Lindsay Lohan: On the Fast Track
Somewhere between Freaky Friday and Mean Girls, actress/singer Lindsay Lohan got mega-hot and emerged as a curvy party girl with a rep for living large. The green-eyed, usually red-haired, now blonde star turns 19 next month and is growing into adulthood in the spotlight as paparazzi crash into her car and hide behind every bush she passes.The attention has taken a toll on the young woman who tends to plow through life on all eight cylinders just like her pal "Herbie" the revved-up Volkswagen does in the new film Herbie: Fully Loaded. She told us "I really don't know how to relax".
In L.A.'s Century City recently, busy Lindsay sat down with us for a while and we were grateful that her recent fender-bender with the photo dogs didn't turn her against all press. Looking tan, blond and thin but not unhealthy, the actress breezed into our interview room in a crisp, summery print dress and very high brown heels. She revealed that she had a sprained ankle gotten on the set of her next film Just My Luck (so how does she walk in those heels?). She had been out virtually all the night before after winning the MTV Movie Award for Best Female Performance in Mean Girls and throwing her own after-party.
After cluing us in on her awards dress, "Chanel. I felt very Nicole Kidman", Lindsay gave up the latest on her whirlwind celebrity life, going blonde, how she copes, protecting her baby sister, dating in Hollywood and she admitted that being in an ultra-fast race car really scares her.
TeenHollywood: We hear you had quite a cool party last night.
Lindsay: I threw a little gathering. It was a hundred people in this small dark place at the Standard. We had really cool people come. Chris Rock was there and Quentin Tarantino and most of the people from the show. It was fun and it was controlled. I kind of lost my voice a little bit. I was the host of the party so it was kind of stressful. I was around all night trying to make everyone feel comfortable.
TeenHollywood: Why do the "Herbie" movie?
Lindsay: I feel very safe doing Disney at this point. They've been really good to me and I really felt like the character in this movie has a good message and it's very empowering for women since NASCAR is a male dominated sport. Now with Danica Patrick [female racer] coming out, it's perfect timing.
TeenHollywood: Did you have anything in common with your character Maggie?
Lindsay: I see some parallels in the sense that she is growing into womanhood. She's kind of going out on her own now and she's discovering what she wants to do in life and following through with that.
TeenHollywood: Everyone likes to try to get into your head. But, what does this last year of Lindsay's life look like from your point of view?
Lindsay: It's been a really big learning experience, the whole year. I feel like I've grown a lot as a person just in terms of my acting. Last year I would have been in college for my first year so I kind of experienced going out all the time and learning about it through that year.
TeenHollywood: So, just like a Freshman in college away from home for the first time. Who wouldn't party?
Lindsay: Yeah. And then I kind of got over it really fast but they continue to say I still do it so there's really nothing I can do at this point. I just don't want people to think that I'm not focused and I'm not in this [acting] for the right reason. I'm in this for the right reasons.
TeenHollywood: You've said you wanted to go to college at some point.
Lindsay: I would want to go to college and I want to study entertainment law actually and then just know it for myself. But I'm in a position right now where I feel like this is what I want to do. To put this aside to start something new could be a lot right now. First I want to get into producing and I want to start my own charity for children so there's a lot of things I want to do but I have to take the time to do it. First I have to get my wisdom teeth pulled.
TeenHollywood: Ouch! Is it all just too much though?
Lindsay: I think there's an obsession right now. My sister's eleven and she buys the tabloids and if they're around I'll read them. The people that don't know me as a person are going to believe what they read, which is hurtful. And then I have my sister seeing 'Why is Lindsay so thin? Is it for the wrong reasons'? Then she calls me and she gets concerned. But, I think it will fade away and die down eventually.
TeenHollywood: So what is the single girl dating scene like in Hollywood now?
Lindsay: Everyone is dating everyone, it seems so strange. You'll go out and see someone that you dated and they'll be with an ex-girlfriend and then you'll run into the ex-girlfriend and then you'll like a person who dated this other girl and then you want to leave and it's not fun and then someone writes about it and there's drama and then everyone hates everyone. And then you're friends again.
TeenHollywood: Okaaay. Sounds complicated. But you live mostly in New York now.
Lindsay: In New York , it's nice – just the vibe there is cooler and everyone is much more accepting. People don't categorize you as much – everyone just knows each other. New York has more of a fashion industry. I like to have a balance.
TeenHollywood: So is the "party girl" label the biggest misconception about you?
