GIRL ON FIRE
Lohan on rehab, her narcissism, and why she doesn’t trust anyone: plus photos you won’t see in the magazine
This story was going to begin with the white picket fence some 20 feet away, separating Lindsay Lohan from the sidewalk. The actress, 36 hours from being arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence, was sitting on the patio at the Beverly Hills restaurant the Ivy, with her back to the street. Like Tippi Hedren in The Birds, she lit a cigarette with a steady hand, unaware of what was beginning to happen behind her. The L.A. sun was high and white, bleaching the blue from an empty sky, shrinking Lohan’s pupils to pinpoints, even under the shade of an umbrella. Against this harsh light, first one, then two, three, and four, and another and another, and others, silently gathered along the fence, multiplying in the same small space until all the faces became a faceless mass. Waiting.
Most wore professional cameras. Some held cheap disposables. A few lumpy tourists took aim with their cell phones, eager to shoot the star should she turn around. That morning E! News had plugged the latest T-shirt declaration: leave lindsay a-lohan!
It would be an easy transition from there to what Lohan is wearing and eating and promoting. That’s the way these things go. But there’s the picture, and then there’s the bigger picture. The one in which the camera pulls back to reveal the star smiling, knowing what’s going on behind her back. After all, she picked the restaurant, she picked the table outside. “When I pulled up, there were three paparazzi following me,” Lohan says. “I wanted you to see it. But you weren’t here.” She looks disappointed; as if she were wishing I could have seen the dogs hounding the fox into the safety of this celebrity wildlife refuge, famous for its $33 crab cakes, $13 Ivy gimlets, and big-game photo ops. Now I wouldn’t be able to relay the thrilling awfulness of what she has to survive to get a decent meal. But all is not lost. Lohan brightens: “I can’t wait for you to see what happens when we leave!”
She’s funny when she says this; like a kid with a match, eager to set off the fireworks. And I appreciate her efforts to cast herself in a context. The best stars do. Flashback: the summer of 1995, Savannah, Georgia, a drag-queen bar, 2 a.m. Demi Moore throws an arm across my shoulders: “Do I know how to stage a scene for a journalist or what?” I loved her for it. Let’s be real—the two of us were in collusion. Celebrity journalists are with their subjects, all the time, even as I speak…oh, look, it’s Nicollette Sheridan!
Another flashback. The summer of 2005, New York City, the Marquee Club, 4 a.m. Lohan and her friends and I are drinking Cristal, smoking cigarettes, dancing on a banquette, when, in the middle of 50 Cent’s “Candy Shop,” Lohan hails her bodyguard, and, giving me a maternal squeeze, hands me over and says, “I think you better put her in a cab.”
That night was so much fun.
Lohan, 18, glittering from the success of Mean Girls, had wrapped Herbie: Fully Loaded the week before and was about to start Just My Luck. Freckled and flame-haired, with that wild front cowlick, she was funny and self-aware, scrappy yet sophisticated, and seriously talented. “I’d seen Freaky Friday maybe seven times,” Meryl Streep, Lohan’s A Prairie Home Companion costar, told W magazine last year. “When they say ‘Action!’ Lindsay is completely, visibly living in front of the camera. She’s in command of the art form. She is a terrific actress. It’s something you could see even when she was little-bitty.”
Like one of her idols, Marilyn Monroe, Lohan has the pull of someone incredibly beautiful and sad. At times during our 2005 interview, she was honest to a fault?so much so that I felt compelled to advise her to take some of what she was telling me off the record. She was adorable, endearing. Besides, I owed her. How often does someone take you in and remind you how it feels to be 18 and not tired and so alive? With the sun sneaking up over the East River, I got home and left my editor a voicemail: “I’ve got two words for you: Freaky Friday.”
Back then I asked Lohan’s mother, Dina, if she worried about her daughter’s late nights out. She had an insanely
logical reply. “Lindsay is so much more protected being a star,” she reasoned. “She’s either being photographed or the
security guy is with her. She gets more supervision than most kids. You know that ad, ‘It’s 10 p.m. Do you know where your children are?’ Well, I know where my daughter is!”
Much has changed over the past two years. Lohan’s hair has been bleached blond; her green eyes have turned gray
beneath colored contact lenses. She now has a driver’s license. And despite the disappointing box office returns of Herbie, Just My Luck, A Prairie Home Companion, Bobby, and Georgia Rule, she’s become ever more sought-after. Her former straggle of babysitting paparazzi, now a mercenary army, follows and fights for the money. Given the mass public’s extortionate
interest in celebrities, there money to be made is major. Lohan is at the top of the pile?the picture of her passed out in the front seat of a car sold for more than $150,000. But hell, these days you can sell a shot of a reality-show reject plugging quarters into parking meter. Stars! They’re Just Like Us!
Yes, I’ve bought the tabloids, too.
Now our girl is in serious trouble. She’s been enabled through countless club nights; toxic relationships; delays on movie sets; hospitalizations for exhaustion, dehydration, a swollen liver, a kidney infection, and an appendectomy; two incidents of missing underwear; four car accidents; two lawsuits; any number of lost opportunities; a pseudo rehabilitation at the ridiculously titled Wonderland Center…all before the age of 21.Britney Spears Fan Site and Picture Gallery
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