A Chat with Lizzy Caplan, Colette Wolfe, Interview with Lizzy Caplan, Colette Wolfe,Hot Tub Time Machine
Hot Tub Time Machine

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Check out our Hot Tub Time Machine page for more interviews, a recap of our visit with the cast in Lake Tahoe, and our review of the film.

It takes a special brand of smartass to stand up to John Cusack, Rob Corddry, Craig Robinson and Clark Duke, and the women of “Hot Tub Time Machine” are more than capable of holding their own against the big boys. Bullz-Eye took part in a roundtable interview with Lizzy Caplan and Collette Wolfe (Lyndsy Fonseca was a late scratch, due to a scheduling conflict) at the fabulous “Hot Tub” press junket about wearing old-age makeup, fake motherhood, and why John Cusack is so awesome. And since we talk in detail about the movie plot, let this serve as your official warning that potential SPOILERS lie ahead.

Lizzy Caplan: (looking at all of the digital recorders on the table) That’s a cool one. He wins.

Writer: What did you guys first think when you saw the title “Hot Tub Time Machine”?

Caplan: Oscar. Academy Award nomination, in the bag. And it looks like I’m gonna be right. I thought it sounded good, I wasn’t…I don’t know, I was kinda like, “Eh, okay,” and then I started reading [the script], and it was laugh-out-loud funny, and I got excited and I wanted this character.

Bullz-Eye: Collette, where did you draw inspiration for Kelly? Was she based on someone you knew?

Collette Wolfe: No! It was just a freedom, when you don’t have to be self-conscious or worry about anything, and you can slouch if you want and just do whatever. That was my starting place.

Writer: Did you have to do any research? Did you Google “’80s fashion”?

"I go up to Will Ferrell, and I was like, ‘I’m really sorry, I’m really nervous.’ And he was like, ‘It’s okay, I get nervous, too. Look, quarter-sized pee stain.'"

Wolfe: Yep, and I called my mom, because she is a hairdresser. I said, “What do you think I should have them do with my hair?? And she said, “You need to look like Christie Brinkley.” So I found some pictures of her with Billy Joel in 1985, and I said, “Yes, I need to look like Christie Brinkley.” So I brought [the photo] to them and said, “Can you make me look like her?”

Bullz-Eye: Did you get to keep the clothes?

Caplan: No, sadly. I think they thought that we were going to be doing a lot of reshoots, so they held on to them. I would wear [my character’s clothes]. I don’t think it’s too off-the-wall.

Bullz-Eye: Yours wasn’t.

Wolfe: Yours was cool.

Caplan: Yeah I really liked it. It’s a bummer. Especially that hat.

Wolfe: The hat’s nice.

Writer: What was it like doing your scenes with John Cusack?

Caplan: It was very cold outside. Let me set the scene for you. Icy, snow falling. John Cusack enters. Short skirt, long hair. (At this point, Lizzy realizes that she just implied that Cusack was wearing a skirt, and much laughter ensues) Um…

Bullz-Eye: But what were you wearing?

Caplan: (Laughs) No, he was a very, very sweet guy, and friendly, and nice, and collaborative. And not an asshole, which is a very nice thing when it comes to working with celebrities. And not always so common.

Writer: What is your favorite Cusack film from the ‘80s?

Caplan: For me, it’s “Say Anything…” But “Grosse Pointe Blank” is another one of my all-time favorites. But “Say Anything” is, like, if you’re an American girl…probably not even an American girl, if you’re a girl, who’s alive, you’re weaned on that movie. Romance is…it’s that. And if you don’t get that [from your boyfriend], then break up with him. Why I think is why a lot of guys got broken up with in the past 20 or so years.

Bullz-Eye: Collette, in a short period of time, you’ve worked with a who’s who of very funny people. Who’s made you laugh the hardest?

Wolfe: Um, good question. (Pause) I don’t know. It’s not fair [to pick one]…

Bullz-Eye: I’m sure the other actors will forgive you if you don’t pick them.

