Outside the trailer where I meet Lindsay Lohan, 22, a bulldog slurps from a water dish. His name is Cadillac, and he belongs to Samantha Ronson, the scenester and DJ with whom Lohan is enmeshed.
Lohan’s anecdotes are studded with references to Ronson: noting a star tattoo on her hand, she says, ‘Samantha has a bunch of stars, so I got that. And she got this…’ indicating a little heart. When she tells me, with a giggle, that she’s looking to buy a house ‘with someone’, it just seems obvious who that someone is. But when I ask Lohan specifically about the relationship, she says, ‘Um, people can think what they want. I’m really happy, and that’s all that matters.’
With three stints in rehab behind her, which were ‘like a vacation, because no one bothered me’, Lohan has had a relatively peaceful time of it in recent months, leading me to suggest that Ronson’s a good influence. ‘She’s a great person,’ Lohan agrees. ‘But I think that anything that’s changed in my life is because of me. I’ve gone through it and I’ve had to deal with it and I’ve made the decision to move forward. So, yeah, she’s a great person…’
Lohan seems keenly aware of the fact that she’s starting a new chapter. She’s methodically rebuilding her career, giving her all to a first-time director, Lara Shapiro, in the low-budget Labor Pains, working on a danceable, R&B-type follow-up to her second album, A Little More Personal, and submitting to the family-friendly small screen in a guest spot on Ugly Betty. It’s a page out of the career-rehab book of Robert Downey Jr, whose return from the dark side started with a recurring role on Ally McBeal.
‘He’s an amazing actor,’ Lohan says of Downey. ‘Look at people like that, who have gone through shit and had to work that much harder to get to where they are now.’ Lying on the bed in her trailer now, atop a pink comforter, looking at me through narrowed go-go girl eyes, Lohan says, ‘I’ve learned. I’ll never go back. And it’s not a never-say-never type thing – it’s just, I know. I know.’
Family turmoil’s been a constant for Lohan. ‘It was always up and down,’ she says of her teen years, ‘unpredictable. It was kind of just like whether [my dad] was gonna be there, what he would be like. We didn’t know what to expect from him, which was difficult. I knew so much at the age of 12 – I’d seen so much. So it’s surprising to me that I got into certain things that I got into, because I knew not to.’
Her reaction to the revelation that her dad, Michael Lohan, might have another daughter, now 13, the result of a fling with a Montana massage therapist?
‘I don’t know what’s going on with it,’ Lohan says, wearily. ‘I haven’t asked him any questions. Apparently, we’ve been in the dark for so many years. We’ve gone through enough with him. Enough is enough.’ As a result, she’s shutting down communication with Dad for a bit, ‘until he decides to be a grown-up.’
And so it’s touching when she says she’d like to be a mother some day. ‘At some point, I want to adopt a kid as well,’ she says. ‘A child in need or a newborn from another country. I’m not sure yet.’
This is an edited version of the full interview, which features in the November 2008 issue of Marie Claire