Lindsay Lohan, Liz Taylor and pages of "what ifs" for TV's "Liz & Dick"

Wed Nov 21, 2012 2:11pm EST
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By Jill Serjeant

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Making a movie about Elizabeth Taylor takes courage. Casting wayward starlet Lindsay Lohan as the Hollywood screen legend was both daring and asking for trouble.

And indeed, trouble is what producers got during the shooting of Lifetime TV movie "Liz & Dick" - but they say the payoff made it all worthwhile.

"Let's say that producing a movie with Lindsay Lohan is not for the faint of heart," said executive producer Larry Thompson. "I turned 50 shades of white during production...But the risk was worth the rewards; the pain was worth the pleasure."

"Liz & Dick," which premieres on November 25, recounts the scandalous and tumultuous romance between Taylor and British actor Richard Burton in the 1960s and 70s. Lohan is one of the few people ever to have portrayed the diamond-loving, larger-than-life, two-time best actress Oscar winner on screen.

The idea was irresistible. Who better than Lohan, 26, a former child star herself, would know the pressures of having her every move scrutinized by the media, the allure of drink and drugs, and the thrills and risks of living life on the edge?

"I think Lindsay Lohan...literally knows no boundaries and that becomes dangerous and exciting. And she has the ability to bring to the screen and her performance that danger, that raw emotion," Thompson told reporters ahead of the premiere.

"If you are going to make a movie about Taylor, you damn well want some great magic. And we felt that Lindsay Lohan could bring that."

Some reviews for "Liz & Dick" have been savage. The Hollywood Reporter called Lohan "woeful as Taylor from start to finish" and the TV movie "an instant classic of unintentional hilarity." Variety was kinder, calling Lohan "adequate" and the film "hammy" but "pretty good, all things considered." Both noted casting Lohan was a sound publicity move.   Continued...

Actress Lindsay Lohan poses as she arrives for the Mr. Pink Ginseng Drink launch party at the Beverly Wilshire Hotel in Beverly Hills, California, October 11, 2012. REUTERS/Jonathan Alcorn