After a disastrous half-decade, 2012 seemed like it could be Lindsay Lohan's year. It wasn't. Why does she keep hitting road bumps (or, in her case, other cars on the Pacific Coast Highway) that hinder her success at being a normal working actress? A lengthy new profile of the three weeks she worked on The Canyons provides a lot of insight into what an unprofessional nightmare she is. If her chronic substance abuse, legal troubles, poor performances, and bad reputation were mere nails in the coffin of her career, this story is the shovel and dirt that will bury her for good.
Lohan had everything an actress needed for a paint-by-numbers comeback: a highly-publicized Playboy spread, an SNL hosting gig, a Glee cameo, the title role in a made-for-TV movie, and the lead, opposite porn star James Deen, in buzz-heavy indie The Canyons, written by Bret Easton Ellis and directed by Paul Schrader (who wrote Taxi Driver and Raging Bull). Notable people wanted to work with her again, and things were looking up. But as The New York Times reveals in the piece "Here Is What Happens When You Cast Lindsay Lohan in Your Movie"—which is bound to be a legendary piece of entertainment journalism—Lohan seems to have a number of personality problems that contribute to her professional failures.
It's quite evident that she is not capable of having the kind of triumphant career revival of the likes of Robert Downey Jr. or Drew Barrymore, child actors whose acting prospects, like Lohan's, dried up after very public downward spirals into drug addiction. So what makes Lohan different? Why won't she be able to ever get her shit together?
1.) She's an asshole.
Sure, lots of people are assholes in Hollywood. But part of show business is pretending that you're not. Lohan could be unable or unwilling to do that, but more than likely, she's simply unaware of how she comes off. After showing up super late on the first day of work for a read-through of the script with the director, producers, and rest of the cast, whom she was meeting for the first time this happened:
Across the table, Funk [her costar] could see that his name had been crossed out in Lohan's script and underneath were the names of three or four actors as possible replacements. [Bret Easton] Ellis saw that [James] Deen's name also had a line through it.
2.) Her negotiation skills are less than desirable.
Less than a week before filming was set to begin, Lohan went missing for days, blowing off preproduction meetings, ignoring calls and texts, and leaving the cast and crew hanging. So Schrader fired her. When she heard the news of her termination she went batshit loonball.
Lohan headed for the [Schrader's hotel]. She pounded on doors until she found Schrader's room. As she banged on his door, she texted him manically. Schrader could hear her crying but wouldn't let her in. He texted her instead.
"Lindsay, go home."
The hotel manager rang up to ask if he should call the cops. Schrader told him no and sat down on his bed. Lohan stayed out in the hall sobbing for another 90 minutes before she finally left.
3.) She's too much of an idiot to realize how much of an idiot she is.
You don't have to be a genius to be a working actress, but to be a working actress, you have to be able to recognize that you're paid to say other people's words and express other people's thoughts, not your own.
Schrader mentioned that he was still trying to cast a psychiatrist, a small but pivotal role.
"I called Jeff Goldblum and Willem Dafoe. They're not available. So, any ideas?"
Lohan squealed and said, "How about Jared?"
Schrader nodded approvingly.
"No, Jared Leto."
4.) She can't even be trusted for one hour.
One day during filming, when production broke for lunch, Lohan said she wanted to leave the set to eat. The directer and producers were nervous at this prospect, so they had a co-producer, Ricky Horne, Jr. serve as her chauffeur to monitor her field trip.
Horne drove [Lohan and her entourage] down the hill, pausing at a security gate. That's when his passengers did a jailbreak, jumping out of his car. Honig [Lohan's publicist] frantically pushed buttons until the gate opened and the four of them dashed for Lohan's assistant's car. Horne sat, baffled for a moment, before heading back up the hill and briefing Schrader. The director was furious.
"O.K., she's lost the privilege of leaving for lunch. She stays here."
Another day, she ran up a huge lunch tab for herself and her friends, that she expected the microbudgeted film to cover.
Lohan missed her morning call, and then she left the shoot for lunch with friends, running up a $600 tab on sushi, sake and vodka.
"I don't think she gets it," Pope said. "Six hundred dollars is huge on this movie. That's six guys' pay for the day."
5.) She's about as stable as she is sober.
