Lindsay Lohan on Her Netflix Movie Comeback: “Acting Is Like Riding a Bicycle”
Is a Lohanaissance soon to be upon us?
Once one of Hollywood’s most promising young stars, carrying films like Nancy Meyers’ 1998 remake of The Parent Trap and reaching the A-list with 2004’s Mean Girls, Lindsay Lohan’s trajectory was soon violently derailed by addiction and a party-girl lifestyle that made her a TMZ mainstay. Her last studio films came in 2007 with Universal’s Georgia Rule and Sony’s I Know Who Killed Me.
But at 36, Lohan has been granted a second chance. Her three-picture movie deal with Netflix officially kicks off Nov. 10 with the romantic comedy Falling for Christmas. Netflix tweeted the one-sheet on Oct. 3 — informally referred to by Lohan fans as “Mean Girls Day,” named for an exchange between her Mean Girls character and crush. Lohan gets above-the-title billing in Falling for Christmas and is the only actor to appear in the credit block; her co-star is Glee‘s Chord Overstreet.
Lohan is currently on location in Ireland filming her second film for Netflix, Irish Wish, where Bernard Hiller, a combination of acting coach and life coach, is by her side. “He changed my life,” says Lohan, crediting Hiller — who shares some of his acting secrets in a new book, The Revolutionary Guide to Acting — with getting her back on track for a potential comeback.
Lohan talked about their partnership, her approach to acting for the camera and the possibility of what’s to come in an email interview with The Hollywood Reporter.
How did you first come into Bernard’s orbit?
I first met Bernard through a mutual friend when I was actually in the U.K. I found him to be hilarious and very insightful and we clicked right off the bat.
Was he different from other acting coaches you’d worked with before? If so, how?
I’ve never worked with any acting coach in my life! I don’t really see Bernard as just a coach. He’s more of an advisor of skill and a mentor. He helps you see what’s not written on the page and bring those aspects of the character to life.
What are the essential lessons you took from his method?
Taking time with the dynamics of the story and not being afraid to really slow every moment down in a scene whenever you feel it’s necessary. Sometimes we go too quickly and forget to take my time. It’s nice to try different things and explore all possibilities of the script, not just playing what’s on the page. When I’m playing a character and in a role, it’s important I don’t limit myself to where the character can go emotionally. Also, I’m never afraid to ad-lib.
There is much being made of “immersive” acting techniques these days. How immersive do you get when creating a character?
The second I’m in my hair, makeup and wardrobe, I feel the character. I immerse myself into the role depending on the depth of scene, but I never get stuck in that once the director calls “cut!”
What pitfalls do you try to avoid?
I tried to avoid letting distractions on set get in the way. I’m very much to myself before and after a scene. I like to get in my own headspace and prepare quietly on the side. But for me, my whole life, acting is like riding a bicycle. It’s just in me. It’s a part of me. Doing films, playing a character, it brings me so much joy to be able to share a story with people. To take people on that journey with me is such a blessing.
What can you tell us of your Netflix projects currently in production?
I am having a wonderful time working with Netflix and am discussing next steps! I would love to dive deeper and play a character who’s on a journey [of] self-discovery
What director would you love to work with?
I want to work with directors that make me grow as an artist. Directors that have vision, style and create films that 20 years from now I will be happy that I was in them.
Interview edited for length and clarity.