+karma if this was useful
Confessions of a Teenage Drama Queen
Forget those rumors about her breasts. Lindsay Lohan has risen to the top of the teen-star crop by keeping it real
By MARK BINELLI
Lindsay Lohan has been eighteen for just under a week when she tells me her breasts are real. I did not ask (gentlemen never do), though my reporting (discreet visual fact-checking, a goodbye hug) seems to confirm her statement. Lohan fields queries about her breasts in most interviews, which is probably why she decided to pre-emptively address the issue. "My little sister reads that stuff," Lohan says. "She called me up one day and was like, 'I heard you got that Pamela Anderson thing.' It's just so retar-"
Lohan stops and glances at her assistant. They smile at each other in an inside-joke sort of way. "Stupid," Lohan continues, and when I look puzzled, she says, "I have to watch myself. I guess I say 'retarded' a lot, and this group got mad at me."
There comes a time in the life of every teenage girl who works for the Disney Corp. when that girl realizes she has suddenly -- how shall we phrase this? -- "broadened her appeal." For Annette Funicello, back on the original Mickey Mouse Club, that point came when boys began to notice the tightness of her regulation Mouseketeer sweaters. In more recent years, fallen Mouseketeers Britney Spears and Christina Aguilera recognized that music videos involving school uniforms and/or nude body stockings would exponentially increase fatherly, big-brotherly and creepy-uncle-y tolerance for music that's pretty much unlistenable if you're not a thirteen-year-old girl.
For Lindsay Lohan -- or, more accurately, for Lindsay Lohan's breasts -- the tipping point came somewhere after the 2003 remake of Freaky Friday. Lohan has been a charming screen presence in kid-friendly fare such as The Parent Trap (another Disney remake) and the subsequent Confessions of a Teenage Drama Queen. But suddenly, this year, it became socially acceptable to note that the redheaded child actress was hot. At that point, Lohan became a different kind of star. She made Mean Girls, her first film to appeal to adults as well as to teens, thanks to a smart Tina Fey script, and she became the youngest-ever host of the MTV Movie Awards.
Despite the fake-breast rumors, something about Lohan seems far more real than her contemporaries. Mean Girls is often compared to Heathers, Winona Ryder's breakout film, and, like Ryder, Lohan manages to look striking without coming off as an empty vessel. In real life, she has been willing to talk **** about rival teen star Hilary Duff and didn't hide the fact that she liked to party. All of which resulted in Lohan becoming a favorite object of scrutiny for the paparazzi and the online pervert community alike. These days, if Lohan wears a low-cut dress and makes the mistake of, say, bending over slightly to step out of a vehicle, enlarged photographs of her cleavage will be analyzed as meticulously as the Zapruder film.
To continue the Ryder comparison, Lohan is also what's technically known as a "bad girl." She has already dated a rock star (well, not exactly rock -- it was Aaron Carter), but what really makes Lohan bad is the fact that she goes out to nightclubs in Manhattan and Los Angeles and occasionally dances on tables. All this has helped her new, adult image but could hurt her old, Disney-remake-princess image -- which has her handlers worried. When I suggest to Lohan's publicist that we go out to see a band together, the publicist snaps, "She's eighteen! I don't want any more stories of her out in clubs." My next suggestion -- an exhibit of cadavers at the California Science Center -- is greeted with an audible sigh.
So, instead, we meet at the Four Seasons Hotel in Beverly Hills. When Lohan shows up, she is sipping from a can of 7 Up and wearing a ribbed white tank top, torn jeans that reveal both kneecaps and a significant amount of right thigh, a bright-yellow rubber bracelet that says live strong and expensive-looking sandals decorated with jeweled crescents. She has dyed her hair a dark auburn shade. A too-intense fake tan accentuates the freckles that cover her arms, making Lohan look like the type of girl who will ask me to buy her cigarettes or order her a strawberry daiquiri. My first thought is: We should be in a mall food court.
