Caplan at the 2014 PaleyFest
Elizabeth Anne Caplan
June 30, 1982
Los Angeles, California, U.S.
Tom Riley (m. 2017)
|Partner(s)||Matthew Perry (2006–2012)|
|Relatives||Howard Bragman (uncle)|
Elizabeth Anne Caplan (born June 30, 1982) is an American actress and model. Her first acting role was on the cult television series Freaks and Geeks (1999–2000). She received wider recognition with roles in the films Mean Girls (2004) and Cloverfield (2008), the latter of which earned her a nomination for the Saturn Award for Best Supporting Actress. Caplan has also starred on the TV shows Related (2005–2006), The Class (2006–2007), and Party Down (2009–2010). From 2013 to 2016, she played Virginia E. Johnson on the Showtime series Masters of Sex, a role for which she won a Primetime Emmy, Satellite, and Critics' Choice Award nominations. In 2019, Caplan portrayed Annie Wilkes in the Hulu anthology series Castle Rock.
Her other film appearances include Hot Tub Time Machine, 127 Hours (both 2010), Save the Date, Bachelorette (both 2012), The Interview (2014), Now You See Me 2, Allied (both 2016), and Extinction (2018).
Elizabeth Anne Caplan was born on June 30, 1982 in Los Angeles, California, and grew up in its Miracle Mile district. Her family are Reform Jews. Her father, Richard Caplan, was a lawyer, and her mother, Barbara (née Bragman), was a political aide. She is the youngest of three children with a brother, Benjamin, and a sister, Julie. Her mother died of illness when she was 13 years old. Her uncle is publicist Howard Bragman. Caplan attended Alexander Hamilton High School, and was a student at the school's Academy of Music. She first focused on playing the piano, then later decided to pursue drama. She was also on her school's soccer team. She graduated in 2000, but did not attend college because she wanted to focus on acting.
Caplan began her acting career in 1999, first playing a girl named Sara in the critically acclaimed series Freaks and Geeks. Due to her performance, her character became the girlfriend of Jason Segel's character. She then had a series of guest appearances on numerous shows, and appeared in Jason Mraz's music video "You and I Both". In 2000 she appeared in her first film From Where I Sit which was released straight to television. In 2001, she played Tina Greer in an episode of Smallville, and reprised her role on the show in 2003. She appeared in two episodes of the ABC series Once and Again. In 2003, she starred in the television series The Pitts, playing Faith Pitt. She gained wider notice for playing Janis Ian in the 2004 film Mean Girls. She played Avery Bishop in the second season of Tru Calling.
In 2005, Caplan played troubled sister Marjee Sorelli in Related, a one-hour comedy-drama on The WB that was canceled after one season. In 2006, she starred as Sara Weller in the thriller film Love is the Drug and was named one of "10 Actors to Watch" by Variety. After Related ended, Caplan was cast in the CBS sitcom The Class, which premiered in September 2006 and lasted for one season. She played Kat Warbler, one of several elementary school friends that reunite after 20 years.
In 2008, Caplan played Marlena Diamond in the film Cloverfield and was nominated for a Saturn Award for Best Supporting Actress. She also appeared as Ami in the romantic comedy My Best Friend's Girl. Later that year, she guest-starred as Amy Burley on the HBO vampire show True Blood. She was the voice of Faith Pitt in the proposed animated version of The Pitts, which was developed in 2007. She also appeared in the critically acclaimed Starz ensemble comedy Party Down, playing a struggling comedian who is part of a catering crew. In 2010, she appeared in 127 Hours.
She played Agent Lacey in the 2014 film The Interview.
Masters of Sex (2013–2016)
In 2013, she began playing 1960s human sexuality pioneer Virginia E. Johnson on the Showtime series Masters of Sex. Caplan also provided her own vocals for a cover version of the song "You Don't Know Me" in the Masters of Sex episode "Phallic Victories". Her performance on the show was well-reviewed, and on July 10, 2014, she was nominated for the Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series.
Caplan was cast in her role as Johnson before they signed her co-star Michael Sheen as William H. Masters because he was busy working on another production. Producer Sarah Timberman said of Caplan, "the minute we met Lizzie we thought that she just embodied so much of the spirit of Virginia Johnson." Caplan also stated herself that as a single woman pursuing her career above a family, she identified with many of Johnson's characteristics. Once she met the producers, it took several months before Caplan was officially signed, and she turned down several other roles in the meantime.
Virginia Johnson worked alongside William H. Masters as they completed research of human sexual response and sexual dysfunction beginning in the late 1950s. To learn about the characters they were portraying Caplan along with her other co-stars read Thomas Maier's 2009 biography Masters of Sex. The author also allowed Caplan to listen to some of his interview tapes with Johnson. Caplan also attempted to spend some time with Johnson before she died in 2013, but Johnson was ambivalent about the development of the show. It was the first time she portrayed a real person and Caplan mentioned in an interview that she felt a "deep responsibility" to Johnson, but that she had some wiggle room because most people have no idea what Johnson looked or sounded like. Maier stated that the developers of the show have remained mostly accurate to his book and have included other events that are historically relevant to St. Louis, where the series takes place and where Masters and Johnson lived. Caplan has discussed becoming comfortable with the large number of sex scenes in Masters of Sex.
