Lindsay Lohan on 'The Tonight Show': 'I'm a fighter. And I know I have to work to gain the respect back.'

Lindsay-Lohan-Leno

Image Credit: Paul Drinkwater/NBC

During his interview with Lindsay Lohan on The Tonight Show, Jay Leno told the star that Jane Fonda, among others, considered Lohan one of the best actresses she’s worked with. Well, that’s certainly true if she was anything less than genuine during her sit-down, in which Lohan spoke about her troubled past and current legal issues. Because I’m convinced: This time around, Lohan really is ready to turn over a new leaf. Though Leno spoke briefly to Lohan about her upcoming role as Kim Gotti in Gotti: Three Generations, it didn’t take long for the Tonight Show host to talk about Lohan’s well-publicized problems. While discussing Lohan’s love for The Godfather and her meeting Gotti as a toddler, Leno quipped, “Hanging out with John Gotti when you’re three. That’s a bad decision. That could be why you’re in so much trouble now.” (Lohan’s response: “Oh, thank you. I was waiting for that to come up.”)

What followed was an honest conversation about the actress’ past — and how much she’s looking towards a positive future. Of course, it was impossible to ignore the fact that on Friday, Lohan was sentenced to 120 days in jail for violating her probation (something she called “a wake-up call”), but still, Lohan told Leno that she’s taking responsibility for her actions, and is aware that she has plenty to prove within the industry. (Essentially, she echoed her statements to Extra in March.) “I made a lot of poor decisions in the past,” she said. “And I’m dealing with the consequences of those decisions. So, yeah, there were times when I was concerned [about getting work], but I’m a fighter. And I know I have to work to gain the respect back. And I’m willing to do the work that I have to do to follow through with being an actress.” Lohan also discussed her family support system (she told Leno, “My mom is amazing”… but refused to discuss her father), the fairness of her sentence (“I think I was treated the way I should be treated”), and her poor decision-making skills as a teen: “I think that being young and being in the position that I was in, you don’t really take the time to appreciate what you have. And it all is kind of a whirlwind and people make decisions for you. But I’m not a kid anymore. I’m 24. I’ve made a lot of mistakes, and I recognize that. But I’m in the clear now.”

That being said, it’s easy to see how some may think Lohan wasn’t quite being contrite. After all, she did joke about her day in court on Friday, telling Leno it took place on “Good Friday. Not so good for me!” (I’d prefer to think that if Lohan doesn’t laugh, she cries.) But it was also easy to be nostalgic viewing the interview, especially when Leno showed a photo of the actress on The Tonight Show when she was 12 years old. Plenty of us fans would like to think that somewhere in the troubled 20-something actress is some leftover spirit and enthusiasm that that little adorable girl who starred in The Parent Trap exhibited way back when. And we’d like to remain optimistic: Here’s hoping that six years from now, we won’t laugh at where Lohan is claiming she’d like to be in 2017: “Hopefully sitting here after I’ve won an Oscar.”

So PopWatchers, after that interview, do you have sympathy for Lohan? Or have you given up on her?

Follow Kate on Twitter @KateWardEW

Read more:
Lindsay Lohan receives a standing ovation on ‘Tonight Show’
Lindsay Lohan’s grand felony theft charge reduced to misdemeanor, but she’s sentenced to 120 days in jail for probation violation
Lindsay Lohan: 18 Highs and Lows

Comments (105 total) Add your comment
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  • Jase

    I like her. And when she’s interviewed and when she speaks she always comes across as self aware and relatively intelligent. Unfortunately her actions never reflect that. I hope she really puts this behind her and can move on.

    • Tom

      oh you play bass drum too?

    • Chyna

      Yup. And packs mucho carpet in her lunch box

    • Summer Bay

      Why is she wearing something from Joan Collin’s Dynasty wardrobe.

    • Le HIROSHI

      @KATE,

      - -

      Thanks for the up.

      - -

      “So PopWatchers, after that interview, do you have sympathy for Lohan? Or have you given up on her?”

      - -

      Well, not exactly; but I’m also singin’ Rick Ashley’s too. : ) To be honest; too many shadows thrown, some habits usually found hard to change overnight, the list going on and on, I think as long as she stops throwing shadows and stays clean, serious with her career, and remains kawaii as usual, I’m fine with it.

      - -

      I’m not expecting another Mother Teresa. . .