It's been a busy time for her. Besides the turning-eighteen thing, her single "I Decide" is appearing on The Princess Diaries 2 soundtrack, and she has begun work on (of course) her debut album, to be released on Tommy Mottola's Casablanca Records. (Mottola famously nurtured the early careers of both his ex-wife Mariah Carey and Jennifer Lopez.) She's also getting ready to film a new movie, and she's trying to adjust to life as this moment's It girl. There have been the party-girl stories, and, worse, endless reports about father Michael Lohan's various run-ins with the law. Most recently, the elder Lohan was scheduled to appear in a Long Island courtroom after allegedly beating up his brother-in-law at a family function at the Lohan home. Before he could appear in court, Michael was arrested on another charge: stiffing a hotel for close to $4,000. He denies these allegations. He's also facing a separate charge of punching a New York sanitation worker whose garbage truck was blocking his car.
Despite all this, Lindsay is upbeat and seemingly unflappable. Though she looks older than eighteen, she pretty much acts her age, constantly fidgeting with her hair and occasionally blurting out giggly non sequiturs such as "Michael Jackson was in my dream last night! We were in a club. He came up to me and said, 'Hi, I'm Michael. Nice to meet you. I'm a big fan!' "
She doesn't have a driver's license yet, but she's become skilled at evading photographers, who now recognize her car and the cars of her friends. "Five cars of paparazzi chased me yesterday," she says, leaning forward, her eyes widening in the retelling. "I wanted to stop at Wendy's. My friend was like, 'You don't want them to take your picture there. It'll be, "They eat like us!" ' So I ducked down when we went through the drive-through."
Still, Lohan can be so relentlessly positive that, after a while, she starts to sound like a candidate for public office. On her dad, she says, "It's actually been kind of relaxing, being able to let people know that my family's not perfect." On reaching voting age: "I'm not very politically involved. And I don't like to talk about it. I mean, if you say you're a Democrat, that'll turn off Republicans, and that's half of your fan base." She answers questions about her party-girl image as if she's speaking to a parole officer or an extremely gullible grandparent. "I know all the guys who own the clubs," she says. "We made a deal where they let me come in and I'll drink only Red Bull. If I wanted to drink, I'd just stay home and do it with my friends. I don't do drugs. Never have, never will. I don't need to do that stuff to have fun."
Lohan began modeling when she was five. "The Ford modeling agency had all blondes with blue eyes at the time," she says. "I was a redhead with freckles. But I never cried or complained like a lot of the other kids." Lohan's mother, Dina, is a former Rockette. Her father was a Wall Street trader who developed and then sold a multimillion-dollar pasta business started by Lohan's grandfather. She and her three younger siblings grew up in Cold Spring Harbor, on Long Island's North Shore -- which is Gatsby, not Buttafuoco, country. "They have two-acre zoning there," Lohan says, "so we had a lot of property." As she moved from modeling to acting, she tried to keep her career on the q.t. at school. "I was ten when I did Parent Trap," Lohan says. "I left school for eight months. When I came back, my friends were like, 'Where'd you go?' I said, 'My family and I went on a long vacation.' Then the movie came out, and they were like, 'Um, Lindsay? That's you in Parent Trap.' And I said, 'Oh, yeah. I also did this movie while we were gone.' "
Around that time, Lohan's father was sent to federal prison for stock fraud. He served a four-year sentence. "Somebody screwed him over," Lohan says dismissively. "This kind of thing has happened to so many people I know, it's almost, like, normal."
How did your parents tell you about it?
They didn't! My mom just said, "Dad's working. He's away. He's busy." I finally figured it out. I was like, "Mom, I'm not an idiot."
Do you ever feel bad that your fame is having this side effect of making your dad's problems big news in the tabloids?
My dad's a big boy. He's gonna do what he's gonna do. I don't feel bad for him. And I don't feel bad for me. I can handle it.
Did you visit him in jail?
I don't wanna talk about this stuff!
I'm only asking because having a parent go to jail would be a traumatic thing for anyone, but you were only eleven. So it seems relevant.
You know, when my dad would do things like that, it used to really hurt me. At the same time, he's the best dad. He's the most loving, kind person you could ever meet. My parents are working some things out right now. But they've been married for twenty years. They'll work it out.
(Excerpted from RS 955)