by Luke Hickman
'Save the Date' is one of the many great R-rated female-centric comedic dramas at Sundance this year. Lizzy Caplan stars as an aspiring artist who has to take life in small steps. As if moving in with her boyfriend wasn't traumatic enough, when he proposes to her in front of a large crowd she freaks out and ends the relationship right there. Lizzy Caplan sat down mid-festival to talk about 'Save the Date,' female-driven comedies, and horror movies.
Lizzy Caplan: It's nice to be sitting down, not made-up and not in front of a camera!
HDD: No on-screen stuff today?
Lizzy Caplan: Not that I know of. I'm done – done with those bitches. (laughs)
HDD: But you don't mind if you're shoot for a movie, right?
Lizzy Caplan: Not at all. That's fun. The shoot [of 'Save the Date'] was quick, super quick – the best kind.
HDD: How were the rehearsals?
Lizzy Caplan: I'm not generally a huge fan of rehearsals, but I think it's important to spend time with the people you're going to be working with – especially if you're supposed to be sisters or have some kind of long relationship. But in my rehearsals with Alison [Brie], we'd read one scene and both think, 'Oh, this is going to be just fine.' I think it was more of a confidence booster for [director Michael] Mohan than it was for us, to see if we'd be able to pull this off and have a hopefully believable sister relationship.
HDD: They didn't test you two together first?
Lizzy Caplan: (sarcastically laughs) Screen test? This isn't the sort of filmmaking that screen tests.
HDD: You know what I mean – to see if you two worked together well, which you do.
Lizzy Caplan: Thanks! I knew Alison's work and she knew mine and Michael Mohan knew both of our bodies of work so he could tell that we were both from similar worlds, that we had a certain cadence – no, "cadence" is the wrong word for it – a certain kind of way of doing comedy that, when you're working with someone who does as much comedy as Alison does, it's easier. Plus, we both have blue eyes – what else do you need to be sisters?
HDD: (laughs) I've read that 'Save the Date' is being called a comedy, a romantic comedy, and a dramedy. How do you see 'Save the Date?'
Lizzy Caplan: It's strange. We saw it with just the cast a few weeks ago and I think those first cast screenings are just everybody sitting there quiet, freaking out about their own performance, but all of us were cuddling up and saying, "You were good - No, you were really good! I was terrible, but you guys were really good." It's one thing to get through that and another thing to get through it with an audience. I was weirdly uneasy about calling it a romantic comedy, but watching it with an audience, it got some big laughs. We weren't expecting that. 'Mad Men's Alison Brie showed up, not the one from 'Community.' (in an attitude-filled teenage voice) She's on two shows – one's a comedy, one's a drama.
HDD: Do you think 'Bridesmaids' sort of opened the door for more female-driven R-rated comedies?
Lizzy Caplan: It's funny to answer the 'Bridesmaids' question for this movie [and not for my other movie here at Sundance]. Of course ['Save the Date'] is centered around this wedding that never occurs [in the narrative] – it's more of a plot point for [Alison's character] than mine – but 'Bridesmaids' for sure opened tons of doors for comedic actresses. Without that movie doing so well, tons of [movies with those types of] actresses, especially at the studio level, would never be made. I don't think it affected ['Save the Date'] directly, but just the fact that more people want to see women being funny now is, of course, super helpful.
HDD: Does it bother you having to do so much sex in a movie?
Lizzy Caplan: They actually cut one scene out - thank God - a very graphic one with Mark Webber. I texted Mohan saying, "Haha! You cut out that thing, right! Hahaha," just totally joking and he said, "Yes." And I said, (sigh) "I can totally watch this movie now." Both of the guys [I had to fake sex with] were terrible, terrible, terrible at it and I found them both completely repugnant. (laughs) ... I love it when guys have to wear embarrassing kind of stuff in movies because we girls are always forced to wear embarrassing stuff.
HDD: What else are you working on right now?
Lizzy Caplan: I have another movie here called 'Bachelorette.' (sarcastically) It's scary, very very scary. It's got a great cast. They're awesome, very awesome. Both of these movie have amazing casts – for hanging out with as well as working together.
HDD: After 'True Blood,' any chance you'll return to the horror genre?
Lizzy Caplan: I'd love to do more, but it's hard to find horror movies that are good. I don't know why they can't make them good. Although I hear the one that's here [at Sundace] - what's it called?
HDD: 'Black Rock?'
Lizzy Caplan: 'Black Rock!' I hear that one's good.
HDD: It's another female-centric comedic genre movie here at the festival.
Lizzy Caplan: I love a good comedy horror.
HDD: What about 'Scream 5?'
Lizzy Caplan: I can try to dip in on Alison's territory!