Lindsay Lohan returns to reality TV with a show ‘about me as a businesswoman’
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NEW YORK — Lindsay Lohan wants you to know she’s different now.
It’s a word she trots out a couple of dozen times over the course of a half-hour interview, describing her newfound peace since relocating from Los Angeles to Dubai, a “silent, safe place” for the once-embattled actress-turned-entrepreneur, where paparazzi are mercifully banned.
“I feel like I can actually breathe,” says Lohan, 32, sitting in a SoHo hotel suite sprinkled with publicists and half-eaten food on a gloomy November evening. “Mentally, my health is different. Everything is just different. … It’s a different kind of power that I’ve gained, just taking myself out of every [negative] situation that I used to constantly be in.”
MTV’s “Lindsay Lohan’s Beach Club,” premiering at 7 p.m. Tuesday, aims to show just how much the “Mean Girls” star has grown since her last reality TV outing: OWN’s short-lived 2014 series “Lindsay,” which charted her post-rehab recovery and first career comeback attempt with Oprah Winfrey’s guidance.
The new show sidesteps her personal life entirely. Instead, cameras follow Lohan as she expands her European nightclub empire to Mykonos, Greece, with the launch of a luxury beach club. Like Bravo’s “Vanderpump Rules,” the series gives viewers a first-hand look at what it’s like to manage a bar and restaurant as Lohan and her right-hand man, Panos Spentzos, train and oversee VIP hosts and staff. In the first episode, for instance, Lohan gently scolds her new recruits for drinking all the club’s alcohol.
“The show’s really about me as a businesswoman and me learning how to run this business,” Lohan says. Her employees share equal screen time because “it’s not that fun to watch me all the time — it’s more fun to see the real stuff that I do. Now you get to see it, so it’s a script that I get to direct.”
“Beach Club” is the former child star’s latest effort to rewrite the salacious narrative that has followed her since the late 2000s, when she became tabloid fodder for her arrests and nights partying with former pals Paris Hilton and Nicole Richie. Now, the only people she keeps in touch with from her past are Winfrey and “Freaky Friday” co-star Jamie Lee Curtis, with whom she checks in every so often for advice.
“I’m a homebody. I find more joy cooking and watching movies” with friends, says Lohan, who spent a rare weekend in New York with sister Ali, brother Michael Jr. and mom Dina. She would like to do more movies — Martin Scorsese, Steven Spielberg and Bradley Cooper are on her directors wish list — but prefers working overseas, taking roles in Season 2 of “Sick Note,” which aired in the U.K. last year, and the upcoming film “Frame,” which will shoot in Saudi Arabia.
Acting “scared me for a long time, because every time I was doing a movie, people would look at my personal life and that would overshadow the film,” Lohan says. “But [shooting] in London for ‘Sick Note,’ there was no one around and it was great, and I was like, ‘I’m ready to go again.’ I think I just needed a minute.”
Lohan hasn’t entirely escaped controversy: She drew backlash from fans in 2017 for tweets seemingly supporting President Donald Trump (“Everyone’s entitled to their own opinion,” she says now), and last fall for a bizarre Instagram Live video, in which she attempted to “rescue” Syrian refugee children on the street but wound up scuffling with their resistant parents. (“I misinterpreted the situation and learned from my mistake, and that’s all there is to say.”)
Then there was her since-deleted Instagram video defending Harvey Weinstein and comments to London newspaper The Times that women who speak out in the Me Too movement “look weak,” for which she has since apologized. Lohan says she’s a victim of domestic violence, accusing ex-fiance Egor Tarabasov of assaulting her in a video taken on a Mykonos beach in 2016.
“Look, if anyone has gone through being abused, it was me on that beach, and now I own it. That’s my revenge,” says Lohan, who is quickly interrupted by a publicist.
But if there’s one thing she could stress, it’s that “everything I do is with good intentions,” Lohan adds. “I work really hard, and people are always trying to find the negative. I think it’s because people feel like they know me, because I’ve been publicly exposed to the media for most of my life. If there’s something I’m doing wrong and you want to tell me about it, tell me, because I’m just trying to do the best that I can do.”