Friday, June 23, 2000

Fully Loaded


Mom!” Lindsay Lohan screams with equal parts teen anger and angst. “You're ruining my life!” Dina Lohan, mother, manager, former Radio City Rockette, and Fountain of Youth drinker, sits unperturbed on the green room couch listening to cell phone messages, ignoring her demon seed. It is the middle of a long day in a Manhattan production studio, during which Lohan has been stuck in a Volkswagen Beetle on a cold soundstage shooting added dialogue for Herbie: Fully Loaded, this summer's latest installment in the Love Bug movie series. Earlier, Casablanca Records chief Tommy Mottola dropped by to discuss an upcoming live performance for Lohan's platinum album Speak, the first in a multirecord deal. Now with downtime between takes, Lohan, 18, wants to go meet her friend Kendra on the corner. Dina, citing paparazzi in the bushes, has told her redheaded daughter to stay put. “You're ruining my life!” Lindsay screams louder, trying not to laugh. She turns to onlookers in the room and says, “That's one of my lines from Freaky Friday.” Switching back, she stomps her sneakered foot: “I'm the mother of the household! I hold it down!”

Dina points a long, French-manicured nail tip in the upstart's direction: “You wish.”

Dismissing her mother's warning, Lohan, dressed in worn, torn jeans and a white muscle shirt, no bra, dons a cropped ChloĆ© sweater, a cheetah-print faux-rabbit fur coat, Chanel gloves, Christian Dior sunglasses, and a pink newsboy cap. As a final touch, she plucks a three-pound white Maltese named ChloĆ© (new sister to Polo and Gucci) from a Wee-Wee Pad on the floor and tucks the dog under her arm. “Lindsay,” Dina says in her Long Island accent, “do not take that puppy outside—it's too cold.”

“Ciao, bella!” replies Lohan, looking Artful Dodger chic, skipping out with her speck of a pet and a big bodyguard in tow.

There's no escaping Lindsay Lohan, she of the deft double play as twins in The Parent Trap (1998), the believable body swapping with Jamie Lee Curtis in Freaky Friday (2003), and the winsome-to-wicked turn in 2004's teen satire Mean Girls. Typecast as the naughty It Girl of the tabloid media, she can't even escape herself. “I'm an 18-year-old drug-addicted actress from Hollywood who doesn't know what's going on with her life, whose father's a psycho, who dates men that are too old for her and could be her parent, who never works and shows up to the set late every day not knowing her lines because she parties too hard,” Lohan summarizes, so over it all. “Bullshit!” Then there's the open speculation surrounding her postpubescent growth spurt. “Honestly,” Lohan says, “that to me was out of this world. If I would have done breast implants, I would have been 17—that's not even legal.” (Actually, with parental consent, it is.)

Last night Lohan attended a party following the premiere of Hostage, and this morning she woke up to a New York Post Page Six item describing “a mutual gropefest” between her and the film's star, Bruce Willis. “I am not dating Bruce Willis,” Lohan says. “I won't take away the fact that he is very good-looking for his age. He's in great shape and everything. But that just doesn't make sense!” Willis is a producer of the romantic comedy Just My Luck, Lohan's first grown-up role, for which she's reportedly earning a grown-up $7.5 million paycheck. In the film, directed by Donald Petrie and costarring Chris Pine (The Princess Diaries 2), Lohan plays a publicist with many admirers and all the luck in the world who takes that luck for granted, loses it in the midst of a kiss, and has to retrace her kisses to get it back.

On- and offscreen, the young actress, with her deep, Demi Moore-ish voice, projects sexy, smart, silly, self-possessed, and sympathetic all at once. Those qualities, a large and loyal fan base, and enough luck of her own as a romantic comedy leading lady could put her on the career course of a young Julia Roberts, whom Petrie directed in Mystic Pizza. Yet filling those glass slippers is no easy feat. Consider the gifted actresses under 30—Kirsten Dunst, Kate Hudson, and Reese Witherspoon—who, while successful, have not been able to consistently deliver the big romantic comedies that beget stratospheric stardom. If Lohan wants to be a serious contender, she would be wise to leave the Paris Hiltons and Tara Reids to their antics and spend more nights at home.

