Lindsay Lohan: From Child Star, To Dui, To Jail, To Playboy
'Where did it all go wrong' is a question often asked of the troubled Hollywood actress Lindsay Lohan. Those with long-term memory issues may well be asking themselves 'when was it ever going right'?
In many ways, Lohan had a great start in life; coming from a family of child models and actors, educated at home, where she proved to be a promising student. Lindsay herself began modelling at the age of three, for the likes of Calvin Klein and Abercrombie Kids. She also appeared in over 100 commercials as a child. By the age of 10, Soap Opera Magazine referred to her as a soap opera veteran, with a number of appearances in Another World under her belt.
Lohan cemented her reputation as one of Hollywood's star children when she appeared alongside Jamie Lee Curtis in Freaky Friday. She was notable for her charm and charisma and fast became a 'triple threat' in the industry (i.e. someone who can sing, dance and act to a high standard), when she contributed a number of vocal performances to the film's soundtrack.
Perhaps the highlight of Lohan's early career, though, was her turn in Mean Girls. It was her first independent film, outside of the Disney cache and if anyone was in any doubt about whether or not Lindsay Lohan deserved the 'teen movie queen' crown, the Mean Girls was the film that put an end to their indecision. She was smart and sassy, underpinned by a great script from Tina Fey and with support from Rachel McAdams and Amanda Seyfried. At that point in her career, a huge array of awards were bestowed upon her, many of which came from the MTV Movie Awards in 2005.
The beginnings of a dramatic u-turn in fortunes came, though, whilst Lindsay Lohan started filming Herbie: Fully Loaded. Her behaviour off-set was condemned as 'un-Disney-like' and she was admitted to hospital with kidney problems, attributed to stress in her personal life. She had just split up with the actor Wilmer Valderrama and in an interview with Vanity Fair, the influential magazine described the film as her first celluloid disaster.
The balance of public interest in her private life, as opposed to her acting began to shift as her 'un-Disney-like' behaviour began to be attributed to her relationship with her father. Although she has spoken publicly with affection about her father, there have also been times when she has been openly critical of his parenting and declared, via the social networking site Twitter in 2009, that she hadn't had "a real relationship w/Michael Sr. in years." In 2010, Lindsay's lawyers were forced to send her father a 'cease and desist' notice when he was found to be selling her personal property, to turn a profit.
Lohan was known to be attending Alcoholics Anonymous meetings in 2006 and was rapidly gaining a reputation as a party girl. She was frequently photographed out clubbing, with startling frequency, with the likes of Britney Spears (herself known for her troubled personal life) and Calum Best (ditto), who she began dating. Not long after she began dating Best, she was arrested for DUI (driving under the influence of alcohol). At that point, the media circus really started flogging some front row seats. Upon her arrest, Lohan was found with cocaine in her possession, making maters even worse for her and reducing the chances of a lenient punishment. It would soon become apparent, though, that having her driving license suspended and receiving a felony charge, was not enough to deter Lohan and she was caught once more, driving under the influence (DUI) after an appearance on the Tonight with Jay Leno show.
Samantha Ronson (the sister of music producer Mark Ronson - famous for his work with the late Amy Winehouse). In the space of just a few years. Lindsay Lohan's career had taken a disastrous down-turn and seen her go from a teen star with the promise of a lucrative and impressing career, to mere tabloid fodder, with more of the world's population interested in her off-screen antics, her drug and alcohol addiction, erratic behaviour and her sexuality than any talent that she may possess.
Having a criminal record can seriously affect a Hollywood actor's ability to work - especially where drugs are involved - because production companies simply won't insure the actors in question. It was a problem faced by Courtney Love when she was auditioning for The People Versus Larry Flynt. She was lucky enough to have a guardian angel in Milo Forman, who personally fronted the insurance for her. Whether or not Lohan's behaviour will stabilise for long enough for her own angel to emerge remains to be seen. If they are planning to emerge, they may want to wait until she has stayed out of jail long enough to say 'thank you'; in 2011 she was charged with the theft of a necklace and served 120 days under house arrest. Later on that year, her bail was revoked and Lindsay joined the celebrity ranks of Boy George and Snoop Dogg by doing community service and she still has the threat of a further 300 days imprisonment ahead of her.
Sadly, the mainstream media is not always terribly supportive of stars wishing to reform and nor is the film industry, who may well have forgotten Lohan entirely and moved on to another batch of attractive, talented female stars. There will always be column inches spare to cover her felonies but will she be given a chance to prove herself as a talented actress? It will certainly be a dramatic about-turn if she does.
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