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Lizzy Caplan and Collette Wolfe Party in the '80s in Hot Tub Time Machine

By Jami Philbrick — March 25th, 2010

The female stars of Hot Tub Time Machine discus their new hilarious '80s-homage film starring John Cusack and Chevy Chase

Actresses Lizzy Caplan and Collette Wolfe are headed back to the '80s with their new comedy, Hot Tub Time Machine starring John Cusack, opening in theaters on March 26th. Lizzy Caplan first rose to fame with her role in the J.J. Abrams produced film Cloverfield and on HBO's bloodsucking hit TV series True Blood, but she also stars on the Starz network's popular comedy Party Down. Collette Wolfe first gained notice for her work in The Foot Fist Way starring Danny McBride and later appeared in movies like Semi-Pro and Observe and Report but she will soon be seen starring in her own sitcom on NBC called 100 Questions. However, for now you can catch both of these talented young actresses rocking it in the '80s in movie Hot Tub Time Machine, which pays homage to that decade by not only featuring Cusack in the cast but other actors important to that '80s films like Crispin Glover (Back To The Future), Chevy Chase (Fletch) and William Zabka (Johnny from The Karate Kid). We recently had a chance to sit down with Caplan and Wolfe while they were in Lake Tahoe, Nevada promoting the movie. They discussed the film, the '80s, the clothes, working with Cusack and touring with Poison. Here is what they had to say:

To begin with, what did you think when you first saw the title of the script?

Lizzy Caplan: Oscar. Academy Award nomination in the bag and it looks like I'm going to be right about that.

Collette Wolfe: I thought it sounded good. I was kind of like ... okay, but then when I started reading it and it was laugh out loud funny, I think that excited me and I loved this character.

Collette, where did you draw inspiration for your character, Kelly, from?

Collette Wolfe: It was just based on a freedom to her. When you just don't have to be self-conscious or worry about anything and you can kind of slouch if you want and just do what ever, that kind of a thing. So that was a starting place.

Did you do any research like going on Google and looking up '80s fashions or anything like that?

Collette Wolfe: Yep, and I called my Mom because she is a hairdresser and I was like, what do you think I should have them do with my hair? She said, "You need to look like Christie Brinkley." So I looked up Christie Brinkley and found some pictures of her with Billy Joel in 1985 and I was like I need to look like her so I brought it to them and was like, "Can you make me look like her?"

What was it like playing Clark Duke's Mother in the movie?

Collette Wolfe: It's totally natural. The first day I was like, I'm going to be your mother, I can do this. It was easy because I didn't have to do a lot of Motherly things. I wasn't even a negligent mother I was just a mother in name. We did have a scene that didn't make it in the movie where he hits on me or some other stuff but she's kind of in the dark the whole time. I just played that obliviousness and not worry about actually being maternal.

Was your character all down on paper when you began or was a lot of what we see on screen come from you collaborating with Steve, John and the rest of the cast?

Collette Wolfe: No, there wasn't as much when I started and then it got really big. They wrote a lot more stuff and we added stuff. Then they cut a lot of it and now it is the right size. No, but it kind of morphed and changed the whole way along. It was kind of constantly evolving like the rest of the movie. I hope I created some stuff for the character. I injected my own ideas into it and we did do some improv on set. I go knowing my lines and having some ideas of what I want to do then you get there and it kind of all changes when you get on set.

Did either of you get to keep any of the clothes that you wear in the film?

Lizzy Caplan: No sadly because I think they thought we were going to be doing a lot of re-shoots so they held on to them. I would wear that though. I don't think it's too off the wall. I really liked it. It was a bummer. I really liked the hat.

Lizzy, your character spends a lot of time on a tour bus with Poison, what do you think that would have been like to do in real life?

Lizzy Caplan: Itchy. I think spending two weeks on a bus with anyone would get pretty old very quickly.

Most of your scenes in the film are with John Cusack so what was it like working with him?

Lizzy Caplan: Yeah, it was very cold out side. Let me set the scene for you. Icy, snow falling, John Cusack enters with a short skirt and long hair. This is going nowhere. No he is a very sweet guy, friendly, nice, collaborative and not an ass-hole, which is always a nice thing when working with Celebrities and not always so common.

What's your favorite Cusack film from the '80s?

Lizzy Caplan: From the '80s it's Say Anything but Grosse Pointe Blank is another one of my all time favorites movies. If you are a girl who is alive then you are weaned on Say Anything, romance is that movie and if your guy doesn't get that then break up with him, which is why a lot of guys have been broken up with in the last 20 years.

What was it like working with '80s icons in the film like Cusack, Crispin Glover and Chevy Chase while you were making a movie that pays homage to the '80s?

Lizzy Caplan: I just think that we are 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. I think it legitimizes the film in a big way. I think having Chevy Chase in anything legitimizes it, even the back seat of the Poison bus.

What was it like working with director Steve Pink?

Lizzy Caplan: Steve Pink is an angel. He is a really smart guy, a really talented writer and a really talented director. There were many drafts of this script being written as we were shooting, which can be overwhelming and it's a lot of guys throwing a lot of ideas at him. At no point was he like, "Stop this, this is the script and this is what we are doing." He was always willing to hear ideas and shoot ideas, which was really cool for a studio movie like this.

Both of your characters are much older at the end of the film; did they try to age you at all with make-up or CGI for that?

Lizzy Caplan: They actually had to CGI it so we didn't look so old because with the make-up we looked about ninety-seven years old. The cinematographer, Jack Green, his idea was to light us really well during the rest of the film so that we would look younger and then light us normal in the end. But they put heavy make-up on us and we looked like scary monsters so they had to go back and fix it.

Collette Wolfe: I have pictures of us and we look horrendous just terrifying. The worst Soccer moms ever, like the "Faces Of Meth."

Finally, Collette in a very short amount of time you have worked with some of the funniest people in Hollywood so who has made you laugh the most?

Collette Wolfe: I think Will Ferrell is probably the most memorable because I was really nervous and it was my first time being on a set of a studio movie. I only had three lines to say but I was on set for eight weeks bouncing around in this bikini and it was finally my day to say these three lines. I went 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, quarter size pee stain." He said it with a total straight face and I was dying. So I think he was probably the most memorable and he was just great.

Hot Tub Time Machine begins partying '80s style in theaters on March 26th.

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