A talented actress with a knack for witty, barbed humor, Lizzy Caplan impressed in a wide array of film and television roles. Early work included a recurring character on the Judd Apatow-produced cult series "Freaks and Geeks" (NBC, 1999-2000), followed by a starring turn on the comedic drama "Everybody's Doing It" (MTV, 2002). She garnered substantial attention as the sharp-tongued misfit in the Tina Fey-scripted comedy feature "Mean Girls" (2004). Although attempts at regular series work in projects like the short-lived sitcom "The Class" (CBS, 2006-07) failed to bear fruit, appearances in mainstream films like "Cloverfield" (2008) kept her in demand. Continuing to shine in comedy, Caplan lent her razor-sharp wit to characters in a variety of well-received projects, including the cable series "Party Down" (Starz, 2009-2010), the raucous sci-fi comedy, "Hot Tub Time Machine" (2010) and the girls-gone-bad comedy "Bachelorette" (2012). Attractive and funny, but also highly adept with darker material, Caplan continued to expand her range and repertoire in ensemble pieces both large and small.
Born Elizabeth Anne Caplan on June 30, 1982 in Los Angeles, CA, Caplan attended Alexander Hamilton High School and initially studied piano, but clashes with her teachers led her to switch interests to performing. Main roles in school plays lead to her branching out into the professional acting world, and her first onscreen appearance came in the form of the TV movie, "From Where I Sit" (2000), starring David Paymer and Marcia Gay Harden. Caplan also appeared in four episodes of the critically acclaimed series "Freaks and Geeks" (NBC, 1999-2000) as Jason Segel's impossibly upbeat and disco-loving girlfriend. She contributed a brief appearance to the pilot episode of "Freaks" producer Judd Apatow's equally short-lived follow-up series, "Undeclared" (Fox, 2001).
Caplan graduated to leads in 2002, starting with the short film "Hardcore Action News," in which she plays a morose teenager whose pregnancy is exploited by an unscrupulous news program. The MTV-produced comedy "Everybody's Doing It" followed, with Caplan as a teenager pressured into signing a sexual abstinence agreement at her high school. A chance to handle a dramatic role came with two appearances on "Smallville" (The WB, 2001-2011), Caplan played Tina Greer, a young woman whose exposure to Kryptonite gave her the ability to change her appearance. Like many Caplan roles, Tina had a darker side - a childhood filled with neglect - that prompted her to find attention by committing crimes.
Caplan's luck as a television series regular continued to be hit-and-miss at best. Her first attempt, "The Pitts" (Fox, 2003), co-produced by Seth MacFarlane and Mike Scully of "The Simpsons" (Fox, 1989- ), about a family with catastrophic bad luck, lasted just five episodes. She made it through four episodes of the final season of "Tru Calling" (Fox, 2003-05) before that show was axed as well. Her highly publicized 2005 series "Related" (The WB, 2005-06), about the lives and romances of four sisters in New York, made it to episode 19 before the network shelved it. In the meantime, she enjoyed a successful career as a film actress, starting in 2002 with a minor role in the Jack Black comedy, "Orange County." Her breakthrough, however, was widely considered to be "Mean Girls." As the black-tressed Janis Ian, sardonic sidekick to high school newcomer Lindsay Lohan, Caplan's comedic skills attracted considerable attention from critics and audiences, where she smacked of old school sharp-tongued broads like Eve Arden and Rosalind Russell. She returned to drama with the thriller, "Love is the Drug" (2006), in which she played the seductive crux of a high school love triangle that goes terribly awry.
Caplan returned to television as a regular on the ensemble sitcom "The Class" (CBS, 2006-07), essaying the role of cynical Kat Warbler, one of eight childhood friends reunited years later. Despite its promising premise and talented cast, the series struggled with its shifting timeslots and was cancelled after one season. Rebounding nicely, she co-starred in the found footage horror movie, "Cloverfield" (2008) as one of six partygoers caught in the middle of a gigantic alien invasion of Manhattan, in addition to playing the vampire blood-addicted Amy Burley on the first season of the hit vampire melodrama, "True Blood" (HBO, 2008-14). Sticking with cable projects, Caplan joined the cast of the well-reviewed but short-lived comedy "Party Down" (Starz, 2009-2010) as Casey Klein, a struggling actress-comedian paying the bills with work at the titular Los Angeles catering company.
Caplan next played John Cusack's love interest from an alternate past in "Hot Tub Time Machine" (2010), a sci-fi comedy ode to teen movies from the 1980s. A larger role in a lower-profile project came her way that same year when Caplan starred opposite Dwight Yoakam, Peter Dinklage and Scott Speedman in the indie-Western "The Last Rites of Ransom Pride" (2010). She was also seen briefly via flashbacks as the sister of critically injured hiker Aron Ralston (James Franco) in director Danny Boyle's harrowing survival drama "127 Hours" (2010). Other film efforts included a starring role opposite Ron Livingston in the comedy-fantasy "Queens of Country" (2011) and shared screen time with Kirsten Dunst and Isla Fisher in the raunchy prenuptial comedy "Bachelorette" (2012). Following an arc on the hit sitcom "New Girl" (Fox 2011- ) in which she played the unstable older sister of Zooey Deschanel's Jess, Caplan returned to TV full time in the period drama "Masters of Sex" (Showtime 2013- ). Her portrayal of 1950s sex researcher Virginia Johnson, opposite Michael Sheen as William Masters, garnered near-unanimous praise, including a Best Actress in a Drama Emmy nomination in 2014.
Cast (Feature Film)
Misc. Crew (Feature Film)
Made TV debut, playing the role of Sarah on the short-lived cult hit "Freaks and Geeks" (NBC)
Starred in the MTV movie "Everybody's Doing It"
Cast as Faith Pitt on the short-lived comedy "The Pitts" (Fox)
Cast as social outcast Janis Ian opposite Lindsay Lohan in the comedy "Mean Girls"
Landed recurring role on Fox's "Tru Calling"
Cast as Marjee Sorelli, the troubled sister on The WB's "Related"
Co-starred on the CBS comedy "The Class"
Played the starring role of Sara Weller in Wesley Strick's thriller "Love is the Drug"
Played Kate Hudson's roommate in the romantic comedy "My Best Friend's Girl"
Landed multiple-episode arc on HBO's "True Blood," playing Amy Burley, the drug-addled girlfriend of Sookie Stackhouse's brother Jason (Ryan Kwanten)
Co-starred in Matt Reeves' monster movie "Cloverfield," produced by J. J. Abrams
Co-starred on the Starz comedy seriers "Party Down"
Appeared in the sci-fi comedy "Hot Tub Time Machine"
Appeared in Danny Boyle's "127 Hours"
Guest starred on Fox's "New Girl" as a love interest for series regular Jake M. Johnson
Co-starred with Kirsten Dunst, Isla Fisher, and Rebel Wilson in "Bachelorette"
Starred alongside Alison Brie in comedy "Save the Date"
Landed the role of pioneering sex researcher Virginia Johnson on Showtime's "Masters of Sex"
Appeared in "The Night Before"
Appeared in the sequel "Now You See Me 2"
Appeared as herself in James Franco's Tommy Wiseau biopic "The Disaster Artist"
Starred opposite Michael Peña in sci-fi thriller "Extinction"