Actor Lizzy Caplan has developed a loyal fan following through roles in iconic comedy shows like Freaks & Geeks, Party Down, and New Girl, along with cult-favourite films like Mean Girls and Cloverfield. She has also built up a steady body of work in dramatic roles on TV in shows like True Blood and SBS favourite Masters of Sex.
Caplan can again be seen on SBS in the new drama series Das Boot, which airs every Wednesday nights on SBS at 9:35pm and already has every episode available to watch anytime at SBS On Demand.
On this week's episode of SBS film and TV podcast The Playlist, Dan Barrett spoke with Lizzy Caplan about her role on Das Boot and why she loves doing television work.
You can listen to the whole interview on The Playlist, but here are five takeaways from the chat:
She loves the film Das Boot and was originally apprehensive about remaking it
"I'm a huge fan of the film, but had not seen it in many years when I was sent the script for this show, but it's one of those things that, I think especially for German people, but I felt this way as well... This is a beautiful, perfect film. Why revisit it? What would be the purpose? Germany, as a country, is very proud of that movie.
"And then I started reading the scripts. I was very surprised by how compelling I found them and how exciting it all felt reading it on the page, which I find to be a very rare occurrence."
Lizzy loves doing TV
"This was such an enormous undertaking, it felt like we were shooting a film. Like, an eight hour film. It didn't feel like the normal 'we have eight days to shoot an episode, run-and-done' kind of thing that I'm used to doing in the United States
"I came up doing television, so for me I find getting a fresh script every few weeks and seeing where the story is going, versus having one story where you know every moment of, from your first day on set, I find that a more exciting way to work. I enjoy the process of a television show more."
She wants to do another ongoing TV show
"I find those to be the most rewarding. I feel I can get under the skin of whatever character I am playing. You can get under the skin of whatever character I'm playing. I like the whole traveling circus element of it.
"At the beginning of Masters of Sex, I gave everything to it. Every waking moment was spent working on that. It was my whole life. Now, on the other side of that show, everybody is a bit older and lives are a bit different. Now I am married and I have a life that I return to instead of just being Virginia Johnson in my head on set and being Virginia Johnson when I'm at my house and thinking about the next days work."
She thinks of herself as a comedic actress
"I will always think of myself first and foremost as a comedic actress, even though at this point it's probably 50/50. I certainly don't seek out specifically comedic roles anymore. But at the end of the day, you're just trying to find some authenticity and you're trying to tell the truth as these characters.
"When I don't do comedy stuff, I do tend to miss it quite a bit. For whatever reason, doing dramatic roles still feels like a novelty to me, so I tend to seek those out more these days."
She found it different working on Das Boot as a big European TV production
Big time. The differences were all very positive. We had a multilingual set. Most of our crew spoke German. Some of my cast mates, my team of resistance fighters, some of them spoke solely French with no English. I was the one arrogant American jerk who only spoke English. Everybody else on that entire set spoke at least two languages, but most spoke way more. I think Vicky [Krieps] speaks four or five. Everyone was very nice to me and spoke to me in English.
You can listen to the entire interview on The Playlist podcast and watch Lizzy Caplan each week on Das Boot airing Wednesday nights on SBS at 9:35pm and streaming anytime at SBS On Demand.
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