She’s played a goth, a disco queen, and a mutant shapeshifter, but no role has ever suited Lizzy Caplan like her character Kat on CBS’s The Class. Brash, witty, and chock-full of sarcasm, Kat is the anti-Rachel. She, along with the rest of The Class’s cast of unlikely characters, provides a refreshing change from the usual sitcom stereotypes of hot moms and flabby dads, which makes it all the more disheartening that the show is in danger of cancellation. (So, watch it and tell your friends!)
We chatted with Lizzy over the phone and, not surprisingly, she’s as cool and badass as we thought she’d be. Here’s what Lizzy had to say about Kat’s inner rage, Lindsay Lohan, and getting it on with Jason Ritter.
How did you get started?
I went to a performing arts high school, but I actually went for piano. When I had a falling out with my piano teachers, I needed something to do, so I took drama. I really liked it, so I said, alright, I’ll do this for a while.
You’re been compared to Janeane Garofalo. Fan or foe?
When I was in junior high, Reality Bites came out, and my friends and I were obsessed with her. She was sort of the first sarcastic [female] comedian who was also appealing at the same time. Now that’s she’s gotten super-political, I kind of shy away from her a little bit more.
What do you think about your character Kat?
It’s cool to be in a role that’s interesting to me and still has that bite to it. Normally, the main girl part opposite the main guy is pretty boring. It’s the other characters who have the interesting things to say, the witty remarks.
What drew you to the part?
It was actually something I didn’t want to play again because I had done it in Mean Girls. I have all of these big ideas that are really stupid and naïve, like I can never play that role again, because I did it in Mean Girls and it never can be said again by me. I threw that out the window when I realized that the other parts that were available for girls my age really suck generally and you want the part that’s funny and interesting.
How do you channel Kat’s inner rage?
I think I’m similar to her in many ways. It’s really easy with Jason Ritter, because he’s so fun to make fun of. We do it all day long. He’s the best person for that.
When are you and Ritter going to do the deed already?
I don’t think it’s going to happen anytime soon. I think they’re going to stretch it out as long as possible.
Besides Kat, do you have a favorite character on the show?
I love Jesse Ferguson’s character Richie, the red-headed guy. It’s sort of strange because everybody is sort of similar to their characters, so it’s really interesting to see Jon Bernthal and Jesse hanging out together in real life.
What was your experience like on Freaks and Geeks?
I was very much a guest on that show. It was the first thing I did and I was petrified every time I was on the show. But I’m so happy I was a part of it, because it was amazing.
What was it like for you in high school?
In my school, there were 3000 kids and three schools within the school. The music academy was mixed. The football players, the cheerleaders, they just didn’t exist. For me, it was alternative artsy kids with tattoos, and gay kids who were cool because they were gay and they didn’t have to hide it. It was an amazing place that was unlike any other high school in L.A.
Wanna out anyone as a Mean Girl?
Nobody really messed with me. I had black hair and I was a little tough.
I used to be on Friendster. I don’t have a MySpace account, which I’ll probably have to do since I feel like I’m totally not with my people, like it’s this defining characteristic of people in their 20s.
Which do you like better – working in comedy or drama?
I think comedy is much harder on the ego. You’re more vulnerable when you’re doing comedy because you’re constantly pandering for just one thing, which is just a laugh. Whereas with drama, you really have to tap into something.
There’s a long history of sexual tension between two main characters on TV. If you had to choose between Mulder and Scully, David and Maddie, Winnie Cooper and Kevin Arnold, or Marcia and Greg, which one would be your favorite and why?
Mulder and Scully no doubt, because even though incest is entertaining, with Mulder and Scully you wanted it so bad!
I read somewhere that you named your cat Lisa Turtle – as in Saved by the Bell Lisa Turtle – Who would you choose to spend the night with? Zach, Screech, or Slater?
It would have been Zach, but now that Screech has that video coming out it might be Screech. I haven’t seen it yet, but…
Are you going to?
Oh for sure! Of course, you have to see it.
Favorite TV shows?
I think there’s a lot of amazing TV (shows) right now like, It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia. Charlie is the love of my life. The one with the ultimate fighting…I think I watched it about 30 times. It’s so much more absurd this season, which I like.
The Office I love, and nothing drives me crazier than when somebody’s like, “I can’t watch it because I like the British one.” And I’m like nuh nuh nuh no, you can like both of them. That drives me crazy, ‘cause I love it. I think it’s great. And Curb Your Enthusiasm, which is great. I think the biggest travesty of the past couple of years was the cancellation of The Comeback.