Blowback: Lindsay Lohan

Original story in the Los Angeles Times | Sunday, July 4, 2010

Between the courtroom hysterics and so-called “jail sentence,” not to mention Lindsay’s FU fingernails, I’m about Lohan’d out – you? I’d rather go back to the Russian spies who showed up to lend a hand in the Gulf oil spill. But first, I’m compelled to double-take on a contrast between movie director Matthew Wilder and Hollywood producer Kerry Wallum that I found in a drawn-outLA Times recap of Lohan’s rise and mess, probably known in celeb coverage as “Lohan Template 2”.

As usual, the article mentions her childhood potential and the self-hate over her freckles. It brought up all of those California drunk-driving laws that’ve got the young lady so stumped, as well as her current loveable pariah status and future prospects. (I dig the tsk-tsk quotes from mentors and assholes alike that always accompany such pieces, like the inevitable claims of having seen “the warning signs.” Schmucks.)

After being reminded that Lohan is still a human little girl –not just TMZ and webloid fodder– I was led to the bit on Wilder and Wallum. Wilder is set to direct Lohan in a film dramatizing the life of a deceased porn queen; Wallum is producing a comedy that would see the actress alongside the venerable Willie Nelson.

One guy is about to direct Lohan’s remaining talent to tell the icky story of Linda Lovelace, a woman sexually and psychologically abused to incomprehensible levels and then exploited to the, um, hilt. Wilder seems to think that Lohan’s parallel personal troubles are no big deal, saying, “there’s so much noise around her in the press that people forget she’s a really great actor.”

Whether Wilder believes this or not about his “star,” he can sleep at night knowing Lohan at least has the faint heartbeat to get his movie made. Wilder seemingly bragged that, even while partying at the Cannes Film Festival, Lindsay found time for film finance executives “who, after having met her, put up money” for his biopic. You see? She’s fine! Why, Heath Ledger was busy arranging and re-arranging the furniture until he died, but you know, he could’ve sat up straight for a promo picture, right?

So, did the LA Times writer intentionally position Wilder’s quote about how dedicated Lohan is to his project next to his cavalier description of her personal life and her ambiguous obligations around getting the film financed? I mean, it’s a film about abuse and exploitation, with a script rumored to be trashy bordering on soft porn. And it’s being made by a guy whose artistic vision will require Lohan to shake it, spread ‘em, and get slapped around…

Framework of the article notwithstanding, Wilder’s assurances that Lohan’s personal problems are just “noise” are as repellent as Lindsay’s parents, also covered. And sure, plenty of “really great” actors have had to two-step for film financing over the years. But severely troubled, addiction prone little girls sent to fetch cash from foreign bag men holed up in hotel rooms at the world’s most glamorous coke party?

That was the troubling part of the contrast evident to me as I read (into) the article. Here’s the nice part…

This cat Kerry Wallum –the producer attached to this Willie Nelson project– probably knows Nelson relatively well to describe the singer/songwriter as having “seen it all,” right? Right. Well, Wallum goes on to describe his project, “The Dry Gulch Kid,” like this:
“Everybody makes mistakes, and some people make them over and over. She’s a good actress. Maybe this is the deal that will straighten her up completely. And even if it ain’t, we’ll be out in the country. I guarantee she’ll be to set on time. She’ll be stuck out in the middle of nowhere.”

You see? I like this guy. He’s not making excuses nor downplaying or ignoring the many known issues of a suspected cokehead actress’s erratic behavior, admitted irresponsibility, and dufus decisions. He just sayin’ what you and I have been thinking, plain and simple-like: Hell, that girl will either act professionally or she won’t, but out there in the scrub she sure won’t have any rave parties or clubs or traffic to drive against. She’ll only have ‘ol Willie, someone who has seen her type come and go. Someone who has had his own difficult Hollywood lessons to learn. Someone who might actually sit her down and tell it to her straight.

No pimpin’ required.