It was May, before she went to Cannes, before she lost her passport, before she went all Eleanor Parker and was shut in the slammer. Of course, her incarceration wasn't as bad as Caged. But it certainly wasn't any fun for the freckled one.
In a dumpy Burbank motel, the woman I've defended too many times to count, a woman who's endured more than her share of gossip, family drama, personal demons and quite literally, mean girls, sat down with me to discuss her role in the upcoming movie Inferno: A Linda Lovelace Story.
Of course I'm talking about Lindsay Lohan, a talented actress I root for, and an actress who should be judged for that -- her acting. I don't care what so-and-so movie writer from whatever newspaper or Web site feels about Lindsay's partying or sexy lifestyle (there's a strong strain of misogyny in this kind of critique), the real question is, can she act? And if so-and-so movie critic doesn't think she can act, then I can only wonder whether he or she is judging the actress for her off-screen behavior. That's a shame. If critics assessed Jack Nicholson for his off-screen behavior, he might not have the Oscars he so richly deserves. And I won't get started on legends like Warren Beatty, Richard Burton, Peter O'Toole and the late, great Oliver Reed. And then there's younger names, like...Colin Farrell.
I revere these men for their work and for their legend. But these are movie stars. Take off your sanctimonious, hypocritical Hedda Hopper hats for a moment and think about it -- since when are movie stars role models? How boring Hollywood would be if stars had absolutely no scandal in their lives. How boring life would be if anyone didn't dip into a pool of scandal every once in a while. God bless you sinners! Lindsay's antics aren't anything new -- actors have often been wild, especially young ones. "It" girl Clara Bow (whom Lindsay adores), was for a time, shunned from "decent" Hollywood society because of her supposedly "crazy" behavior. Still, she didn't have TMZ filming her every move.
And with Lindsay on board, even in the middle of the night No-Tel, Motel, paparazzi showed up -- in the Parking Lot. We were all amused by their desperation. And Lindsay handled it in stride. She's used to it. Thoughtful, funny and good, Lohan depicted her shoot, which were essentially, stills from the movie (written and to be directed by Matthew Wilder), with impressive, shifting emotions, gritty strength and intense poignancy. As photographer Tyler Shields snapped the dramatic pictures, based on an especially sad moment in Lovelace's life, it was fascinating to watch her go in and out of character.
When it was all done, Lindsay sat on the bed with me while I asked questions (and here, simply listened, like a therapist), and she talked quite easily about the sadomasochist relationship of Lovelace and Chuck Traynor, at one point saying the script reminded her of her parents. Yes. She has been through some things.