She smiled and waved to everyone and then noticed a magazine with Oliver Stone on the cover. She picked it up and ripped it into pieces, cursing. (Lohan had been considered for a role in Stone's "Savages," but the director eventually passed.) She then went into the bedroom, calling out, "Does anyone want a beer?" Then she popped back out.
"The minibar is empty. Now that's interesting!"
Lohan locked herself in a closet with her friend/assistant Gavin Doyle, and kept the cast and crew waiting two and a half hours before finally emerging for a nude scene she was contractually bound to film.
[A producer] noticed that she and Gavin had been drinking, which was understandable for a young woman shooting a sex scene with three porn stars. Quietly, Pope told Lohan that he could get her a driver to take her home. But she refused, jumped into her Porsche and headed down the dark, narrow road toward the P.C.H.
6.) The only thing about her that's "hard-working" is her liver.
Making movies is pretty low on this girl's priority list.
"Lindsay was out with Lady Gaga till 5:30 a.m. Her call was 6 a.m."
By 9 a.m., Lohan was lying down in a Café Med booth with her hands over her eyes shading them from imaginary sunlight. The production had the restaurant only until 11. Schrader paced, breathing heavily.
A doctor arrived and took Lohan's blood pressure. He walked over to Pope and Schrader. His diagnosis: An inner-ear infection. She was done for the day. Schrader didn't buy it.
"That's her doctor, he'll say whatever she wants. I shot one day from a stretcher. She could do it, but she doesn't want to."
In post production:
It took two months and the quasi intervention of Lohan's father to get Lohan to finish two hours of looping for the outdoor scenes.
7.) Despite having a criminal record she could wallpaper a large bathroom with and recent film reels that might be best utilized as toilet paper, she's yet to grasp that her personal and professional decisions are for shit.
Lohan's visage had a Kabuki quality to it. She had chosen to wear layers of mascara and catlike eye makeup with black lines pointing out toward her ears. Before the shoot, Pope showed Lohan Polaroids of her looking beautiful with minimal makeup.
"Look, our interest is in making you look great," Pope told her. "You look beautiful with just a little makeup."
But Lohan was trying to put her pixieish Disney days behind her and thought the Courtney Love approach made her look hip.
8.) She's completely delusional about what is going on with her right now.
"I don't want to take a while off, I want to keep working. There's some other scripts, and I eventually want to direct, so maybe when I'm not filming, I can be directing something because I learned so much from the people that I worked with."
9.) She surrounds herself with enablers.
Only Lohan had a visitor on that first Malibu day. It was Steve Honig, her publicist, a stubby, bald man in a denim shirt. He told Schrader having a reporter on set was unacceptable. Schrader told Honig that he understood and that if he wanted to pull Lohan from the movie, he should do so. Honig backed down. Honig and I talked for a few minutes while the crew waited for the marine layer to lift.
"I don't want this to be all about Lindsay being late," Honig said. "Actresses are always late. Julia Roberts is late."
And of course:
[The director] showed the film to Lindsay and her mother, Dina, in October at his New York City apartment. They were both so furious about how the camera lingered on Deen that Schrader had to move Dina to another room to get through the screening.
10.) She's become a caricature of herself.
While the tabloid-worthy Lohan family history is sad and undoubtedly contributed to Lohan's emotional instability, perhaps her biggest problem is that she's refuses to rise above her past, and instead, is resolute in being defined by it. That way she can, at least in her mind, remain blameless in the mess that is her life.
Lohan lay slumped on the floor, her hands guarding her face, shoulders shaking, tears pouring down her cheeks. Between takes, she listened to Ryan Adams's cover of "Wonderwall." After three shots, Schrader said he was satisfied, and Lohan fumbled for a cigarette. She headed downstairs, and someone complimented her work.
"Well, I've got a lot of experience with that from my dad."
She didn't elaborate, and no one asked.
Ultimately, though, the reason why the Times piece is so good is because Lohan is, at her core, a compelling figure. She's still entertaining, albeit, not in the way that she intends to be. But if she's going to refuse to be honest with herself and get her act together, then she should just get used to an audience's preference of reading about her bullshit behavior than watching her in a movie. At this point, some part of her recognizes that her bread is buttered by being a professional Lindsay Lohan, party girl for hire. She's at least a character, if no longer an actress.