Season 3 Episode 5


Season 3 Episode 5


Philippa Snow brings Linds back to the Hollywood limelight 💖💎

Words by Philippa Snow

Posted April 7, 2021

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What Lindsay hated more than anything was when they tried to teach her something—how to blow a smoke ring or to flick a lighter like James Dean, each pointless lesson sinking into her as easily and smoothly as a scalpel slipping into someone under anaesthetic as she waited for them to eventually get to the point, the point being sex. “Uh huh,” she would say, in the hot, thirty-a-day rasp that invariably made their knees weak. “You’re so clever, baby.” If they heard the condescension in her tone, they did not show it. Historically, men had mistakenly believed they had the upper hand with Lindsay because a) she was a knockout, b) she had been famous as a child, and thus in some way always put them in mind of her preteen self, and c) she had been known to party, and sometimes to lose her head. They assumed she did not read, and that she had not seen a movie made before the 1980s unless Marilyn was in it; they communicated with her almost exclusively in double-entendres, as if they thought that innuendo, and not English, was her mother tongue. Some of them thought they’d got one over on her, too, by sleeping with her, evidently labouring under the impression that she had not—which she always, always had—subtly orchestrated the entire thing. In 2004, one of the papers had run an alarmist op-ed about Lindsay having had a one-night-stand with Colin Farrell, painting it as a harbinger of her eventual ruin, and she’d laughed and laughed and laughed, a sound like gravel underneath the tires of a Lamborghini. “Oh, poor Lindsay,” she had said to herself mockingly, her voice pitched in a goofy little whine, “having sex with Colin Farrell! What a trauma!”

Terry Richardson, Chateau Marmont

Ten years later, in bed at the Chateau Marmont somewhere close to 5am, she had pulled up a page on Vice to read a story that James Franco had just published about her, entitled Bungalow 89. A week or two ago, he’d texted her a little bashfully to warn her in advance, pretending to feel bad about it but not necessarily apologising. "It’s a compliment, babe," he had finished off, adding a smiley face emoji that made Lindsay think about his irritating, handsome face, the way his grin split it in two. Lighting up a cigarette, she skimmed the blogpost anxiously, a knot of panic forming in her freckled throat. He had written that she’d called him a “bookworm” and a “punk blogger,” and then something else that was not very modern or politically correct, but which did sound like something Lindsay—who was after all, she thought defensively, born on Long Island—might have said. He had also called her “damaged” at least twice, which she did not necessarily disagree with, but which made her pissed-off anyway; he wrote that she had boasted about fucking a Greek guy with a “big schnozz,” which she disputed not because she had not had sex with the Greek guy, but because she felt one-hundred-percent certain she had never said the word “schnozz” in her life. There were some inferences, hardly subtle, about Dinah, her ex-Rockette mother, and a few direct references to her love of drugs and drink. “So what, who cares?” she snarled aloud, cigarette smoke curling around her as if she had caught on fire. “Everyone loves champagne, James.”

Slamming the laptop shut, she was surprised to find that she felt less like vomiting than she’d expected. The general thrust of James’ version of events was that she’d tried quite hard to sleep with him, and he had gallantly resisted. In the story, she had hounded him in bare feet and pyjamas at the door of his bungalow at the Chateau, obviously wanting him, not so much acting the seductress as behaving like a brat. “Do you think this is me?” he had her saying, as if people spoke that way. “Lindsay Lohan. Say it. Say it, like you have ownership. It’s not my name anymore.” There was some waffle about modelling for Gucci, which he said had made him into a “vampire…immortally young; immortally sex” as soon as they had put the billboard up over the Sunset Strip. (In fact, what it had made him was unbearable, worse even than when he had got the Oscar nomination for that fucking hiking movie, or whatever.) It was true, she thought, stabbing her Marlboro Light out in a wine glass on the cabinet by her bed, that she had gone to James’ bungalow intending to have sex with him, and that he’d turned her down in order to—pretentiously, with great solemnity and self-regard—read her two stories that he seemed to think held some subtle significance vis-à-vis Lindsay’s personal life. It was true that he’d believed that he was introducing her to J.D. Salinger, and that she had not disabused him of the notion, letting him imagine he was blowing her delicate, girlish homeschooled mind. It was true, too, that she’d told him one or two things about her experiences in the field. It was not true that she had been at all interested in his brain, feeling instead that he had somewhat overrated his appeal in this regard. She remembered wondering, as he got to the part where Salinger described a girl as having looked “as if her phone had been ringing continually ever since she had reached puberty,” just how much he had spent on all those graduate degrees he had been getting. She had wished her phone would ring—anything, really, to keep James from going on about bananafish and heiresses and war.

Slipping out of bed, she pulled on a leather miniskirt by Alexander Wang and a thin, oyster-coloured sweater that she thought might have been Chloe. Though the clock flashed five-fifteen and it was not quite light outside, she felt a sudden need to occupy herself—to prove that she had better things to do than dwell on James’ story, with its frankly sexist undertones and its tiresome repetition of the themes that characterised all the other fiction Lindsay read about herself on TMZ. At present, she was bored by everything about her life. This afternoon, she had a call about developing a boutique clothing line, or was it maybe an exclusive line of handbags; she had yoga, and then she would call her agent and remind him once again that she still wanted to be introduced to Oliver Stone, and she would probably start drinking around six, slowly at first, the endlessness of the approaching night dulled softly by the time she reached the second or third glass. By nine or ten, she figured she would have got drunk enough to finally email James, informing him that she had in fact already read J. D. Salinger before that fateful night, and that she’d only said she hadn’t to appease him. “You say in your little story that most women,” she would gloat, “enjoy his writing. Well, what I know is that boys, even if they are famous boys with Gucci billboards, love to be the first to show a woman something. God, it’s boring being a girl.”

What she wouldn’t say, although she longed to, was that although James had got his precious Oscar nomination, she had tasted something rarer at the height of her career: the crackling, firework heat of genius, an awareness of her skill as tapping into something bigger than a billboard or a trophy. Last year, when she’d made The Canyons with Paul Schrader, and she’d had to play the part of a struggling, frightened actress with a mean streak and a past, there had been moments in which she had felt electric, the old magic creeping in as if it hadn’t ever left. She knew people had mistaken it for the inevitable effect of stunt-casting, but these days it hardly mattered to her what everyone thought. Later, when she’d read that Paul had told an NYT reporter that she had the same mysterious quality as Marilyn Monroe, her heroine, and that it was that ineffable quality that made him willing to direct her even when she behaved badly, she had cried. Lindsay knew that whatever she offered Hollywood was not disposable or easily replaceable; she would bounce back, a little older than before, but still a force. The other thing she would have said to James, if she had only dared to, was that being “immortally young” and “immortally sex” was not a possibility that remained open to an actress, and that this was half the problem. In bare feet, she padded over to the curtains, flung them open, and then flashed a twenty-million-dollar smile, pretending for the briefest moment that the window was a screen.

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