      - -

      PS: Anyway, IMO, this whole segment was a bit lame; I’m one of the hesitant fans, but for some reason, it sounded like a work to me. On a side note: I’ve got a feeling that DAVE didn’t kiss aXX; that’s why some people kept throwin’ shadows at him. Just say’n.

      • Peter Thompson

        DAVE? as in David Letterman.? That is the NBC late night show with Jay Leno….dumbo.

    • Yanni

      I pray for the day that Michael Lohan runs over Dina in the driveway and in his haste to leave the crime scene—drives straight into the path of an oncoming semi.

      For Lindsay, that will be a good day.

    • Suncatcher

      Actions speak louder than words…

    • jen

      you like her? Are you her drug dealer?

    • Loyalty

      Really Lindsey thinks she just needs to work hard to get her respect back. WOW!!! she is in denial. How about not sticking “it” up your nose and smelling the “roses”. Or was it the “liquid” refreshment that had brought her down. Yikes Jay . . . why have her on . . did you try to raise money for her bail. Tonight Show – ugh . . . never again.

      • Peter Thompson

        I think as insulting as you are you did make a correct statement. You don’t talk about gaining respect back. It happens when and if you (I’m referring to the guest on the show or any person) speak of it or not.

  • Zach

    Other than the silly Oscar comment, I have to admit (and I’m not a fan of Lindsay since she started screwing up) that she answered everything the way she should have.

    • Ben

      She obviously has very good PR coaches.

  • Jacob

    I’m always willing to give troubled folks a chance to come back, because while that experience isn’t at all desirable, it can lead to a bright future. See Robert Downey Jr.

    • Rebekah

      Exactly. And that’s a good example. Also see: Drew Barrymore. Being a child star, she went through a crazy phrase with drugs and drinking. She, too, has come out on the other side–better, healthier and more successful. I hope Lindsey can do that, too.

      • tarc

        There are so many exmaples of kids that get too successful early and don’t have a proper support system to keep then from getting to wild. Often the most talented ones make it through, but many certainly don’t. I think Lohan has a bright future if she can make it out of this rough adolescence.

    • Sara

      Thank you for saying that. I agree. Basically, I feel like public negativity makes it harder for people in her kind of position to get back on track. And frankly, I can’t think of a justification for being part of the problem. I would be interested to see if anyone could.

      • Miss Talk

        I beg to differ.
        If you are a celebrity, there will always be someone in the room to give you a helping hand. Always. Robert Downey Jr, Drew Barrymore, Chris Brown, Michael Vick, Tiger Woods, R. Kelly, Mickey Rourke, even Britney Spears, the list is full of people who have comitted career-suicide once, a couple or numerous times. Lindsay could always find a young screenwriter in search of some exposure and work with him. The opportunities are there, awaiting for her.
        As far as I’m concerned, up to this point, I don’t really care if Lindsay has a movie coming out tomorrow or not, I just want to see her name making the headlines without words like DUI, ankle bracelet, jailtime and trial following right behind. Get your act together, show up at work, get there on time, be professionnal and the rest will follow. If she tries to put herself in a better place and to live a better life – for herself, not for the audience – there’s no reason the public would rule her work out. Drew Barrymore proved that.

      • whatevs

        RDJ, Drew, and Mickey are the only valid and sincere comebacks on your list.

  • ctkat1

    She really, really needs to stop talking about an Oscar- there is so much ground she needs to cover before she’s even in the realm of getting an Oscar-worthy role that it makes her seem really delusional. Some thoughts should really stay in your head!

    • Zach

      That is the gospel truth. Disregarding whether she has the talent or the potential to ever land such a meaty role, she would never win a popular vote anyway — unless she turns Angelina Jolie.

      • tarc

        And as Robert Downey has shown, talented people get a huge amount of leniency for past mistakes. I think of Lohan straightens up, there is nothing in the way of future success.

      • Zach

        Yeah, but Lindsay without being a clear drug addict, and also without the kind of early critical success RDJ had, has angered the public so much with her repeated offenses. If she were to ever land a meaty role and perform it well, I could just see her losing the Oscar Mickey Rourke-style even if she is worthy.

    • Big Walt

      Heaven forbid she aspire to win the highest award for her profession. How dare her!

    • Peter Thompson

      I’d agree. It was Jay that simply asked her what up in five/six years and in her shoes most young actors would’ve said that.

  • RayT

    I’m pulling for Lindsay because she definitely is a talented actress but she needs to distance herself completely from her insane family if she ever wants a chance at being stable and functional. Why does it not surprise me that Dina Lohan introduced her three-year-old daughter to John Gotti?!

