This is what Lizzy Caplan wants played at her funeral

By
Photography Sebastian Kim

Published October 25, 2017

Lizzy Caplan, the overwhelmingly hilarious actress who you probably know best as sarky outcast Janis Ian on Mean Girls (2005) or sexologist Virginia Johnson on Showtime’s Masters of Sex, or even Sara on the short-lived Freaks and Geeks, has been chipping away at the edges of mainstream Hollywood her entire career. However you know her, she’s content with owning that she’s more than likely your “sixth favorite television actress.”

For her latest venture, Showtime’s cancer comedy Ill Behavior, she ups the ante as Nadia who, together with Joel (Chris Geere), attempts to save her friend Charlie by any means necessary. Charlie—played by Tom Riley—is dying from cancer, and willfully chooses to stop chemotherapy. What the pair attempt in order to save their friend grows increasingly more absurd and entertaining to watch.

As gallows humor underpins the six-part series, which airs November 13, it made sense to explore what the actress would soundtrack her own funeral with should she kick the bucket. Caplan chose songs to rouse her funeral audience, and the set list is as varied and unpredictable as Caplan’s dynamic IMDb page.

“JURASSIC PARK: THEME,” JOHN WILLIAMS

I think this would really get everybody into the appropriate funeral mood, especially because I envision that all the attendees’ faces will bear the exact same expression as Laura Dern when she sees the brontosaurus for the first time: a little teary, but mostly awestruck at the notion of figuring out how to live on this earth without their sixth favorite television actress (me).

“ANGEL,” SARAH MCLACHLAN

This is not a favorite song of mine but, again, I think it will lead to maximum crying from the audience … I mean guests … I mean mourners. And, obviously, maximum crying should be the ultimate goal of any funeral. I would also demand they show the video of all the puppies in cages from the ASPCA commercial that uses this song because, if that shit has never made you cry, there is something definitely wrong with you and I’d actually prefer you not come to my funeral.

“SKINNY MINNIE (FISHTAIL),” TERESA BREWER

I would like this played next because its frantic tempo would provide a very welcome mood shift after all the caged puppies and the crying. I love this song, even though I can’t make sense of it at all beyond some vaguely sexual undertones presented in this old-timey, manic way. I hope that the absurdity of this tune will allow people to reflect not only on the absurdity of life itself, but also offer some hope that if Manuel the fisherman can indeed summon Skinny Minnie the mermaid, maybe one day they too could summon the courage to go on after losing the girl who played Avery Bishop for four episodes in the second season of Tru Calling.

“EX GIRL TO NEXT GIRL,” GANG STARR

Because I worry that my husband [Tom Riley] would die from a broken heart shortly after my demise, not unlike the dogs in the classic young adult novel, Where the Red Fern Grows (1961), I think it might be helpful to frame this ending not as a death, per se, but rather a break up with a girl whose thoughts were erratic, sporadic and crazy in nature. So that he may go forth, swiftly, and find the next girl who is far better suited for him. The more I talk about it, the less I like this idea. I’m sad now.

“LET’S GET MARRIED,” BLEACHERS

Now that I am sad, and also very upset that my husband has chosen to move on so quickly after the death of his soulmate, I would like to hit him right in the heart with this very wonderful pop song that I like so much. It will devastate him to hear this. He will now commence dragging himself onto my grave (à la Red Fern Grows), unable to go on, and die alongside me, which honestly just works out better for everybody.

“LAZARUS,” DAVID BOWIE

I believe this theory has possibly been debunked, but the idea of David Bowie writing about his own death as he was dying is just too fucking incredible.  To commit your life and death to art? Come on! So even if this wasn’t exactly what happened, I’m choosing to believe it and also choosing to steal this song for the final farewell. Adios, amigos, I look forward to hiding your keys and slamming your cupboard doors and laughing when nobody believes you.

ILL BEHAVIOR DEBUTS ON SHOWTIME NOVEMBER 13, 2017.