Laura Prepon has no fear of tackling roles people might have preconceptions about.
The “That ’70s Show” alum is about to do that twice: as forensic sculptor Eve Duncan in “The Killing Game,” a Lifetime movie adaptation of an Iris Johansen best seller debuting Monday, Oct. 31; and as a doppelganger for comedian and E! talk-show host Chelsea Handler in the midseason NBC sitcom “Are You There, Vodka? It’s Me, Chelsea.”
Prepon took a similar gamble last season by embodying novelist Richard Castle’s (Nathan Fillion) crime-fighting character Nikki Heat — or, more specifically, an actress playing her — in an episode of ABC’s Monday drama “Castle.”
“There was a lot of pressure on that one,” Prepon tells Zap2it. “People love that show, and before I was even going to play it, everyone had an opinion of who should play Nikki Heat. People took it very seriously, and luckily, it turned out well. Now, with all this social networking, everybody’s opinion is heard.”
While the actual Chelsea Handler will appear as Prepon’s sister on “Are You There, Vodka? It’s Me, Chelsea,” inspired by another best seller, Prepon is quick to point out her own role isn’t meant to be Handler literally.
“Early on, we made the decision that I was going to be my own version of her, based on the stories in her book. The funny thing is that Chelsea and I have a lot of similar mannerisms anyway, so my playing her kind of makes sense. We both have deep voices, and we both carry ourselves a certain way. When people see us together, they think we look like we could be sisters, so it works out perfectly.”
Indeed, Prepon adds that if she’d been asked to do an Handler impersonation, “I don’t know if that would have been the right route. Because people know the real Chelsea, I think it’s important for this one to be different. Her voice is very embedded in it, but it’s a different perspective that I really think people will enjoy.”