She broke into “the business” before she was 10, grew up too quickly on-screen and off, and had many lovers and a shameless stage mom. Myriad health issues -�- some self-inflicted, some not. And a loyal inner circle that swears to her heart of gold. So is she Elizabeth Taylor? Or Lindsay Lohan, the talented but troubled starlet who plays the violet-eyed movie star in “Liz & Dick,” Lifetime’s much-discussed biopic produced by telefilm whiz Larry A. Thompson?
Tthe answer is both. And that, says Thompson, is why he believed Lohan would lend “magic” to his opulent production, premiering Sunday, Nov. 25, on the cable channel, that chronicles Taylor’s illicit international love affair with Richard Burton (Grant Bowler) and the rabid media coverage that led famed director Federico Fellini to first use the term “paparazzi” to describe it.
“Listen, I knew it was a risk,” the affable Thompson, who has managed hundreds of stars in his four-decade career, tells Zap2it. “But it was almost that Lindsay was born to play this role at this time because at the height of her flashbulb existence, we could create a movie about the people who created the flashbulb existence. As this affair is taking place, the entire Hollywood system breaks down because of them, which gives birth to the paparazzi and the invasion of privacy and the celebrity that we now know.”
Half a century later, Thompson found himself making a movie that was notorious before it even filmed a scene, in a Twitter-fueled era where the show that goes on off-screen is a bigger moneymaker than any finished product.
“The first three days of the shoot were on a yacht in Marina del Rey, which doubles for Portofino and Monte Carlo,” Thompson says. “We had the actors playing Richard Burton and Elizabeth Taylor on the boat. We had the actors playing our paparazzi taking pictures of them. And we had real paparazzi taking pictures of our paparazzi. We were in a surreal, Kafkaesque world of art and life and delicate emotional personalities.”