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Lizzy Caplan: 'Inside Job' makes conspiracies 'funny and fun' again

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Lizzy Caplan: 'Inside Job' makes conspiracies 'funny and fun' again
"Inside Job" star Lizzy Caplan said the Netflix animated comedy seeks to "poke fun" at conspiracy theories at a time when such subjects have "taken on a more sinister flare." File Photo by Jim Ruymen/UPI | License Photo

Oct. 22 (UPI) -- Netflix's new animated comedy, Inside Job, follows a secret organization responsible for perpetuating high-level government conspiracies -- a subject that star Lizzy Caplan says has recently "taken on a more sinister flare."

Caplan, 39, whose credits include Mean Girls, Masters of Sex and the cult comedy Party Down, stars in Inside Job as Reagan Ridley, a misanthropic science whiz who co-leads a morally ambiguous team of conspirators at Cognito Inc., the dummy company that provides cover for the "Deep State."

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Caplan said the two years since she began working on the show have made the subject matter all the more relevant in light of conspiracy controversies surrounding the COVID-19 virus and the 2020 election.

"It's a weird time," Caplan told UPI in a Zoom interview. "Conspiracy theories are not as funny and fun as they used to be, so I think any excuse to poke fun at something that has taken on a more sinister flare to it -- why not? It's a little bit of escapism."

The team

The series begins with Reagan being promoted to co-lead the team alongside newcomer Brett Hand (The Office's Clark Duke), a quintessential "mediocre White man" whose sole skill of people-pleasing puts him immediately at odds with Caplan's anti-social Reagan.

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"I think I share Reagan's impatience with other human beings," Caplan said. "I try not to yell and scream quite as much as she does, but I can fully appreciate her frustration and thinking that everybody around her is an idiot. I can relate to that."

Rounding out Reagan's team are sentient mushroom Magic Myc (Brett Gelman), drug-addled Dr. Andre (Bobby Lee), half-dolphin monstrosity Glenn Dolphman (John DiMaggio) and social media uber-influencer Gigi (Tisha Campbell).

Reagan's father, Rand Ridley (Christian Slater), traded in his career in conspiracy mongering for a life of sedentary alcoholism, but maintains an adversarial relationship with his former boss, Cognito Inc. CEO J.R. Scheimpough (Andy Daly).

"I never did a recording session with the other actors. That will be something I hope we can do in the future, because I think that would be a blast," Caplan said.

She said the COVID-19 pandemic caused the majority of the voice recording for Inside Job to be performed remotely.

"We did do a few recordings before COVID hit, which is, I assume, what it's normally like to make a show like this," she said.

"We had table reads, and when we were actually recording episodes, we were all in the same studio together, the producers and [series creator] Shion [Takeuchi] and myself, so you're getting notes live, and then it morphed into this transcontinental Zoom experience."

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'Show up in your sweatpants'

Caplan's work on Inside Job began when she read a script while shooting for Hulu series Castle Rock in 2019.

"I had a few minutes of downtime, so I opened it up and I started reading it," she recalled. "I thought it was really funny and well done and clever and all the things you want from any show, animated or otherwise.

"And I thought it could be fun to try my hand at this, since I've never done an animated show for more than an episode here and there."

The actor said she was keen to star in an animated series for multiple reasons.

"I was told you work a few days and it's really easy and very fun and you can show up in your sweatpants, and all of that sounded very appealing to me," she said.

"Then we started creating this and recording this, and it was a combination of many things, including COVID shutdowns, and bouncing back and forth. That wasn't a few days -- it was a very long time. I think almost two years.

"So it was definitely a lot more work for my lazy ass than anticipated, but it was really fun. I've recorded episodes of this show all over the place, in different cities, many episodes in my closet at home in Los Angeles. It's been an adventure."

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Caplan said she only saw completed episodes for the first time this past weekend.

"We've been recording it for so long at this point that I had forgotten how much I really enjoyed it from jump, which isn't to say I wasn't enjoying it, but you work on something for so long you forget there's going to be a finished product that comes out at the end of it.

"And then, when it does, and it's great, it's a nice feeling," she said.

Inside Job begins streaming Friday on Netflix.

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