Lindsay Lohan may have caused her fair share of drama on the set of her upcoming film The Canyons, but director Paul Schrader has no hard feelings. In fact, judging by this new essay he wrote for Film Comment, he has nothing but good things to say about Lohan--apparently to the point where he believes that Lohan is more talented than her idol and pop culture icon, Marilyn Monroe.
"I think Lohan has more natural acting talent than Monroe did," Schrader wrote in this essay, "but, like Monroe, her weakness is her inability to fake it. She feels she must be experiencing an emotion in order to play it. This leads to all sorts of emotional turmoil, not to mention on-set delays and melodrama. It also leads, when the gods smile, to movie magic. Monroe had the same affliction. They live large, both in life and on screen. This is an essential part of what draws viewers to them."
Schrader goes on to write that, despite their similarities, it's the differences he sees between Monroe and Lohan that's the interesting part:
But LL is not MM. The differences are even more interesting than the similarities. Those differences are marked by the almost 50 years that separate Monroe and Lohan. Over that time our notions of acting, stardom, celebrity, and talent have fundamentally changed. Marilyn had two things going for her that Lindsay doesn’t. She was the product of a culture that mandated public responsibility. An acting gift, good looks, and a zesty personality only got you so far. To be taken seriously one had to appear serious: study your craft, be mentored, read literature, respect your creative elders, marry a playwright, get the support of an established theater group or studio. To receive the system’s rewards—fame, money—you playacted by the system’s rules. And Monroe did. [...]
Today’s situation is reversed: it’s possible to become a star without being taken seriously, to be a “media personality.” LL lives in a world of instant celebrity gratification Monroe could have only dreamed of....It’s difficult to maintain self-discipline in a world of easy gratification. And it’s exhausting. As I said to Lindsay on a number of occasions, “It must be exhausting to be you.”
He adds that, "from a selfish point of view, it was a treat to work with Lindsay," and that the drama constantly surrounding her "means little" because "a director can shoot around misbehavior. He can’t shoot around lack of charisma."
Considering the way that the New York Times described her relationship with Schrader during filming of The Canyons--for instance, he fired her at one point--it's good to know there are no hard feelings. Also something to note: In January, SXSW rejected The Canyons from their film festival, because, as one insider put it, the film has "an ugliness and a deadness to it."
Lohan is set to be released from her court-ordered rehab at the beginning of next month.
[via Film Comment]