This Sunday's New York Times Magazine features a long piece by Stephen Rodrick about the filming of The Canyons, a low-budget make-it-or-break-it movie written by faded provocateur Bret Easton Ellis, directed by faded auteur Paul Schrader, and starring none other than faded sweetheart Lindsay Lohan (and porn star James Deen). It is a fascinating, Premiere-magazine-in-the-'90s look at the filmmaking process and at Lohan's mercurial work ethic. You must give the entire thing a read, but in case you just don't have time today (it's long), here are our favorite selections.
Schrader's excellent anecdote about George C. Scott:
Schrader is convinced he can manage Lohan. He thinks he has seen it all. Thirty years ago, he directed an alcoholic George C. Scott in Hardcore. One day, Scott wouldn’t come out of his trailer. He called Schrader into his booze-soaked sanctuary. “You’re a great screenwriter but the world’s worst goddamned director,” Scott said. “Promise me you’ll never direct another movie, and I’ll come out.” Schrader dropped to his knees and promised. A few weeks later, Scott read in the trades that Schrader was going to direct American Gigolo. Next time he saw Schrader, he bellowed, “You’re a liar.”
The best Lindsay Lohan descriptor we've read in some time:
The first child of a drug-abusing, felonious stock trader and a failed dancer…
The first sign of trouble, at a table read:
Schrader gave her an impatient paternal look and then started talking about the film. But Ellis and [costar Nolan] Funk were distracted. Across the table, Funk could see that his name had been crossed out in Lohan’s script and underneath were the names of three or four actors as possible replacements. Ellis saw that Deen’s name also had a line through it.
A few hours later, the production broke for lunch. Lohan announced she wanted to grab a bite somewhere on the Pacific Coast Highway. This concerned Pope and Schrader — they could monitor her only as long as they could see her — so they dispatched the co-producer, Ricky Horne Jr., to chauffeur [Lindsay's publicist Steve] Honig, Lohan and her assistants to wherever they wanted to go. Horne drove [Lindsay and company] down the hill, pausing at a security gate. That’s when his passengers did a jailbreak, jumping out of his car. Honig frantically pushed buttons until the gate opened and the four of them dashed for Lohan’s assistant’s car. Horne sat, baffled for a moment, before heading back up the hill and briefing Schrader. The director was furious.
A difficult sex scene:
Another hour passed, and Lohan eventually moved to the bed but wouldn’t remove her robe. Schrader worried that the early-morning sunlight would begin streaming through the house. He thought of sending everyone home. But then he realized that there was one thing he hadn’t yet tried. He stripped off all of his clothes. Naked, he walked toward Lohan.
Lindsay on the state of things:
“I’ve got one assistant passed out at my house and the other one in the Palisades saying he wants to hang himself. Life’s great.”
A day on the town:
That’s when things started to get really weird. Lady Gaga was now staying at the Chateau, and that wasn’t great news for “The Canyons.” Lohan missed her morning call, and then she left the shoot for lunch with friends, running up a $600 tab on sushi, sake and vodka.
Weighing in on another director:
Schrader was already scouting the location by the time Lohan arrived at the suite with her entourage. She smiled and waved to everyone and then noticed a magazine with Oliver Stone on the cover. She picked it up and ripped it into pieces, cursing. (Lohan had been considered for a role in Stone’s “Savages,” but the director eventually passed.) She then went into the bedroom, calling out, “Does anyone want a beer?”
And finally, some bad reviews:
Inevitably, our conversation turned back to Lohan. He showed the film to Lindsay and her mother, Dina, in October at his New York City apartment. They were both so furious about how the camera lingered on Deen that Schrader had to move Dina to another room to get through the screening.