Lindsay: Yeah, that I'm some girl that goes out all the time and doesn't take my job and my responsibility seriously. And that I'm late to set all the time and I'm a diva, 'cause I'm so not that [all her "Herbie" co-stars back this statement up. Lindsay was always professional]. Everyone has their moments, everyone has a bad day and I do pretty freaking good considering the things that get said about me and how much they tap into my personal life, how much they lie about it. So I just want people to know that I want to be in this for the long run.
TeenHollywood: What are you doing acting-wise to insure that your career lasts?
Lindsay: I'm doing the Robert Altman film A Prairie Home Companion with an amazing cast. I mean it's not too shabby – Meryl Streep, Lily Tomlin, Kevin Kline.
TeenHollywood: Are you staying blonde for that?
Lindsay: Yes. It will be darker than this. I was supposed to go darker at first but then I started to go blonde and I couldn't stop. I'll be back to red.
TeenHollywood: Do you think the fans of the original "Herbie" movies will like "Fully Loaded"?
Lindsay: It's always nerve wracking because you don't know what the people are going to think from the generation that saw the movie originally, and you feel like you want to live up to the expectations that they'll have of the new one. So I trust Disney in the sense that they keep the elements from the original movie and then they just update it to how the times are now which is great. And they keep it young and fun for kids and they make it appealing to all ages.
TeenHollywood: That paparazzi thing with your car was pretty scary.
Lindsay: I'm just happy [my sister] wasn't with me. They're coming out next week. My sister loves it though. She pokes her head out the window and smiles. She wants to do what I do. She was so mad at me because she didn't get to be in Just My Luck[Lindsay's new film after "Herbie"].
TeenHollywood: Can you give us the details on the accident?
Lindsay: Well, I was driving and I had my friend in the car. It happened so fast and I couldn't get out. My door had jammed shut. I know a story of someone that was close to one of my family members that passed away in their car, someone hit their door and then they couldn't get out.
TeenHollywood: Sounds like it was terrifying for you.
Lindsay: All I could think at that moment was, 'I can't get outta my door, I'm gonna die in this car. My door's jammed'. And then my friend was panicking and had just whacked her head on the window, so she couldn't find the unlock switch. I got out of the car and they continued to take my picture. I said, 'What are you doing?' I was in shock. I did not know what to do. But thank God no one was seriously injured. I still have to go to the doctor.
TeenHollywood: We know you were recording your second album while shooting "Herbie". Do you think you are more interested in music or acting?
Lindsay: Acting is mainly what I focus on. But, at the same time I love singing as well. I'll probably be starting another album eventually. The album was rushed, I mean I recorded practically every song in my trailer on the set of "Herbie". So, that's why I got sick at the time, I was running myself down. I was literally running from set in between set-ups and singing, just singing verses and then we were writing.
TeenHollywood: So that's what put you in the hospital for a while?
Lindsay: Oh, yeah. I was working so much. I would go home and record in my bedroom too.
TeenHollywood: When will you be recording a new album?
Lindsay: It will probably be toward the end of the Fall. It is relaxing to be in the studio and recording. I go in there and I don't leave – I stay there till all hours. But I want it to be a different sound. I want my album to kind of show off what kind of varied roles I might find in the future.
TeenHollywood: What kinds of music are you listening to lately?
Lindsay: Right now I'm very into Keen. I love Journey, I love Pat Benetar; I like Melissa Etheridge, the B52-s, The Smiths.
TeenHollywood: Did you have any input into songs chosen for "Herbie"?
Lindsay: Yeah. I haven't heard the final score yet. I was actually going to remake 'Life Is A Highway' by Tom Petty. Or 'Everybody's Working for the Weekend'. But they liked my single 'First' and it was off my album so it made sense.
TeenHollywood: In "Herbie" you play someone who is a bit older than yourself. Do you play older in Just My Luck as well?
Lindsay: Yeah. My character's 23 and she's a publicist. She's got a PR firm and it's a full-on romantic comedy. My character's very Lucille Ball-esque, the way I portray her. It was nice to be able to do something like that. It was different, but it was very strange 'cause I wasn't used to having to have that chemistry with someone day in and day out. But it was great.
TeenHollywood: You play a race car driver in "Herbie". How did you enjoy driving school or did you actually drive?
