Lindsay Lohan profile proves the value — and rarity — of access

The troubled star's habits are public, but Sunday's New York Times Magazine gives a rare glimpse into her psyche

Topics: paul schrader, Hollywood, entertainment news, lilo, Lindsay Lohan, Movies, Film, Media Criticism, New York Times, New York Times Magazine, stephen rodrick,

Lindsay Lohan profile proves the value — and rarity — of access (Credit: AP/John Shearer)

It’s pretty rare to learn anything about a celebrity from a celebrity story. Glossy magazines, settling for less and less access, read volumes into what the starlet of the moment ate for lunch, but never seem to catch the stars off-guard. At the moment when appetite for celebrity gossip has never been more ravenous, celebrities themselves have been trained within an inch of their lives (everyone’s always the happiest they’ve ever been), and publicists know to limit the conversations just to lunch.

So it’s a surprise of sorts that Lindsay Lohan — who has been burned by her own volubility in print before, after admitting to drug use, then recanting it — was followed through July for the New York Times Magazine, in a lengthy story about the set of her upcoming film, The Canyons,” a tiny, Kickstarter-funded independent film directed by Paul Schrader.

Here are the most surprising revelations about an actress whose habits are public but whose inner self is usually obscure:

  • Though she doesn’t often speak to the mainstream press anymore, Lohan is voluble, responding to the director’s observation that rejection is formative with: “Well, it’s nothing like going to jail, I can tell you that.”
  • Lohan appeared late at the first read-through, with a marked-up script in hand, in which she had scratched out the names of her co-stars Nolan Funk and James Deen, and scrawled in the names of three or four actors as possible replacements.
  • She changes her mind frequently, saying at the beginning of the shoot that she hopes to flee to Uganda but by the end that she hopes to revive her career with more work.
  • After getting fired from “The Canyons” (she was later rehired), she banged on Schrader’s hotel room door and wept for 90 minutes.
  • Offered a chauffeured car to lunch so she wouldn’t go too far and hold up production, Lohan and her entourage orchestrated a “jailbreak” of sorts, fleeing the car. Her lunch privileges were thus revoked, though she ruined a morning of filming after spending a night partying with Lady Gaga.
  • She attempted to take over directing scenes by describing her ideal motivations, and told costar James Deen he was “disrespectful” to Schrader.

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Granted, many of these revelations come from people other than Lohan — it would appear that Lohan irritated her co-workers on set so badly that they vented to reporter Stephen Rodrick as an outlet, proving the value of a month’s worth of access. After all, when confronted with a direct question about the emotional troubles causing her to act out, Lohan reverts back into her own version of the in-control, guarded celebrity brushing off the journalist: “I can’t cry. I’ve got makeup on.”

Daniel D'Addario is a staff reporter for Salon's entertainment section. Follow him on Twitter @DPD_

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