Wolfe: I know. I think Will Ferrell is probably the most memorable, because I was really nervous. It was my very first time being on a set of a studio movie. I only had three lines to say, but I was on the set for eight weeks in a bikini bouncing around, and it’s finally my day; I’m gonna say my three lines. And I go up to Will, and I was like, “I’m really sorry, I’m really nervous.” And he was like, “It’s okay, I get nervous, too. Look, (points down to crotch) quarter-sized pee stain.” Just totally straight-faced, and I died laughing. And you know when you’re nervous already, with the adrenaline going, I was [mimics belly laugh]. I think he was the most memorable, and he was great.

Hot Tub Time Machine

Writer: Talk about working with Steve Pink.

Caplan: Who? (Laughs) Steve Pink is an angel. He’s a really smart guy, and a really talented writer, and a really talented director. There were many drafts of the script being written as we were shooting, which can be overwhelming. And there were a lot of people throwing a lot of ideas at him, and at no point was he like, “Stop it. This is the script, this is what we’re doing.” He was always willing to hear ideas and then shoot ideas, which is a rarity, and so cool. A big movie, with a studio backing it, to be able to mess around so much, it’s really awesome.

Bullz-Eye: Two weeks on a tour bus with Poison.

Caplan: Yeah. Been there.

Bullz-Eye: In real life, what would that be like for you?

Caplan: Itchy.

Wolfe: (Laughs)

Caplan: That sounds horrible to me.

Bullz-Eye: Who would you want to spend two weeks on a bus with? Band-wise.

Caplan: Band-wise? That’s a good question. Maybe the “Yo Gabba Gabba” people. They would probably not rape me. (Pause) Don’t put that in [your piece]. I don’t even know if they’re a band in “Yo Gabba Gabba.” I don’t have children. I didn’t spend two weeks on a bus with Poison, so I don’t have any small rug rats running around. I think spending two weeks on a bus with anybody would probably start to get old really quickly. Unless it were co-ed.

Writer: We only see Poison from a distance [in the movie]. How close were they to [looking like] the real Poison?

Caplan: I’m gonna say that they looked exactly like them, because they really do that back in Vancouver. That’s their thing, they’re a Poison cover band, and it would suck to say they didn’t look like [the original band]. (In official voice) They look exactly like them. It’s just like seeing Poison. Better than Poison.

Bullz-Eye: They’re not called Cyanide, are they?

Caplan: I don’t know.

Bullz-Eye: That’s a “Simpsons” reference, there’s a Poison tribute band called Cyanide.

Caplan: I wish I got that [reference], really, really badly.

Writer: Was your character completely there on paper in the script, or was there a lot of stuff that you were able to add?

Caplan: There wasn’t as much when I started, and then it got really big, and they wrote a lot more stuff, and we added stuff…and then they cut it. (Laughs) It morphed and changed the whole way along; [my character] was evolving, just like the rest of the movie.

Writer: Was her personality the same, or was there stuff that you were able to inject and create for the character?

Caplan: Well, I hope that I was able to create something for the character, but yeah, I think I injected my own ideas into it, and we did some improv on set, but I don’t really remember, because I’d go [to set] knowing exactly what my lines are, and what I’m gonna do, and here are my ideas, and then you get there and it all changes when you’re standing there. So you don’t remember, “That was my line, my idea.”

"John Cusack was a very, very sweet guy, and friendly, and nice, and collaborative. And not an asshole, which is a very nice thing when it comes to working with celebrities. And not always so common."

Writer: Did they ever talk about doing much to age your characters?

Caplan: They actually went in and CGI’d it so we didn’t look [too old]…our makeup made us look like we were about 95. And the cinematographer (looks at movie poster behind her), I love that guy…Jack! Jack Green. Awesome guy.

Wolfe: He is.

