by Malina Saval
CBS will announce it’s fall lineup tomorrow and we’ve got our fingers crossed that “_The Class_,”:http://www.cbs.com/primetime/the_class/about.shtml starring Lizzy Caplan, will be picked up. _Heeb_ contributing writer Malina Saval caught up with Caplan at her Uncle Howard’s place in Hollywood.
When I arrive in the Hollywood Hills, Lizzy Caplan is sitting in the makeup chair, thumbing through her press kit. I suddenly realize that this doe-eyed pixie smoking a cigarette in between eye shadow applications is the same girl I’ve seen so many times before and loved. I just never knew it was Lizzy Caplan.
“I do it on purpose,” says the 24-year-old Zelig-esque thespian, named one of “10 Actors to Watch” in 2006 by _Daily Variety_. With prior screen credits that include breakout roles on the short-lived but critically acclaimed NBC series _Freaks and Geeks_ and the WB’s _Related_, and a scene-snatching turn as Lindsay Lohan’s bitter ex-BFF Janis Ian in “_Mean Girls_,”:http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0377092/ Caplan is well-practiced in costume overhaul. “I like to change my appearance for every role because it’s helpful for the character,” Caplan explains, “but also, the idea of being easily recognizable on the street leaves such a horrible taste in my mouth that I like to do anything I can to stay anonymous for a while.”
That coveted anonymity certainly won’t last long for the star of the CBS ensemble comedy _The Class_. Caplan plays the snarky, sexy Kat Warbler, one of a motley crew of elementary-school buddies that reunites after 20 years. “It’s about who you were before you had to pretend to be other people,” says Caplan of the show, which took Top New Comedy honors at the 2007 People’s Choice Awards. (The awards show also featured Caplan as a first-time presenter.)
Still, this down-to-earth up-and-comer doesn’t foresee a swarm of paparazzi nesting on her doorstep any time soon. “I think there are ways to avoid that,” says Caplan, a Los Angeles native who attended the Hamilton Academy of Music, a public performing arts high school. “You have to court it to a certain extent. I don’t go out to the clubs like those young Hollywoods. It’s just not my life. I think I’m really fortunate that I grew up here because I can have a normal life while still living in this terrible Hollywood bubble.”
Caplan keeps it real by maintaining a coterie of both stage actor and non-celeb friends on both coasts. Since she never went to college, her _Class_-mates have become like dorm buddies, the bunch of them getting together every Monday night to make tacos and watch the show in its plum primetime slot.
“We’re besties,” she says of her fellow cast members, among them “Jason Ritter.”:http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0728762/ “It’s pretty sweet. I’m excited to go to work every day. They’re so funny and so cool and so not affected by any of it.”
As for extracurricular activities, Caplan is testing out film and TV prospects, looking, once again, to keep it fresh and interesting. “I want the next thing I do to be something totally different,” she says.
As for whether her characters on _The Class_ and in _Mean Girls_ reflect any firsthand real life high school experiences, Caplan might be one of the lucky few who have emerged unscathed from the singing flames of secondary school education. “My high school experience wasn’t typical,” she says. “At my school it was actually cool to be artsy or gay. But I have a lot of friends who went to private school and from what I hear, girls really are mean, mean, mean.”