Read The Incredible, Tawdry, And Sad Story Behind Lindsay Lohan's The Canyons

By Katey Rich 2013-01-10 13:34:11discussion comments
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Unit publicists and studios generally work as hard as they can so that no negative information leaks out about a film, ever. There are entire armies of people out there to make sure you never know about people partying until 5 a.m. and showing up hungover to set, or about directors and their screaming matches, or any of the various awful and hilarious things that can happen on a movie set. This information gets out there, of course, but it usually represents a chink in the armor of the carefully controlled security a director and studio set up around their production.

But The Canyons, which stars Lindsay Lohan and porn star James Deen, is far from your usual studio production. It's not coming from a studio at all, funded by director Paul Schrader, writer Bret Easton Ellis, and a Kickstarter campaign. And for whatever reason, Schrader decided it was a good idea to give New York Times author Stephen Rodrick full access to the production, from the moment Schrader met with Lohan and promised he wouldn't try to sleep with her to the last day on set, when Lohan sweet-talked the paparazzi to try to get away with shooting in a mall for free.

It's an incredible story, and you absolutely must read it in full here. It's the kind of wild, frustrating Hollywood story you usually only hear years after everyone has moved on, and provides not just insight into how a master like Schrader works within a tiny budget, but Lohan herself, and the public breakdown that even she recognizes as sad. Lohan clearly infuriated everyone she worked with, Deen and Schrader included, but Rodrick includes many remarkable moments of pathos, like this description of Lohan gearing up for a particularly emotional scene:

All that remained was to get a close-up of Deen touching Lohan’s face with a blood-streaked finger. Only half of Lohan’s face would be in the shot. Most actresses would pop in some Visine to well their eyes with tears and be done with it. Instead, Lohan went back to her room, and everyone waited.

I was standing by her door, and soon I could hear her crying. It began quietly, almost a whimper, but rose to a guttural howl. It was the sobbing of a child lost in the woods.

She came out of her room, and I watched the shot on a monitor. Now, without the garish makeup, Lohan looked sadly beautiful, and it was easy to see why men like Schrader were willing to put their lives in her hands. The camera rolled, and Deen moved in slowly to touch her face. Then Schrader cursed.

“That blood looks completely fake. It’s supposed to look hours old, and it looks fresh. We’ll have to fix it in post. We’re done.”

That plus the story of Steven Soderbergh offering to help edit the film, Lohan's "inner ear infection" as a result of partying all night with Lady Gaga, and Deen's admission that he has no idea how many women he's had sex with-- it's a True Hollywood Story about a movie nobody has seen yet. You don't get stories like this very often, so enjoy it.
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