Caplan: His idea was to light us as if we were that old, but because of the great lighting, we’d look younger, and it would all work out. But I guess we looked like scary monsters when it was done, and they had to go in and fix it [in post].

Wolfe: I have pictures of us [wearing the old makeup], and we look horrendous.

Caplan: Terrifying. Like, really frightening.

Wolfe: Scariest soccer moms ever.

Caplan: Ever! Faces of Meth.

Wolfe: Faces of Meth! That’s what we called [the makeup].

Writer: You’re doing the film in this ‘80s lodge with these ‘80s icons, with Chevy Chase, and John [Cusack], and Crispin Glover. What did you think about the idea of making a movie that poked fun at the ‘80s and at the same time paid homage to it?

Caplan: I think we’re lucky that all those people are in it, because I just don’t think it would have worked as well had they not been in it, had it starred Joe Schmo and…us.

Wolfe: Us and Clark [Duke]!

Writer: So they add authenticity to the film?

Caplan: Absolutely. Totally. It legitimizes the film in a big way. Just having Chevy Chase legitimizes anything. Including the back seat of the Poison bus.

Writer: Collette, how did it feel to play Clark’s mom?

Wolfe: Natural. “I’m your mother, I can do this.” It was fine. I didn’t have to do many motherly things, I don’t know if you noticed that. I was the negligent mother; I almost wasn’t a mother, just a mother in name, you know what I mean? We did have a scene that didn’t make it in the movie, where he hits on me, and there was some other stuff, and Kelly’s kind of in the dark the whole time, so I was able to play that obliviousness, so I didn’t have to worry about actually being maternal in any way to Clark.

Bullz-Eye: Did they draft out any of the new timelines for the characters? Because Cusack comes back, and he’s with you…

Caplan: Right.

Bullz-Eye: …but he’s lost the last 20 years of his life.

Caplan: Right. But did you notice the pictures on the wall? We had a nice life together.

Writer: Was there a picture of him with Joan Cusack as well? A couple of us were talking and we thought we saw her.

Hot Tub Time MachineCaplan: I don’t know. It could be. It’s probably her with my face. Very scientific stuff happening with this film. Yeah, I think I filled him in on the last 20 years in the scene between him coming home and that really happy dinner party one afternoon. I think we all just decided to let the nuances of the science…just let it go.

Writer: It’s a very “Back to the Future”-type ending.

Caplan: Totally. Yeah, and everything worked out for him, right?

Writer: What are you guys working on next?

Wolfe: I did a sitcom called “100 Questions” for NBC, and they’re going to air it May 27, after “Community.”

Caplan: I have the second season of my show “Party Down” on Starz, which is in a month, on the 23rd of April, and then I’m doing a movie next month called “127 Hours.”

Writer: What is “127 Hours”?

Caplan: It’s Danny Boyle’s new movie with James Franco. It’s about Aron Ralston, he’s that hiker, you’ve probably read about him. He got caught in the cave under a boulder, and he cuts off his own arm.

Writer: Another one-armed man.

Caplan: Totally. I only want to do films where somebody loses an arm.

Writer: What character do you play?

Caplan: I play his sister.

Bullz-Eye: I have a “Cloverfield” question for you, if you don’t mind.

Caplan: What’s “Cloverfield”?

Bullz-Eye: I was wondering if you had a theory for what happened to your character behind the curtain.

Caplan: If you get bit by one of the parasites, you’re poisoned, and then you explode. Some people thought I got shot, but no, it was supposed to be an explosion. And I think there was a thing where we first get taken into the triage center, and they pull a body on a gurney, and it’s all exploded and they say, (in mock-Southern accent) “It was a bite! He exploded!” We shot that explosion thing a few different times, because it kept looking like they shot me.

Bullz-Eye: Was it your chest, your head…?

Caplan: It was the torso.

Bullz-Eye: So an “Alien” kind of thing.

Caplan: Yeah, an “Alien” kind of thing.

And with that, the ladies are whisked off to do their final roundtable of the day.

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