Gasp! What’s this? A day without the
wolves tabloids fighting for the remaining scraps of sustenance left on the carcass of Lindsay Lohan’s eviscerated career! Well, this lull provides an excellent opportunity as any for us to retrace the steps of the starlet and see why and where so many things went so deplorably wrong. It may even pave the way for the Lohanian feeding frenzy to be dialed down to a mild simmer, if not off the coals entirely. And frankly, like Britney Spears before her and probably Leona Lewis after her, Lohan’s slide from Life-Size to life sighs was definitely preventable. It was one of those things that those around her (Dina and Michael, you there?) probably saw coming miles away, but ignored for the more immediate sight of large paychecks made out to their little girl. But in this not-necessarily-absolute recap of Lohan’s tumultuous time in the limelight, there’s a cautionary tale about burnout fatigue. For a reliable unit of measurement, we can turn to the Beaufort Wind Force Scale, conjured up some hundreds of years ago to describe harsh winds faced by barges, but now an apt way of describing Lohan’s increasingly flailing state of being.
1986: Lindsay Dee, the eldest of the Lohan brood, is born on a sunny day in July. Force: Light air.
1989: At age three, she begins modeling, signing on with Ford Models. She eventually lands gigs with Abercrombie Kids, Calvin Klein, and Toys ‘R’ Us.
1990-95: Auditions for advertisements, but in the face of rejection, looks poised to swear off showbiz. No such luck, as she lands ad spots for Duncan Hines and Jell-O with Bill Cosby. Force: Gentle breeze.
1996: At age 10, becomes youngest actress to appear on a daytime soap, landing a role as Alli Fowler on NBC’s Another World.
1998: Stars in The Parent Trap with Dennis Quaid and Natasha Richardson. Film gross: $92 million. Force: Fresh breeze.
2000-2: Co-starred in TV movies including Disney Channel’s Life-Size (with Tyra Banks.) Also enjoyed a brief stint on Bette Middler’s short-lived CBS sitcom. She also starts dating Aaron Carter, but is dumped for Hilary Duff.
2003: Stars in Freaky Friday opposite Jamie Lee Curtis. Film gross: $160 million. She starts dating Wilmer Valderrama.
2004: Lohan scores lead roles in both Mean Girls and Confessions of a Teenage Drama Queen. Combined film gross: About $160 million. Also works on debut album Speak, which came out that December. She and Fez are dunzo, so she seeks rebound affection from Pink Taco owner Harry Morton and British thesp Calum Best.
2005: She starts work on Herbie: Fully Loaded. Film gross: $144 million. Additionally, she licenses her likeness away to Mattel over a silly new doll. Speak goes platinum. Ultimately, tabloid obsession in her reaches a fever pitch following the monumental success of Mean Girls. She starts work on and releases her second album, A Little More Personal (Raw). It debuts at #20. Force: High winds.
2006: A Little More Personal (Raw) sinks out of the Top 100 after only six weeks. Press outlets report on behind-the-scenes drama while shooting Herbie: Fully Loaded. Reports of Lohan’s stress — owing to personal issues and obligations to record her first album lead to eventual kidney infection. She cancels the film’s European promo blitz. At that point, Disney plays down her role in the film because of her “un-Disney-like” behavior. Also, she stars in Just My Luck, which marks her first feature flop. Film gross: $28 million. Yearning for more “adult roles,” Lohan focuses on independent films like A Prairie Home Companion and Bobby. Combined film gross: About $47 million. Force: Strong gale.
2007: She stars in Georgia Rule opposite Jane Fonda and Felicity Huffman. Morgan Creek Productions CEO James Robinson issues a stern admonishment to Lohan regarding her tardiness and frequent absence as well as her heavy partying habits through the media. Obviously, by this point, news of her wild lifestyle becomes common knowledge. Film gross: $22 million. In January, she enters rehab, thereby withdrawing from the filmic adaptation of Oscar Wilde’s A Woman of No Importance, but continuing to work on I Know Who Killed Me. While in rehab, she also dates some guy for about the blink of an eye. After her second DUI, Lohan withdraws from a guest spot on Leno booked to promote the film. This film is her most abysmal flop yet. Film gross: $9.5 million plus two Razzie awards for Lohan’s performance(s). Plus: Lohan starts work on album number three and is deemed the hottest chick in the land by Maxim. Also she’s found with cocaine in her car (here’s a mug shot! And and another). At the end of the year, she stars in Chapter 27 opposite Jared Leto. Film gross: about $187, 000. Force: Violent storm.
2008: Unable to get other film work, she signs onto a six-episode arc on Ugly Betty in May. On-set drama cuts that order down to four episodes. She also ignores calls from Motown Records regarding her third album, saying that she’s trying to achieve a personal balance. In pursuit of said balance, starts dating Sam Ronson. However, she wins bonus points for daring to channel Marilyn Monroe.
2009: Stars in Labor Pains. Film gross: $0. Mostly because despite being slated for a spring release on the big screen, it’s going to end up on basic cable instead, by way of ABC Family. And on DVD this fall. Lohan also hawks strange make-up. Despite fights and a final split with Sam Ronson, Lohan continues to stalk her. Which may not work out too well, as Ronson’s seen already cozying up with a new gal pal. Lohan also loses out to a newcomer as the lead for Tim Burton’s take on Alice In Wonderland. Lohan is set to star in a shady musical/romance feature entitled Dare to Love Me that may or may not see the light of day. Sigh. Much like Lohan herself at the rate she’s going. Force: Hurricane.
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