for many, many years that every problem in the bedroom was due to their own frigidity rather than the myriad of other things that could be going on. It’s because of Masters and Johnson discovering quite a lot about the woman’s body and how our bodies work during sex that ended up liberating tons of women.”
MORE LIZZY IN THE #12 ISSUE OF LADYGUNN ON STANDS SOON!
Orange and pink fur wrap – Skaist Taylor Purple iridescent Sunglasses in pale gold frames- Garrett Leight California Nude dress with crystal striped embellishments – Idan Cohen Large Pale gold globe with crystal star design – H. Stern Small Pale gold globe with crystal star design- H. Stern Small triangle yellow green gold ring- Jacquie Aiche Blue triangle stone with gold snake crystal earring- Jacquie Aiche Pink and purple ear pin – Jacquie Aiche
Yet as far as the series goes in showcasing how far we’ve come medically and as a society, one gender issue that seems to have progressed too slowly plays out as Caplan’s character tries to keep a balance between motherhood and developing her professional life.
“Virginia has a very, very difficult time with balancing being a mother and working. I think those issues obviously play very heavily on the minds of working moms today, just as much as they did back then. I don’t have kids yet, but I think a lot about how that might actually go down in terms of balancing my professional ambition with my desire to be a present and good mother… The main thing that sticks out for me is that we hear a lot of discussions about this, and women trying to have it all, and how difficult that is, yet we don’t hear enough about making men feel comfortable in the role of stay at home dads. Until that is made acceptable by society at large I don’t know how women are ever going to get there.”
And this is the thing about Caplan. A conversation with her is real, upfront, honest and opinionated, much like her acting style. When we asked about people in the industry she looked up to as far as inspirations, her leading lady made total sense.
“Debra Winger. I’m obsessed with all that she does. She sort of looks like my mom, so that made me love her even more. I remember watching her movies and knowing how famous she was, and seeing her way, her method of acting was so…I don’t know how to describe it accurately. It feels like a very realistic portrayal of how a person would talk rather than an incredible actress. She just seemed so natural in everything she did, just so believable.”
Though her acting career and ability to stay real on camera seems to be leading to nothing but good things, Caplan is currently in the works behind the scenes for future projects.
“Yeah, I’m going to get more into producing even though I’m not positive I have the right brain for it. I like the idea of generating my own material. I’m producing a movie right now and I don’t know when we’re going to start shooting it but hopefully within the next six to eight months. When it happens we can talk about that!”
While some celebrities deal with the reigning world of social media allowing for low blows and quick turns regarding their public reputation, Caplan avoids it and doesn’t really share her personal life with the world in that way.
“Because I don’t do social networking, I feel like there’s a hole in my ability to answer stuff like that. It seems like most of the people I become friends with and work with get the first impression that I’m probably a lot tougher than I actually am.”
And that is probably the only statement from Caplan that we’d have a hard time believing. With her quick wit, ability to transition from serious to playful while acting and her undeniable charm that comes from an exuding ingenuity, we’re pretty sure Caplan is one of Hollywood’s strongest stand-outs, and the possibilities of what she takes on next seem as open as she is.