Sometimes They Applauded: Lizzy Caplan and Adam Scott on Bachelorette

What's changed since the Sundance cut and updates on Party Down, 'Masters of Sex' and The Secret Life of Walter Mitty.

Fred Topelby Fred Topel


Well, except for my opening joke, I’d say my interview with Lizzy Caplan and Adam Scott turned out pretty well. The former “Party Down” costars reunite in Bachelorette, the number one pre-theatrical movie download on iTunes. Caplan plays Gena, part of a bridesmaid party full of living disasters. She reconnects with her ex (Adam Scott) at a strip club and enlists his help to solve to fix the mess the girls got in the night before the wedding.


CraveOnline: We got a “Party Down” reunion in Bachelorette and we’ve got a “Party Down” reunion right now on the phone!

Lizzy Caplan: That’s correct.


Normally I’d worry that it’s lame of me to point that out, but “Party Down” is awesome, so it’s cool, right?

Adam Scott: Thank you.


So it seems like we’re all talking about female comedies where women behave really badly, and it seems to be prompted by “Girls” and Lena Dunham. What do you think of the conversation that’s being had as it pertains to Bachelorette?

Lizzy Caplan: It’s fascinating to me that people didn’t acknowledge that women can be raunchy and funny just like boys can. Obviously there have been movies made in the past that touch on that but I haven’t seen one in quite a while. It’s like oh, right, see, they can do that stuff too, which is so obvious to me and yet it wasn’t obvious in the scripts I was reading in recent years.


Was part of the problem that if they did try a raunchy girl comedy, they didn’t let them be really bad? They still tried to make them a little likeable, and that’s not comedy.

Lizzy Caplan: Yeah, I agree. I think you have to be brave to make a good comedic movie and you have to take it extra far, and I think we do in this movie.


In Bachelorette, Gena’s not just a funny promiscuous girl. Is she in really dangerous territory?

Lizzy Caplan: Sure. Just how far the script went with these girls and their problems was very, very impressive to me and what was even more impressive is that there’s such heart in this movie and you do get to see a little bit of why they behave the way they behave and it sort of makes it make a bit more sense. I like that. My favorite jobs, we got to do it on “Party Down” quite a bit too, are the ones where you can mix comedy and drama. I think you get free reign in making your characters completely horrible if you try to at least explain where they’re coming from a bit.


I won’t spoil the details but it actually comes out of a really traumatizing moment in her life.

Lizzy Caplan: Yes, absolutely, completely traumatizing moment but I think one of the main characteristics of my character is that she blames every bad thing in her life on this thing that happened many, many, many years ago which to me, at this point is a bad excuse for bad behavior.


Adam, your character can fix her, right?

Adam Scott: Um…


That was a joke.

Adam Scott: Oh, okay.


What was the joy of playing your scenes together with that contentious romance?

Adam Scott: We’re always looking for stuff to do together because we have a lot of fun working together, so it happened to be a terrific script so it was a great opportunity to do something together that was good.

Lizzy Caplan: Yeah, we thought that the characters were so different from our characters in “Party Down” that it felt fresh for us, and yet they’re supposed to have this long history together. That’s one of the harder things to fake, whereas if you show up on set with somebody that you’ve worked with quite a bit that it kind of makes it much easier.


I wish I’d gotten to see the film at Sundance because I heard the cut was different. What has changed?

Lizzy Caplan: We were not necessarily 100% ready to show the movie by the time Sundance came around because we wrapped it mere weeks before we showed it in front of 1100 people. I think what we were going for was there on the screen but it’s a much more polished, much more tight, quick film. It’s finished now.


Does that mean there will be some funny stuff on the DVD?

Lizzy Caplan: I’m hoping that this DVD has a ton of deleted stuff because we were allowed to improv a lot, a lot. I know there’s a bunch of funny stuff that didn’t make it into the movie. I know when I’m watching a DVD or special feature and the gag reel and deleted stuff is so short, I’m always pissed about that. So I’m hoping that our deleted scenes are just as long as the movie, maybe twice as long.


What is the latest prospect for a “Party Down” movie?

Adam Scott: I don't know. We’re all just crossing our fingers and hoping that it happens at some point. That’s basically where it’s at right now.


By the time you guys go back to “Party Down,” will you be able to bring a whole bunch of new experience to it?

Lizzy Caplan: I mean, a lot has changed for a lot of people in our cast since we wrapped that show, but I have a sneaking suspicion that the first day we walk on set we’ll just be back to our old ways again. It’s a very tight knit group of people.


Lizzy, I got to see a preview of “Masters of Sex” on Showtime. Can you tell us about your character in that show?

Lizzy Caplan: Virginia Johnson of the sex researcher team Masters and Johnson. They were these two sexologists in the Midwest in the 1950s. While Kinsey did a lot of amazing work, his work was basically interviewing people. What these two people did is they wired them up to machines and actually watched them have sex to monitor the body’s physical responses. So it’s pretty out there but it all really happened and it is one of the most fascinating stories I’ve ever read.


In the clips, you have some outrageous moments yourself. We were you gung ho to do that or were there any reservations?

Lizzy Caplan: It was sort of a prerequisite even in going after this part that this character Virginia is so sexually secure, especially in a time where that was sort of unheard of and a location where it was even more frowned upon. So whoever ended up playing this part had to be really game for all of the explicit material because that’s who she was. I mean, the show is about people who study sex. If you were squeamish at all about that I think you’d have a very, very rough time making this show.


What is the speed of doing an hour long drama on cable?

Lizzy Caplan: It’s much different than network because you only shoot for about four months I think out of the year, which is fantastic. But everything takes a little bit longer so we haven’t started shooting the series yet, it won’t air until 2013 which will end up being a couple years after my first audition. Whereas network television happens much, much quicker.


Adam, what do you get to play in The Secret Life of Walter Mitty?

Adam Scott: I play Walter Mitty’s boss at his job. It was really, really fun.


Do you get to witness any of the fantasy/imagination stuff?

Adam Scott: Yeah, there’s a lot of that. Through the whole movie there are bits of fantasy here and there. I think it’s going to be a great movie.


When you each got to perform scenes in New York on Bachelorette, were there any funny, difficult moments with real people around?

Adam Scott: Well, we shot on a subway, Lizzy and I’s scene on the subway, that was run and gun. We just went down there and did it.

Lizzy Caplan: That was awesome. That was like true guerilla filmmaking. We had maybe three or four people with us and we had to wrap up the camera and jack it so nobody knew we were filming down there and we would just rush onto the subway cars, shoot the scenes and then rush off. What was so cool about it is there were people riding the subway and they would watch us do this kind of dramatic scene and sometimes they would applaud afterwards and generally make us feel good about ourselves.

Adam Scott: It was because it was raining I think that we had to go shoot in there. That scene was supposed to take place outside. That was fun doing it though.

Photo Credit: Jacob Hutchings