“I can empathize with that a little bit,” says her Herbie costar Matt Dillon, who celebrated his eighteenth birthday in 1982 at Studio 54. “Trying to grow up, and yet held to a higher standard. Being a famous girl coming up in the movies, everybody's got you under a microscope. But you know what? Lindsay's got a fierce courage despite the fact that she's young. She has some personality, some character. She's a gutty kid.”

Jamie Lee Curtis, who at Lohan's age earned $18,000 for Halloween, notes, “I've been famous since I was born, but I have no frame of reference regarding the absolute onslaught of the media and the lack of privacy and the access to money that Lindsay is experiencing. That kind of public scrutiny I wouldn't wish on anybody. I think it's a difficult situation to develop an internal life and live that way.”

Lohan's mother, however, sees a funny upside to being the focus of such attention. “Lindsay is so much more protected being a star,” says Dina, a highlighted blond with big brown eyes who shares her daughter's heart-shape face. “She's either being photographed by paparazzi or the security guy is with her. She gets more supervision than most kids.” Switching to the subject of Robert Altman's upcoming ensemble project (tentatively titled A Prairie Home Companion), for which he cast Lohan as Meryl Streep's daughter, Dina says, “It's a small role, which is refreshing—Lindsay's always carried movies. I said, 'Look at it as acting class. You're working with the best—Kevin Kline, Meryl Streep, Lily Tomlin, Michelle Pfeiffer. Just absorb everything!' ”

Asked how she handles her daughter's career—including offers for clothing and jewelry lines—and raises her three younger children at the same time, Dina replies, “I would be so bored if I wasn't busy.” She opens her Louis Vuitton carryall tote. “Here, I have pictures of Ali and Dakota,” she says, pulling out their Ford modeling cards. “Everything Lindsay's done, Ali's doing,” she says proudly. “It's falling in her lap.”

In bops the star, back from outside, who announces nonchalantly, “The paparazzi took my picture.”

“No,” Dina says facetiously and with affection, “really?”

A month later, Lindsay Lohan sits in Manhattan's impossible-to-get-a-reservation-at Spice Market, eating Thai food with friends and ingesting the new Us Weekly. It's a day off from filming Just My Luck, which has been shooting for three months, and doing postproduction on Herbie. “I was overworked,” Lohan says when asked about the five days she was hospitalized while shooting the latter film. “I had exhaustion. I was diagnosed with acid reflux, anemia, hypoglycemia, my liver was swollen, my kidney was infected.”

“My favorite outfit she ever wore was her first sighting out of the hospital,” interjects her friend Jessie, 19, a buxom blond in a silver-sequin beret who travels with Lohan to keep her company. “The paparazzi went crazy on her. But they didn't use one of the pictures! And I was so mad because I wanted people to see this cute outfit she'd put together.”

Lohan looks a little sad herself: “It was moccasin boots before anyone wore them. These black little leggings. And this Anna Molinari low-cut pink-with-hearts shirt. Whenever I wear my best outfits, there's no paparazzi to be seen.

“I lost 25 pounds in the hospital,” she adds. “And once I got out, of course there was the pressure to keep the weight off.” At 5'5'', in tight jeans, a beige beaded bohemian Matthew Williamson top, and Anna Molinari snakeskin pumps, Lohan is as thin as a blade of grass.

“I fight with her every day about it,” Jessie says. Turning to Lohan she protests, “You are as small as Kate Moss now! Mischa Barton arms!”

“I'm not skinny for the wrong reasons,” Lohan replies. “It's not because I'm bulimic or anorexic or doing drugs. I don't smoke pot. But I have.… I worked a 21-hour day the other day. As much as this is my responsibility, I still am only 18, my body can only handle so much. And I'm very emotional. My ex-boyfriend is in New York every weekend now—I don't know why—which is very uncomfortable.

“Um, that and then my whole father thing.” (Her estranged father, Michael Lohan, a former stock trader with a history of alcohol and drug use, recently pleaded not guilty to driving with a suspended or revoked license.)

Lohan's ex, Wilmer Valderrama of That '70s Show, has been turning up in her hangouts. “Wilmer was my first love,” she says. “But the timing was bad. And there were all these girls around; he would flirt with them. And I couldn't handle that. I didn't really trust him. So that was hard too.” Would she ever take him back? “I don't think so. My life was too out of order. I was too depressed. I was too concerned with Wilmer this, Wilmer that.” She absentmindedly peruses the pages of Us. “This is news to me!” she exclaims, holding up a photo of Christian Slater visiting the set of Just My Luck with a headline that says LOHAN OUT WITH SLATER. “That's not even my trailer he's coming out of! No, I am not dating Christian Slater!