    • JackieB

      Why do people keep saying she’s talented, and compare her to Robert Downey Jr? In what world has she proven herself to be talented? Sure, she was talented for an 11-year old in the Parent Trap or whatever. Now she’s just gotten too many chances on publicity. Go away Lindsay.

      • Gina

        Agree – since then it has been slight variations of the same character with very little depth or nuance.

      • Big Walt

        Are you serious?!?!? Haven’t you seen, I Know Who Killed Me. She’s brilliant!!

      • anotherOppinion

        Finally, I thought I was the only person on the planet who thought Lindsey was not a HUGE talent. A good child actor at best, in roles that were not particularly challenging. Tatum O’Neil, Jodie Foster, Elizabeth Taylor, those are talented child actors, Lindsey was good and were it not for her lifestyle which made her famous, she probably would be just where she is now professionally.

  • j

    oscar?!? keep dreaming lindsay… man she still doesnt get it. girl u need to get down to your high horse and realize ur just a has-been and the closer your gonna get to oscar is nowhere. shes surely is dense.

    • Sara

      Not to throw stones or anything, but do you realize how ridiculous it looks to talk about high horses and being dense with the kind of spelling you exhibited? I’ll make you a deal: I’ll give you the benefit of the doubt, if you do the same for her.

      • Zach

        honestly you are being harsh sara. some ppl have better things to do than type with perfect spelling & grammar on msg boards, and yet their comments, if eloquent and meaningful enough, are still worth reading. there were no misspellings in j’s message as a texter would write it anyway. don’t blame j, blame the system.

      • @Zach

        I’ll bet you also think it’s all right for “singers” to use auto-tuning.

      • whatevs

        How can you possibly think a comment is eloquent with bad spelling and grammar? You are right about one thing; Americans seem to think there are better things to do than do things correctly. Ugh.

      • RyRyNYC

        Hahaha… Whatevs for the winning statement.

      • Zach

        I don’t think this one was particularly eloquent, and no, I hate autotuning. But really, the first poster didn’t say anything that bad or unintelligible that (s)he deserved the petty response from Sara criticizing his/her words rather than his/her ideas. Come on now, we’ve all seen much worse postings on this site.

      • anotherOpinion

        oh man, I spelled opinion wrong up above, does that mean I cannot have one? and then I misspelled Lindsay as Lindsey. I didn’t capitalize my a at the beginning of this sentence, this is too much pressure.

      • Kat

        @anotherOpinion – it’s not that you can’t have an opinion if you express it poorly….the original criticism was that it was a bit rich for someone who cannot write in proper English to call someone else “dense.”

      • Peter Thompson

        Hurrah Sara. She is very talented and smart. I believe she’ll do well in her future. Give her that chance and she may surprise you.

  • zarah

    In the clear?? You are going to JAIL you idiot!! She’s still delusional and still acting like she’s the victim.

    • tarc

      If you saw the clip, she certainly didn’t do either of the things you mentioned. Perhaps reading and interpreting video is too complex?

      • Zoe

        Nice to see you posting here, Dina.

  • annie

    Kim Kardashian will win an Oscar before Lindsay does.

    • Buffy Freak

      I don’t know…Hollywood just LOVES comeback stories and if Lindsay gives even just a good performance I could see her being nominated or even winning an Oscar. Not saying she would deserve it…personally I think she’s just an okay actress with kind of limited range. But with the right role it’s possible. I don’t think anyone had Julia Roberts or Sandra Bullock or Reese Witherspoon as locks for Oscars.

  • snapcracklepop

    she’s really talented but films are expensive and producers won’t cast her if they feel there is any chance she is not a safe bet. it’s gonna take a lot of time, but i hope she doesn’t give up and that she makes it through.

    • Gary Coleman

      Oh yaayyyy what a wonderful interview. So hard hitting, as only Leno can do. I really wish she would do interviews like this all the time. Like every other night. You know, because we haven’t seen enough of her and her talent. I can’t wait for her to get back to making movies. This Gotti project sounds like a real winner. I mean between her, Travolta & Pesci, over the last few years they have put out some really, really quality work. Please go on imdb and just look at those film titles and revel in how great these films are. ‘I Know You Kiled Me’; ‘Battlefield Earth’ Be still my beating heart, just can’t wait.

      • Val

        Hard-hitting? Are you kidding? The whole thing was so obviously set up for her to do a public mea culpa that would get back to the court before her appeal. The questions and answers were all clearly rehearsed in advance.

