To says there was some drama involved with Lindsay Lohan's upcoming Lifetime biopic Liz & Dick would be an understatement. A big one.
"Producing a movie with Lindsay is not for the faint of heart," executive producer Larry Thompson told reporters during a Wednesday morning conference call. "I turned 50 shades of white actually during the production."
Even before the film—in which Lohan stars as Elizabeth Taylor—started shooting last summer, though, Thompson acknowledged that hiring the troubled actress came with several strings.
"We had serious challenges to deal with due to her probation and her history," said Thompson. "Therefore we had to make a deal where there were pages and pages of ‘what if' clauses. There never was a ‘what if she can act' clause. It was about, ‘What if there is a car accident? What if there is a violation of her probation [and she's] incarcerated?' Those ‘what ifs' were plenty. She might be the most insured actress who ever walked on a soundstage. We tried to insure ourselves against things that could and, in fact, did happen."
When Lohan was involved in a well-publicized car accident last June while filming Liz & Dick, the production was forced to take an insurance day. "I was financially at risk myself," said the producer, who added that Lohan was apologetic. "It was a challenge."
Still, the veteran producer had only kind words to say about the actress' performance, which he called "truly riveting." "Overall, my gosh, relative to the performance we got and the movie we were able to make because of her, the pain was worth the pleasure. And the audience is going to benefit from the risk we took and the reward that was gained."
In fact, he believes that Lohan's performance will remind people why she became a star in the first place. "I know there are a lot of people out there who are naysayers," Thompson said, "And I think they're gonna be shocked—and people who have believed in her, their belief is gonna be vindicated."
"People will see that Grant Bowler as Richard Burton just steals your heart and Lindsay Lohan breaks it," added the producer. "I'm guardedly optimistic that the public will like the movie very much. I believe if everybody takes a deep breath and focuses on her artistry instead of her antics, they will enjoy a pretty riveting movie."
Liz & Dick premieres Sunday, November 25, at 9 PM on Lifetime.