“I wish I wasn't in the tabloids so much,” she continues, “because I might want to work with directors who don't want to work with someone who has such a known name. They want mystery.”

Everyone in the SUV on the way to the bar is talking, smoking, and text-messaging. “My agents e-mailed me, and it's eleven o'clock at night,” Lohan says, scrolling through 30 new messages on her pink Swarovski crystal- covered T-Mobile Sidekick. Call time on set tomorrow isn't until 4:45 p.m., which means that the night is young. Very.

“When you go to the clubs, it's not like you're out partying, drinking bottles of vodka—most of the time I drink club soda and they say it's vodka,” Lohan says. “You go there, sit with your friends, hang out, dance, go home. That's what goes on.” And another thing: “When they say you're dancing on the tables—you're not.” Someone in the SUV says, “Derek Jeter, Jason Giambi… Yankees will be at this place. It's a birthday party.”

“Great,” Lohan groans. “Now they'll say I'm dating a Yankee.”

No sooner does everyone sit down in the club than an unordered bottle of vodka on ice and carafes filled with mixers magically appear. Lohan orders a seltzer and settles back in the velvet love seat. People stop by and say hello, including A-Rod. Jeter just keeps holding up the wall, staring. Lohan's pal Damon Dash, hip-hop mogul, Rocawear fashion impresario, and movie producer, shows up. He takes off his black-and-white diamond Team Roc logo medallion and puts it around Lohan's neck. “The truth is, when I met her I didn't know she was as smart as she is,” Dash says. “After we kicked it, I realized she's done a lot for her age.” He also likes “her little dance steps.”

Lohan slips off a beaded top revealing a black tank and takes down her ponytail, shaking out her red tresses as if they were on fire. “There,” she says, very Kitten With a Whip. “I went from bohemian to ghetto chic.” She giggles, adding, “Black guys love me—Damon, P. Diddy.” Why, she got a call from 50 Cent just yesterday. “He called my agent for my number. He said he was watching Mean Girls and loved it. I was freaking out! The first thing I thought was, Where's Eminem? I'm in love with him!” She holds the medallion, the size of her tiny palm, eyes kid-in-a-candy-store wide. “I wonder if I get to keep this?” (Actually, she doesn't.)

Lohan goes to the bathroom and comes back sucking on a red lollipop with a cigarette tucked behind her ear. She looks delicate and dangerous, and before you can say, “Play ball!” Jeter is there, introducing himself. A phone number passes through hands, and Lohan declares that it's time to move on to the club Marquee.

“A year ago I had to beg to get into this club; seven months ago they let me in, but I had to pay. And now I get in and everything's free,” Lohan says with admirable equanimity as the SUV pulls up in front of the place. As soon as she and her entourage are established in the best banquette in the house, the usual unordered bottle of Stoli arrives in an ice bucket with shot glasses. Perched atop the booth's seat back, Lohan scans the scene, making eye contact with one of the hundred guys checking her out. He looks like a cross between Mark Wahlberg and Kevin Federline. She taps Dash's friend and asks him to deliver the admirer to her table. They talk cute, she takes his number, and he retreats to his spot, staring with a smile. A bottle of Cristal is popped open. Glasses are poured. The actress playfully swigs from the bottle, wiping her mouth with the back of her hand.

At 3:45 a.m., Lohan shows no signs of fading. With a cigarette in one hand and her glittery Sidekick in the other, she dances on the banquette, a baby Bathsheba, mesmerizing onlookers.

Lindsay will be 19 in July, her mother says, and “ironically, she's almost tired of going out all the time.” Dina adds, laughing, “You know that ad, Do you know where your children are? I know where my daughter is.”

Five years from now, she predicts, Lindsay “will get the kinds of roles that Julia Roberts and Gwyneth Paltrow got so that she can get that Academy Award. Julia was popping out three films a year when she was single, dating everyone in Hollywood. Gwyneth, too. They did what Lindsay's doing. People forget. And people will forget what Lindsay did in this period of her life too.”

Elle Magazine: July 2005
by: Holly Millea