Lizzy Caplan hasn’t really done many huge films. “Cloverfield” aside, it’s mostly TV or small comedies: “Party Down,” “Masters of Sex,” “Bachelorette” and Janis Ian in “Mean Girls.” With “Now You See Me 2” she takes a detour into a globe-trotting semicomedic thriller, playing the new addition to the “Four Horseman,” the Robin Hood magicians filled out by Jesse Eisenberg, Dave Franco and Woody Harrrelson. And yet Caplan says it felt like making one of those raucous comedies, everyone doing their best to crack each other up. The actress, 33, talks about magic tricks and that teeth-grindingly annoying question: Are women funny?
Did you pick up any magic tricks doing this?
I did learn a few parlor tricks. Unfortunately when I bust them out in front of my friends they totally dismiss them. “Oh, you did a magic movie, you think you can do magic.” Even when I pull off the trick perfectly, they don’t buy it.
Can you do the coin-in-the-ear trick?
The dad trick? I feel like my dad used to do that.
I feel like it’s more of an uncle trick.
Yeah, the one with the ponytail.
The ponytail gives you the power to hide the coin.
That’s why so many magicians have those terrible, greasy ponytails.
But Penn Jilette’s is fine.
He’s the only one. If he wants to have a ponytail, have at it. But some of the lower level, fourth-tier Vegas magicians, no.
In this movie, your character spends a good chunk of the movie mocking the casual sexism of the other characters — like when they ask if you’ll be OK riding a motorcycle but not asking, say, Woody Harrelson.
Exactly. And a lot of that stuff we just added as we were going along. I felt really strongly — since she’s the only female Horseman — about not making her purely eye candy or, even worse, a straight man to the guy’s zany antics. I wanted her to be annoying, really. They let me be overeager and kind of irritating. And she’s kind of aggressive towards [romancing] Dave Franco’s character, which you don’t see too often.