You need to stop acting like a damned drama queen...
- Lindsay Lohan, July 2003
Lindsay Morgan Lohan
b: July 2, 1986
Biography & Career Summary
Lindsay Lohan began her acting career at age three appearing in advertisements for Ford, and throughout her childhood appeared in numerous commercials, shilling for The Gap, Pizza Hut, Jello, Wendy's, and Best Buy. Her first foray into dramatic acting came when she was ten, appearing for most of a year as Ali Fowler on the daytime soap opera Another World.
Her work on Another World was enough to merit the attention of Disney, who signed her to a three picture contract in 1997, with the first film being 1998's remake of The Parent Trap, in which she tackled the roles made famous by Hayley Mills. Her performance in the film earned her a Young Artist award for Best Leading Young Actress in a Feature Film, despite the fact that The Parent Trap was Lindsay's first feature film.
Shortly after this success, she was offered the central role of Penny in the film adaptation of Inspector Gadget, but she turned down the role for a variety of reasons (ed: this was definitely a strong career choice, as the Inspector Gadget movie was a complete train wreck). Instead, she spent the next two years taking a break from acting, only making a pair of sitcom appearances and making the made for television movie Life-Size. During this period, she laid the foundation for a singing career, eventually signing a five album production deal with Gloria Estefan's production company in September 2002.
In 2003, she returned to the silver screen in another Disney remake, this time of the 1976 film Freaky Friday, starring alongside film veteran Jamie Lee Curtis. The film was a box office smash, grossing $110 million in the United States alone; along with that, the film was a critical success as well, earning solid reviews across the board and garnering a Golden Globe nomination for Curtis.
Lindsay followed this success by releasing two similar films within ten weeks of each other in 2004: the first, Confessions of a Teenage Drama Queen, was a minor success, bringing in $30 million domestically; the second, Mean Girls, was a much bigger success, bringing in approximately $85 million domestically. In both cases, the films were purely Lohan-driven; in both cases, Lohan's performance was praised by critics who derided a weak script.
The closely-timed releases of her two films led to a slew of television appearances for Lindsay in mid-2004, including a hosting stint on Saturday Night Live on June 12, 2004 and hosting the MTV Movie Awards on July 10, 2004, and on July 12, 2004, she signed a long-term record deal with Sony subsidiary Casablanca Records, who plan on promoting her as "the next Jennifer Lopez."
Future film projects for Lindsay include Dramarama, in which she portrays a gifted drama student in a poverty-stricken family (she's also serving as executive producer on the film); Fashionistas, which appears to be a sequel to Mean Girls; and Gossip Girl, where she plays popular high schooler Blair Waldorf.
This is a "complete" fimography for Lindsay, including announced projects. If I am missing any films, let me know.
The Parent Trap (1998): Hallie Parker & Annie James
Life-Size (2000): Casey
Freaky Friday (2003): Anna Coleman
Confessions of a Teenage Drama Queen (2004): Mary Elizabeth Cep & "Lola"
Mean Girls (2004): Cady Heron
Herbie: Fully Loaded (2005)
Gossip Girl (2005): Blair Waldorf
Sources for this writeup include:
Maltin, Leonard. Movie and Video Guide 2004.
Schwarzbaum, Lisa. Entertainment Weekly, August 8, 2003. p. 50. Freaky Friday
Wilson, Vicky. Sight and Sound. December 31, 2003. p.43-4. Year in Review
Box Office Mojo (http://www.boxofficemojo.com)
Thoughts on Lindsay
Part of having a sister-in-law in her teen years is that you get exposed to teenage girl popular culture whether you want to be or not. This often results in such activities as being exposed to multiple albums worth of music by the Spice Girls and being kept up to date on the latest social twists in the always-exciting lives of such cultural luminaries as Justin Timberlake and Britney Spears.
Cut to Christmas Day 2003. My sister-in-law receives the Freaky Friday 2003 remake as a Christmas gift (among a few other movies) and so we all agree to watching a double-header of that and About Schmidt. I was at least mildly interested in Freaky Friday due to the fact that Jamie Lee Curtis was in it; I loved her in A Fish Called Wanda, and True Lies had inspired more than a few illicit thoughts about her.
We started watching Freaky Friday and my thought at the end of the movie was that as solid an actress as Jamie Lee Curtis is, Lindsay Lohan's performance carried the movie. She was strong throughout and carried a mediocre and overly simple script with a few bright spots to a reasonably enjoyable movie (think Alan Cumming in Josie and the Pussycats for another recent example).
Since then, I've seen most of the other movies in Lindsay's catalogue and the same thing held true: she can carry a weak or mediocre script to something watchable. I earnestly look forward to seeing her in something challenging in the future, and I hope that she makes some good choices in the projects she elects to participate in and that directors don't overlook her because of her "teenybopper" film record.