At the 2007 San Diego Comic Con to promote the upcoming release of The Spiderwick Chronicles, director Mark Waters spoke candidly about the trouble his Freaky Friday and Mean Girls star Lindsay Lohan has recently been in due to bad choices and bad behavior. Waters pointed out that Lohan was very professional on both the Freaky Friday and Mean Girls sets. “I mean she was younger then and so and she actually, on Freaky Friday, her parents were staying with her and so it’s kind of like when you leave a kid alone…I went away to college and got drunk every night and woke up with a hangover, but there was no paparazzi waiting outside my door and nobody waiting on a film set tapping their foot going like, ‘Why is Waters not here?,’ since I was a dumb kid in college with no money. So when you’re making a lot of money and people are spending a lot of money relying on you, it’s a different story. I wish her well. I think eventually because she is good, she will get around to working again. She’s still so young, only 21. We’ll see…”
But Waters wasn’t ready to say yes to the question of whether he’d hire her again. “At this moment in time, I’m certainly not going to be seeking her out until she gets her personal life in order and grows up enough to the point she feels like she’s in a place she can work again,” said Waters.
“It’s unfortunate,” said Waters of Lohan’s recent stint in rehab and her arrest for driving under the influence and possession of a controlled substance. “She’s, unlike other celebrities in the news going to jail, she’s actually somebody who’s got verifiable talent, and actually is good at what she does.”
Waters pointed out that Lohan has already proven she can act. “Britney Spears as well, these are people who are really talented people, and it’s a shame they’re not like doing their work. It’s one of the things people don’t appreciate when you establish success that young, that it is work. But you’re really, really lucky to have the chance to do work that is so creative and so fun. In a way it’s because things happen to them so fast and so easily, they don’t value it or respect it as much.”
Asked if he believes the press is partly to blame for the celebrity obsessed culture we find ourselves living in, Waters jokingly replied, “It’s all on you at the end of the day.” On a more serious note Waters added, “You can kind of like see the paparazzi and trust me, with certain actors who will remain nameless, I’ve seen them walk past a swarm of paparazzi, see that they weren’t noticed, come back out, and kind of like, 'Hey! Oh geez,’ and then kind of run back in. Either you want the attention, if you don’t you don’t. Like Reese Witherspoon doesn’t want the attention and Reese Witherspoon they get pictures of her at Starbucks or walking her daughter to church and eventually they’re like, ‘Well, let’s just stop taking pictures of Reese Witherspoon. She’s not doing anything.’ So if you don’t want to attract the attention, you don’t have to attract the attention. But if you crave the attention, believe me, they’re there to snap it for you.”
Is a comeback possible? Waters truly believes Lohan can pull herself out of this tailspin. “Yes. I mean unfortunately, on a business level, most companies aren’t willing to take the chance on making a movie with somebody who’s unreliable. But if you look at today, Robert Downey Jr. is the lead in Iron Man and Robert Downey Jr., we remember is like, there’s nobody better than Robert Downey Jr. in the whole world. He’s like this phenomenal actor and he’s playing this huge part in this huge movie and it’s because he got his act together. So talent will win out if you can actually kind of prove that you are truly committed.”