      • Buffy Freak

        @Val..I’m pretty sure Gary Coleman was being sarcastic.

      • Brett

        Gary, I voted for you for Governor. So sorry to hear of your recent demise.

      • Zombie Gary Coleman

        I voted for val.

      • Peter Thompson

        Sometimes interviews are set up….and questions out of the blue are not.

  • Zoe

    Why do people act like she had this huge successful career that she derailed? She had one hit movie that she was good in – Mean Girls. And she was overshadowed in that by her costars Rachel McAdams, Amanda Seyfried and Lizzie Caplan who have all gone on to have far better careers than her.

    • Jase

      She had hits with The Parent Trap and Freaky Friday as well, and Herbie: Fully Loaded was hardly a flop. Also while Amanda Seyfried may be a big star now she hardly overshadowed Lindsay in Mean Girls. When you’re being cast in movies with Meryl Streep and Jane Fonda I would say you have a pretty successful career. So yes, she DID have a successful career that derailed.

      • tarc

        And while Rachel McAdams has probably eclipsed Lohan’s career at this point, the others certainly haven’t.

      • Macaulay Culkin

        Hahaha she was 12 yrs old when she did Parent Trap & Freaky Friday! But you do raise a strong point that the world is clamoring for a Herbie sequel. Watch that ‘Georgia Rules’ movie; nothing like a good old incest/rape comedy to bring laughter to the movie world.

      • JackieB

        Herbie was a Disney movie (hardly because of her it was a success).
        Freaky Friday was good, but it’s the same character she’s played in Mean Girls and every other movie. Mean Girls was good because of the writer, Tina Fey.

      • Zoe

        You’re right, tarc. A drug addict criminal and Razzie winner like Lindsay has such a better career than Caplan – a well liked actress and the star of a critically acclaimed tv show – and Seyfried who is one of the most in demand young actresses in hollywood.

      • Trigg Palin

        A successful film/TV career exhibits consistently booking work, box office earnings, TV ratings, and positive critical & public reviews. Lindsay did a couple of movies as a child that were good, followed by nearly a decade horrible turds & razzies. I think it is safe to say everyone in the Mean Girls cast has been more successful than Lindsay.

    • jen

      Because the people defending her are brainless drones who worship people for one reason – because they are famous.

  • Niko

    ass kissing interview
    nothing more

    • Macaulay Culkin

      You’re right. It was a perfect fit – Leno’s gianormous head/jaw straight up Lilo’s vast cavernous bungholio

  • Johanna (Pure Swedish Perfection)

    I hope Lindsay Lohan does more mainstream movies from now on starting with Gotti: Three Generations (2013) and that she finally stops fooling around like she has been doing for the last six years.
    Perhaps if she did some theatre now, she could finally turn her life around for good. Oh, God, the only thing that’s going through my head to describe it is, it’s like sex with an orgasm at the end of it! Whereas film is like you have sex but you never get the orgasm. A lot of stopping and starting but… oh, I wish I hadn’t said that.

    • Yeah Right

      Keira Knightly was the one who originally said that. Comparing acting to orgasms. What a random ass quote to steal you weirdo.

  • Cartman

    I can tell she is just itching for a nice fat line of blow.

    • Macaulay Culkin

      Off your butt crack, fat boy

      • Cartman

        There’s a reason you’re home alone.

  • Haywood Jablowmi

    Why can’t this douche just go away? If not forever, how about just for a little while? A year? Six months? Really, it’s great you want to get better & take responsibility… and we really wish you well… could you just do it somewhere else where no one has to see or hear you? Please

  • BigYalie

    Lohan would find more sympathy from the public if she would admit that her drug and alcoholic problems were the main cause for her erratic behaviour. Simply stating that she made “bad decisions” is avoiding the issue as if one made bad investments on the stock market. Over the last year, she’s even begun use cosmetic enhancements to alter her lips – and she’s only 24 – so that she can have that wonderfully attractive Meg Ryan frozen face look. Strange how certain female celebrities think that look is attractive or will make directors want to work with her. I don’t know one director who would hire her today.

    • tarc

      Since she just got two new jobs…

    • Cartman

      Ben Dover from the porn series would hire her. I’m looking forward to her new career in gonzo porn.

      • Ghost of Pia

        Free Lindsay!

      • Brett

        Lindsay’s not free. She usually demands a pretty high price to make appearances at the clubs from which she’s stumbled out of at 2 in the morning.

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