Lizzy Caplan gives her first in-depth interview about "Masters of Sex", the upcoming Showtime series, and about her approach to playing Virginia Johnson after reading the biography "Masters of Sex", available now in its original hardcover and paperback editions from Basic Books. Look for the new 13-part dramatic series sometime in 2013.
|Michael Sheen as "Dr. William Masters" and Lizzy Caplan as "Virginia Johnson" |
on the set of "Masters of Sex" filmed in New York and Long Island.
Lizzy: The process of getting that job was so lengthy and complicated. John Madden directed it and he's this very fancy, amazing guy who did Shakespeare in Love. He really saw me in this part way before I actually saw myself in the role. Typically you're typecast in your comfort zone but this is so far outside that for me. This is a true period piece drama, but when I read the book this show is based on, the character [Virginia Johnson] and I are so alike, so I could really see myself in her. Plus, she's such a pioneer and a total badass. If I can raise awareness for what she did at this strange time in America, then sign me up!
Lizzy: A lot of people are familiar with Kinsey – they did questionnaires asking people about their sexual preferences, which was ground-breaking at the time. Masters & Johnson were research scientists – well, he was and she pretended to be. They would wire people to electrodes and heart-monitors to watch them masturbate and have sex [in hopes of figuring] out the science of an orgasm. People were adhering to Freudian ideas, which were so masculine and female sexuality was so far in the background. Masters & Johnson, combined with the sexual revolution, gave women power over their own bodies.
Lizzy: I get a weird kick of out shooting sex scenes because they're just so awkward. They're so uncomfortable that the situation makes me laugh. There's something sort of fun about it since you're usually doing it with a good looking co-stars, so, whatever, it's part of the job. I'll take it. So I thought watching other people pretend to have sex would be so easy, but I was so uncomfortable. It was so weird to watch other people because it makes you self-conscious and think about what you look like when you're shooting a sex scene. But I better get used to it because [Masters & Johnson] watched a lot of people do it. I mean, they observed over 10,000 orgasms.
Lizzy: Yea. It's interesting still how male full frontal nudity is still taboo most of the time. I'm going to really push for Michael Sheen [who plays William Masters] to show his parts on this show. As an actor, you just really admire the bravery of other actors to do that because it's weird not only for them to have to perform in front of a small crew, but to do it in front of other actors watching them. It's ridiculous.