Lindsay,

Being an actress can be a tough occupation, particularly for someone who grows up in the spotlight, but that’s no reason to let your career spiral out of control. Whether it’s mommy trouble, daddy trouble, drug trouble, or mental trouble, it’s never too late to do a turnaround and make a comeback. However, playing a porn star is not the kind of comeback I’m talking about. Whether or not the rumors are true, the mounds of gossip you’re drowning in are not going to dry up by putting Inferno on your resume.

You had such a fantastic start. Not only do you headline The Parent Trap (twice) and share screen time with prominent actors like Dennis Quaid and Natasha Richardson, but you’re excellent in it. You were good, the industry recognized it, and work continued to come your way. You further solidified that bond with Freaky Friday, a grander scale film carried by the natural, genuine chemistry between you and Jamie Lee Curtis. Then it was bye-bye Disney, hello Mean Girls. The Santa’s Little Helper outfit and naughty behavior pushed the boundaries of your good girl image, but, at heart, Cady Heron is just a good girl who loses her way in the high school jungle and your natural talent for playing a fresh-faced young woman makes her an endearing heroine.

If only you had acted like a professional on the set of Georgia Rule. Boyfriend drama or not, being “irresponsible and unprofessional” is unacceptable. Tack on a never-ending war with the tabloids, a miserable performance as a stripper, car crashes and family feuds and Lindsay, you’ve really dug yourself quite a hole. Maybe it’s time to get back to what worked. Yes, an actress needs the range to play the girl next door as well as the local lunatic, but you lost the chance to expand your ability when you became the local lunatic and since then you’ve turned to playing strippers and alcoholics whose lives all too nearly mirror your own.

Lindsay Lohan your career is in the toilet and the reason couldn’t be clearer: You’ve torpedoed it with your deviant behavior on screen and off. You’ve created such a media circus around your antics that it’s impossible to watch you perform without thinking about that revealing photo I caught in the paper, the blurb about how you could be facing jail time or one of your many drunken antics. Playing the naughty girl in real life comes so easily to you, but when you’ve been asked to act naughty, you crash and burn. By branding yourself as the industry wild child, you’ve made it impossible for audiences to disassociate your actual bad behavior with your onscreen actions, making it a struggle to take your bad girl performances seriously. Either clean up your act or go back to the good girl roles, otherwise it’ll always seem as though you’re mocking yourself. It’s an odd paradox, isn’t it?

What you’ve got to do now is reverse that offensive reputation you’ve developed. What’s the opposite of offensive? Wholesome! You need to bring back that normal, relatable, girl next door that we’ve all grown to love. Hallie Parker, Annie James, Anna Coleman, Cady Heron! You need to play a character that audiences can like; that’s part of the reason everyone grew to love you at the start. A likeable character makes a likable actress.

Lucky for you, you’re a downright natural when it comes to playing the good girl, it’s just been awhile since you’ve done it. You have the ability to make an authentic connection to the audience through these good girl characters in a way that they no longer seem like on screen fallacies rather than a person we feel like we’ve known all out lives. It’s time to be that person again for your sake and your fans’.

Don’t let bad reviews get you down, in your case, it’s not all about what the critics say; it’s about how you make your admirers feel. Confessions of a Teenage Drama Queen and Just My Luck may have been trounced by negative reviews, but your target audience consisted of kids and teens too young to hold a bad reviews against the film anyway. They see your name on the poster and they’re sold. Sadly, that wasn’t the case with I Know Who Killed Me. Young women who used to see you as someone they could relate to were left with nothing but a stripper. It’s playing these parts that cut you off from your fan base. At this point, you’re long overdue for a reconnection, and porn is a step in the wrong direction.

I concede that I don’t know the exact direction Inferno will go in but I’m going to go out on a limb and assume that playing Linda Lovelace, history’s most notorious porn star, will put you in compromising positions. Yes, ultimately Lovelace did a 360 and ditched the adult entertainment industry for more noble efforts, namely joining the anti-pornography movement, but it’ll be impossible to gloss over her nakeder days. Again, you could say that you’re merely playing a character, but you’re still representing yourself and your reputation just can’t handle it at this point.

Maybe Inferno is your only option; maybe things are really that bad. That means you have a choice: take what you can get now or hold out for something that could offer more promising long term effects. I’d recommend the latter. What to do while you’re waiting? Go away! And I mean that in a nice way. Go on a vacation. I’m not talking about hanging out in an LA apartment until dad comes looking for you and brings the media circus with him; disappear and spend some time on a remote island in the middle of nowhere. Better to remove yourself from the industry than send yourself further down the bad girl black hole.

If you’re off the radar for long enough, people might actually start to miss you. Wait until you can come back as a good girl and give people something healthy to connect to. If that first step back into the spotlight is the right one, we could be talking Robert Downey Jr.-sized comeback. See? It’s that simple; all you really have to do is sit back, relax and do what comes naturally to you. Get yourself back on track and separate yourself from the mess you’d be leaving behind. We’ll be here for you when you’re ready to do it right.

Best of luck,
Perri

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