Actress Lizzy Caplan, whose filmmography includes the 2008 monster movie “Cloverfield” and this year’s comedy “Bachelorette,” recently spoke with quadrust.com about her new comedy “3,2,1… Frankie Go Boom.”
“3,2,1… Frankie Go Boom,” which opens Friday, Oct. 12 exclusively at Harkins Valley Art, is the story of a boy (Charlie Hunnam), a girl (Caplan), their sex tape, the boy’s brother (Chris O’Dowd) who has put it online, the transgender hacker (Ron Perlman) who may be able to pull it down, the psychotic and armed movie star father (Chris Noth) of the girl and his pet pig.
Question: What was it about Jordan Roberts’ screenplay that encouraged you to take your role in the movie?
Answer: I thought that it was legitimately funny. That is pretty much what it was for me. It made me laugh when I was reading it and then, when I started to hear the people that they had attached to it, it sounded better and better to me because I knew that they were hiring actors who were no-joke powerhouses playing against type. All of this just seemed like a worthwhile cause.
Q: What, in your own words, would you say makes your character Lassie tick and how were you able to tap into that?
A: Lassie made a lot of sense to me for many reasons. Her life does not mirror my own but she is an adult child of an alcoholic. She was raised by a child, basically, so she is in like a role reversal with her father. She has also had terrible luck with men. She is probably a little stunted in her own maturity. I think that being forced to grow up really quickly can do that to people. She just seemed like this weird mix of having to be a grownup but also being this confused, scared little girl – a mess of psychological issues that I was drawn to like a moth to the flame. The issues that these people are dealing with are the opposite of funny, yet it is pulled off in such a way that you are really laughing at them.
Q: Lassie gets into some seriously embarrassing situations. You have a tendency to take roles that require you to do and say things that are considered taboo. How does it feel to film such scenes?
A: It was more embarrassing to shoot some of the scenes in “3,2,1… Frankie Go Boom” than it was in “Bachelorette.” I get asked all of the time about the monologue that I give the guy on the plane in “Bachelorette.” I was not really embarrassed during that because it is not me. It is a character that I am playing. We are actors. We are paid to do this stuff. Granted, on “3,2,1… Frankie Go Boom,” we are not paid very much to do this stuff. I mean, it is completely humiliating but I knew that I had Charlie [Hunnam] along for the ride. I was not alone and that sort of made me more secure about it.
Q: And are you like the characters that you play in that respect?
A: I have a terribly filthy mouth. It is not fantastic. I actually just got reprimanded by my father. It was my nephew’s birthday this weekend and we had a lot of family in town. I am 30 years old and I still get in troubled by my dad for cursing. It is so woven into the fabric of who I am at this point.
Q: You recently visited the Valley. What did you think of Cave Creek, where you shot the upcoming comedy “Queens of Country?”
A: Cave Creek is now one of my all-time favorite places. I had such a blast being there for 2 months. It was like this really sleepover-camp-on-crack feeling – like a time-warp. I loved it. We went to Harold’s Corral all of the time. I thought that I was extra tough because I wore a cowboy hat everyday that I was in Arizona. I almost got into a bit of a physical altercation with some drunk Cave Creek girl about my age, which would not have been good. She would have killed me. We also went to the Buffalo Chip and had a 14-course gourmet meal at Binkley’s Restaurant. And Bryan’s Black Mountain Barbeque was so good. I loved it there.
Q: You got your start on television. FOX’s “The Pitts” and CBS’s “The Class” were two of the greatest series ever aired yet both were canceled early on. Do you have fond memories of those two projects?
A: “The Pitts” was such a bold show. What they were trying to do was so cool and interesting. It was basically a live-action cartoon. I think that if that show were to be on now, it would be getting a lot more attention. I think that the public’s appetite for weird, off-center comedy is so much higher now so it would have actually had a chance to be successful – or at least a cult hit. The fact that it just went away is really strange to me because it was so innovative and off the wall. “The Class” was an unbelievably fun experience. We all became extremely close with one another very quickly and remain close. We went to group dinners for years after “The Class” got canceled. It was so heartbreaking when it got canceled but, like anything else, there are probably greater reasons for that. I have to admit that even though I was devastated when it got canceled, I think that whatever year the show would be on now would not be as ideal for me because I get really restless doing things for too long.
Q: Finally, what did you learn from Lassie?
A: Lassie taught me that unresolved issues from one’s childhood will always come up to bite you right on your [butt]. So, have fun kids!