FREAKY FRIDAY - Q&A with Lindsay Lohan
At age 17, Lindsay Lohan knows all about the challenges of being a teen - fitting in, dealing with parents, getting through school and, of course, coping with boys. But what she didn't know was what it took to be a parent - something she learned firsthand as Anna Coleman, a 15 year-old aspiring musician who is forced to spend a day in her mother's body in the surprisingly funny new film FREAKY FRIDAY. Anna's mother is played by Jamie Lee Curtis, and she likewise gets an eye-opening lesson in what Anna has been telling her all along - that being a teen isn't easy. A New York native, whose previous film was THE PARENT TRAP, in which she played twin sisters, Lohan is still at school but is anxious to blaze her own trail as both an actress and a singer. She talked to us about her first on-screen kiss, playing guitar and being a self-confessed drama queen.
In terms of personality, are you anything like Anna, the character you play in FREAKY FRIDAY?
I think Anna is really different from me because she kind of keeps everything inside. Rather than saying how she feels and confiding in people, she turns to her music. But she has a lot of anger in her because her father passed away and her mother is getting remarried, so it's hard for her to deal with that.
Why do you think girls your age often find themselves battling with their mothers?
Because they want to do things that aren't necessarily appropriate for their age and they want to grow up really fast. Girls my age hide things from their parents and I think it's important to speak to your parents and let them know what's going on. It's like you always want what you can't have and with teen girls, if their parents are saying they can't do certain things, they're going to want to do them more.
What kind of relationship do you have with your mother?
My mom and I have always gotten along. Sometimes I don't want to go by what she says and want to experience it on my own and make my own mistakes and then realize what I've done wrong, which isn't necessarily the best way to go.
Would you ever want to be your mom for a day, like your character in the movie?
I think I am my mom. We're so similar; she even looks like me - but with blonder hair. She's really cool. But I don't think I could be her for a day because there are four kids in my family and it'd be too much work for me. My sister is 9, my brother is 7, and the other one is 15, but the two little ones are just a nightmare. I love them to death and they're the cutest things in the world, but they just don't stop. I think this movie will help teens appreciate what their parents do because I never really took the time to realize how much my mom does in a day, between getting us all to school and running around town. So it's a good movie for mothers and daughters to see together, as well as fathers and daughters because my character is accepting a new father figure into the family.
Do you get along with your dad?
I do. In fact, it's sometimes easier to get along with your dad because moms tend to want to know more. My dad isn't going to ask about guys and stuff like that. He doesn't want to know. If he sees them near me, then he'll want to know. It's different with mother-daughter relationships because my mom has done what I've done and she's been where I am, so she knows what's going on. So for me to hide something from her would just be stupid.
Talking about guys, you have your first onscreen kiss in this movie. How nervous were you about locking lips with Chad Michael Murray?
I was SO nervous because it's kissing someone I don't know extremely well who's a good-looking, 21 year-old guy, and you have to do it in front of 100 people on the set. So I talked to Chad and I was like, "Listen. I'm really nervous. You might not be nervous because you've done it before, but I'm really nervous. Just know that." And it worked out. We shot that scene for two days straight. He's really good looking, so it wasn't bad, you know what I mean? I know a lot of girls who are obsessed with Chad, so that was a huge plus for me. And he's really sweet too.
What sorts of qualities do you look for in a guy you'd like to date?
It depends. For me, it's all about connecting on a certain level with someone and you don't really know if you're going to just by seeing what they look like in a magazine. It's not all about looks. If I like someone, I don't pay attention to them at all. I don't know why. I'm kind of mean to them in a way, and that's really bad.
Is it hard for you to meet people to date because you're in the movie business?
If there's an actor who I think is really good looking and he's very well known, it can be intimidating. But the second you let the person know that you're a little intimidated, they're going to run with it, so I try not to make it an intimidating experience. It's nerve-racking when there's a guy you like and you don't know what to say. But that's the fun thing about growing up. You learn how to deal with certain situations.
Were you at all nervous when you found out that you were going to be singing in the film?
At the time I was like, "Wow. I can't believe they're going to let me sing. This is really cool." I wasn't originally set to sing in the movie because they didn't know I sang at all. The song was intended for whoever was the lead in the band, and that was Kelly Osbourne at the time. But when that didn't happen, I was like, "I can sing." So they let me perform and it was a lot of fun.
You also had to learn to play the guitar, right?
I really wanted to learn to play - I didn't want to just fake it. Guitar is something that I've always been interested in, so when I had the chance to learn, I figured, why not take it? For the movie I only learned how to play the solos, but hopefully when I have time I'll start playing again.
Did you try to model your character's singing persona after anyone in particular?
The person I based my character on is Avril Lavigne. So whenever I was playing the guitar, that's who I tried to think of, just 'cause she has a coolness about her that was perfect for Anna. And girls my age can relate because Avril's someone everyone knows.
So is this the beginning of a music career for you?
It's something I've always wanted to do, and it's always been a question of which do I want to pursue first - music or acting? But acting is where my audience is right now and that's where I started. So in this movie people will see that I can sing and I think it's important to show people that I can do other things. It used to be that entertainers had to be a triple threat - they had to sing, dance and act. Now if people are acting and they want to sing, it's a big deal. But I've been working on my singing for the last two years, doing demos and trying to find my style. It's all about timing 'cause there's a lot of other girls coming out right now and I have a few other films that I'm going to be doing.
Are you still in school? Any plans to go to college?
I just started home schooling this year. After FREAKY FRIDAY, it was too difficult going back and forth and dealing with the teachers at school. As for college, I wanted to study law, but then I wouldn't be able to focus on acting at all. I haven't been home to actually sit down and talk to my parents about it, but I will eventually.
What can you tell us about your next film, CONFESSIONS OF A TEENAGE DRAMA QUEEN?
The title explains the movie. It's about a girl who changes high schools and she's very eccentric and wants to be in theater and get the lead role, and there's this mean girl in school who just assumes she's weird because she dresses different. So she sneaks off one night to go meet this rock star who she's been in love with and who lives in the city and they end up getting arrested. But it's a really fun movie and it's great for girls my age as well as younger girls because it shows how girls really are in high school. It shows that, to an extent, you should always stay your age for as long as you can because it goes by so fast. I've just started realizing that.
Did you go through your own teenage drama queen phase?
Definitely! I look back and I hate how I was in the seventh grade. I was so into pleasing everyone and dressing a certain way. It was just like a huge fashion thing back then because at my school it was grades seven through 12, so we were in school with seniors and that was very intimidating. You tend to grow up really fast when you're around older kids, and I definitely went through a drama queen phase. I'm still going through it!
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