Her portrayal of American sexologist Virginia Johnson was her first serious dramatic role, resulting in nominations for the Primetime Emmy Award, Satellite Award and Critics’ Choice Television Award, all for Outstanding Lead Actress.
Caplan dated actor Matthew Perry from 2006 to 2012. Caplan became engaged in May 2016 in New York to English actor Tom Riley. They had met in January 2015 while the actress was filming in London, and made their red carpet debut as a couple at the Prague Opera Ball in February 2016. The two were married in September 2017.
|2002||Orange County||Party Girl|
|2003||Hardcore Action News||Lizzy Lyons||Short film|
|2004||Mean Girls||Janis Ian|
|2006||Love Is the Drug||Sara Weller|
|My Best Friend's Girl||Ami|
|2010||Successful Alcoholics||Lindsay||Short film|
|Hot Tub Time Machine||April Drennan|
|The Last Rites of Ransom Pride||Juliette Flowers|
|127 Hours||Sonja Ralston|
|2012||Save the Date||Sarah|
|3,2,1... Frankie Go Boom||Lassie|
|Queens of Country||Jolene Gillis|
|2012||Item 47||Claire Weiss||Short film|
|2014||The Interview||Agent Lacey|
|2015||The Night Before||Diana|
|2016||Now You See Me 2||Lula May|
|2017||The Disaster Artist||Herself||Cameo|
|2019||The Cloverfield Files||Marlena Diamond||Archival footage|
|1999–2000||Freaks and Geeks||Sara||4 episodes|
|2000||From Where I Sit||Lily||Television film|
|2001||Undeclared||Beautiful girl||Episode: "Prototype"|
|2001–2003||Smallville||Tina Greer||2 episodes|
|2001||Once and Again||Sarah||Episode: "Tough Love"|
|2002||Everybody's Doing It||Angela||Television film|
|2003||The Pitts||Faith Pitt||Main role|
|2005||Tru Calling||Avery Bishop||4 episodes|
|2005–2006||Related||Marjee Sorelli||Main role|
|2006||Family Guy||Woman Arguing With Quagmire (voice)||1 episode|
|2006–2009||American Dad!||Debbie (voice)||4 episodes|
|2006–2007||The Class||Kat Warbler||Main role|
|2008||True Blood||Amy Burley||6 episodes|
|The Life & Times of Tim||(voice)||Episode: "Insurmountable High Score/Tim vs. the Baby"|
|2009–2010||Party Down||Casey Klein||Main role|
|2010–2011||Childrens Hospital||Harmony / Casey Klein||2 episodes|
|2011||The Cleveland Show||Patty Donner (voice)||Episode: "The Essence of Cleveland"|
|Mr. Sunshine||Vivian Cornelli||Episode: "Ben and Vivian"|
|Wainy Days||Arielle||Episode: "Kelly and Arielle – Part 2"|
|2012||New Girl||Julia||4 episodes|
|2013||Newsreaders||Anya Turpo||Episode: "Hedge Fun"|
|2013–2016||Masters of Sex||Virginia E. Johnson||Main role; also producer|
|2013–2014||The League||Rebecca Ruxin||3 episodes|
|2014||Kroll Show||Signing Bonus Contestant #1||Episode: "Krolling Around with Nick Klown"|
|Comedy Bang! Bang!||Herself||Episode: "Lizzy Caplan Wears All Black & Powder Blue Espadrilles"|
|2017||The Simpsons||Virginia Johnson (voice)||Episode: "Kamp Krustier"|
|Angie Tribeca||Deirdre||Episode: "If You See Something, Solve Something"|
|Ill Behaviour||Nadia||3 episodes|
|I'm Sorry||Jessica||Episode: "Too Slow"|
|2018||Das Boot||Carla Monroe||8 episodes|
|2019||Castle Rock||Annie Wilkes||Main role (season 2)|
|Truth Be Told||Josie and Lanie Burhman||Main role|
Awards and nominations
|2007||Saturn Award||Best Supporting Actress||Cloverfield||Nominated|
|2010||Teen Choice Award||Choice Movie Actress – Comedy||Hot Tub Time Machine||Nominated|
|2014||Critics' Choice Television Award||Best Actress in a Drama Series||Masters of Sex||Nominated|
|Primetime Emmy Award||Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series||Masters of Sex||Nominated|
|Satellite Award||Best Actress – Television Series Drama||Masters of Sex||Nominated|
|2015||Satellite Award||Best Actress – Television Series Drama||Masters of Sex||Nominated|
|2016||Teen Choice Awards||Choice Summer Movie Star: Female||Now You See Me 2||Nominated|
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