THE TELEVISION EVENT OF THE YEAR
"LIZ & DICK" WORLD PREMIERE
SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 25 9.8c - LIFETIME
Can you do better than to hire a troubled star, hounded by the paparazzi to play a troubled star who was hounded by the paparazzi?
Probably, but why bother when you’ve got a ringer in the wings who’s already in character?
I’m talking about the casting of Lifetime’s much-hyped movie, “Liz & Dick” airing the Sunday after Thanksgiving.
The film is, of course, about the world’s first paparazzi couple, Liz Taylor and Richard Burton, and stars Lindsay “My Name is Trouble” Lohan as La Liz and Aussie Grant Bowler as Welshy boozer Burton.
The story unfolds during a supposed Liz and Dick TV interview post-second-divorce.
Yes, the couple did, in fact, do a “60 Minutes” interview, and much is taken from that. However, they were still married at the time of that interview.
The episodes in their lives are brought to life as the couple looks back on their insanely passionate, wildly scandalous (the Pope even denounced them), vicious real-life “Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?” coupling.
And it all begins on the set of “Cleopatra,” where they hated each other immediately. A week later, they couldn’t get enough of one another and were running off to rock their trailers between takes.
Lohan, in character as Taylor, is often so believable you might think you’re seeing the real thing, but then every once in a while she’ll backslide and deliver lines that sound DOA.
Not her fault, since Liz’s words in real life were often affected and hammy.
Not that she had anything on her egomaniacal ham of a husband when it came to words.
Bowler has Burton’s words and voice down pat, but are they kidding with that rug? It looks like he’s wearing a yak on his head.
That being said, there are so many things in this movie that are just so damned juicy that it is sure is more fun to watch than the exploits of today’s orchestrated star pairings.
Everything that Taylor-Burton did was gigantic, from making big bombolas like “Cleopatra,” to getting into a vicious public argument at the premiere of “Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?,” while their alter-egos were simultaneously fighting up on the screen.
Both were married when they met — she to singer Eddie Fisher, he to an actress, Sybil Burton.
His handler was his beloved brother, Ifor (David Hunt), hers, her mother, Sara (Theresa Russell). But no one could ever handle either of them very well.
We learn that Liz was 29 when they met, Dick six years her senior. They were married the first time for 12 years, during which they made 40 films. Problem was she won two Oscars and he won none.
It’s all here, the glamour, the fights, the boozing, the obsessiveness and even how she cheated on him with Aristotle Onassis in front of the press, to make him jealous.
She was more conscious of her image than he was. After a tabloid declared her, “Cleo-Fat-Ra” and ex- Fisher did a skit, “Cleo, Nympho of the Nile,” she hired a personal paparazzo to shoot glamorous “candid” pictures of her to release to the papers.
Between fights and suicide attempts on her part, Dick bought her a 68-carat diamond, and she bought him a van Gogh. He called her fat, she called him pockmarked.
Exaggerated? Maybe. But really, it’s almost impossible to top the exaggeration that was real life La Liz and her Dick.
The 'Intense Situation' of Filming 'Liz & Dick'
The premiere of Liz & Dick starring Lindsay Lohan and Grant Bowler is just 10 days away, and Kiwi actor Bowler tells ET that the short shooting schedule of the Lifetime movie about the combustible relationship between Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton helped to create "a very intense situation" to capture "these extremes of human feeling."
"There wasn't a scene between Lindsay and I that was casual, that was, 'Honey, pass the salt,'" says Bowler. "Everything was enormous. Everything was key. These were the great moments into great people's lives. You're living a kind of electric reality if you like – there's tension in the wire all the time -- and I think that really fed into the chemistry between us."
Premiering Sunday November 25 at 9/8c on Lifetime, Liz & Dick chronicles the highly publicized, roller-coaster romance between the Hollywood legends during the filming of the big-budget Cleopatra and other major projects.
"They were the first paparazzi couple; the expression paparazzi was built around this couple," says Grant of the title characters, who flaunted their affair while each was married to someone else. "They refused to hide, and it snowballed, something the likes of which I still don't think we've seen again. I mean, the Pope condemned their relationship."
Of course, the modern-day tabloids had a field day with Lindsay during production of Liz & Dick, claiming that the star would have tantrums on the set, be late, or wouldn't even show up… But how much of it was true? Did Lindsay's offscreen lifestyle mirror the chaos between Burton and Taylor depicted onscreen? Watch the video to find out…
Lindsay Lohan is quite a fit as Elizabeth Taylor, says ‘Liz & Dick’ co-star Grant Bowler
In life and on set, “Liz & Dick” play their roles.
While troubled diva Lindsay Lohan has been canceling interviews to promote Lifetime’s Nov. 25 biopic in which she plays troubled diva Liz Taylor, her ruggedly handsome counterpart is carrying the burden.
“I actually think we had very different work methodologies,” says 44-year-old Grant Bowler, who stars as Richard Burton in the highly anticipated flick.
“My father was a tradesman, so I come at acting from a workman’s point of view. It’s my trade,” he told Confidenti@l in the SoHo hotel where he was staying Thursday.
“I do my work, I do my research, I put in as many hours as I can,” he says. “It’s a paradigm of labor, if you like.”
Not shockingly, Lohan’s approach isn’t so blood, sweat and tears.
“For Lindsay,” Bowler says, “I imagine, and I can only imagine … because she grew up on sets and did her homework on set and fell asleep watching TV waiting to go on set, it’s a much more instinctive process. It’s much more natural to be in the trailer or on set than anywhere else.”
It’s often hard to tell when Bowler is talking about himself and Lohan or Taylor and Burton.
“If you come from a small place where people are conservative and live within their boundaries [as Bowler did in rural New Zealand and Australia and Burton did in Wales], there’s that thing of, ‘Don’t live above yourself, don’t get too big for your boots, don’t ask for too much, don’t be a showoff.’ ”
According to Bowler, “I understand that. I also see a lot of the attraction between him and Taylor.”
Speaking of Taylor — consciously, at least — Bowler says, “She’d been a star since she was a child and had none of those inhibitions. She must’ve seemed like a mythical creature to him. She didn’t care what people thought. She had absolutely no regard for other people’s opinions when they critiqued her.”
Bowler continues: “I know [Burton] must’ve been fascinated and frustrated with her — and her the same with him.”
Without giving details, he smirks and says, “When you’re acting in a movie, those same things go on.”
Lindsay Lohan: New Liz and Dick Clip—Watch Now!
Who's afraid of Lindsay Lohan?
Lifetime sure isn't, and we have an exclusive clip from Liz and Dick to prove it!
In the scene, Richard Burton (Grant Bowler) introduces Elizabeth Taylor to writer Ernest Lehman (Sex and the City's David Eigenberg), who pitches the movie adaptation of Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? to gauge her interest. Liz is instantly intrigued, but is less so when her husband immediately attemps to attach himself to the project alongside her.
Of course, we know Burton does go on to eventually star with his wife in the film, but as the clip below showcases, it was definitely a bumpy road to get there.
Watch the video at the Source