Lindsay: I went to the Richard Petty Experience for the driving school and I was going to drive, and our director Angela Robinson, got in the car and she drove on the track but I was too scared. I got in the car with the guy [driver] and we went 190- 195 miles an hour! And you get so close to the wall that I was screaming. I almost started crying. I though I was going to die. But I learned stick and then I started to drive then I started to get used to it and I learned more maneuvering skills and all of that, which would have been helpful the other day with the paparazzi.
TeenHollywood: Are you taking care of yourself now? Working out?
Lindsay: I did get a trainer but I have this sprained ankle so it's very hard for me to get back and forth to the gym. I'm just training for me, just to be healthy. I've been wanting to get healthier. I'm around people and other actors and they're saying, `you know, you should eat right and take care of yourself'.
TeenHollywood: You played competitive sports. Is there any sport you still have a passion for?
Lindsay: I'm a big basketball fan. I've played lacrosse, soccer, tennis, basketball and cheerleading. I attempted to play football with my brother and his friends but I ran into a tree.
TeenHollywood: Big ouch! Any basketball team you root for?
Lindsay: I'm a New Yorker, and my little brother would kill me for not saying The Knicks, but I like The Lakers and I also like the Miami Heat.
TeenHollywood: Do you have a film that you love – not one of yours but somebody else's?
Lindsay: I really love Bye Bye Birdie because I'm a huge Ann Margret fan. And I love Niagara just because I think it's a beautiful film and you can't stop watching Marilyn Monroe. And I like Pretty Woman and I love Silence of the Lambs. I think I've covered every genre there.
TeenHollywood: You've talked about being a Marilyn Monroe fan.
Lindsay: Yeah. She just had this sex appeal. Just the way she talked and moved.
TeenHollywood: Do you think there's a point where you break with your younger fans and do something adult that they can't see?
Lindsay: Well, there is a film that I'm looking into where there are two love scenes – I am fighting for one of them. But they are tastefully done and I don't show anything. I've already done covers where [I showed more].
TeenHollywood: Back to "Herbie". You were at the track with some real hot racecar drivers like Jeff Gordon. Did you realize how huge he and the other racers are in their sport?
Lindsay: I didn't realize that until I was there [at the track]. There were 250,000 fans when we shot there which is just incredible. But they're all really nice guys. It was very brief, and they were like 'We don't act, what are we supposed to do?'. I was like, 'I don't race, but I'm saying I do'. They announced me. I'm sure people were like, 'Lindsay Lohan is racing'?
TeenHollywood: If you could take a break what would you do?
Lindsay: I'll have to sit down and take the time. I want to get involved in starting a charity for abused and underprivileged children. So, we'll see.
TeenHollywood: We hear your co-stars in "Herbie" kept playing jokes on you.. something about a rat dumped in a popcorn bucket. Anything else?
Lindsay: Yeah. They tortured me but it was fun cause we were shooting late one night and they shut the power off in my trailer and then put a vacuum on outside that sounded like a chainsaw and they were jumping on the trailer and shaking it. And Breckin [Meyer] was underneath the trailer and then Justin [Long] was on top of the trailer. They did mess with me a lot.
TeenHollywood: Does this movie have a message?
Lindsay: If there's something you want to do, you should go for it and not let anyone else try to tell you not to. As cheesy as it sounds, follow your dreams.
TeenHollywood: Did you have chemistry with your leading man Justin Long?
Lindsay: That's very important but Justin and I are very much like brother and sister, though. So everyone thought it was so strange when we had to do the kiss. Everyone was kind of creeped out by it.
At this point, Lindsay's publicist starts trying to get her to wrap it up. We realize that she never stops.
TeenHollywood: They're dragging you off to something else. How can you work so much?
Lindsay: I'm a workaholic so I tend to just keep going. I'm so used to working at this point that when I don't have anything to do I kind of go crazy – I feel like I need to work more.
TeenHollywood: But you must know that you've got to rest. Are you working on that?
Lindsay: I've surrounded myself with people that make sure I say 'no' more than 'yes' at this point. I think I work so much because I wanted to please everyone and that's difficult. I've been learning now to take the time to say, 'what does Lindsay need?', 'what do I need to do for myself?'
TeenHollywood: Okay, wild parting question. So you're in the supermarket and you see you're on the cover of a tabloid.
Lindsay: I grab it!
At this point the busy superstar has to rush on to her next engagement. Girl, you need to grab some downtime!
Lynn Barker is a Hollywood-based entertainment journalist and produced screenwriter.