American actress Lindsay Lohan isn't 18 until July 2004, but she already shows admirable composure in the spotlight. The star of family-orientated hits like The Parent Trap and Confessions Of A Teenage Drama Queen, she reunites with Freaky Friday director Mark Waters for Mean Girls. A wry but warm-hearted look at the savage world of high school cliques, it was a commercial and critical hit in the US. In addition Lohan recently hosted the MTV Movie Awards.
Were the characters in Mean Girls very recognisable to you?
My character, Cady, especially, although my high school life was the opposite to hers. I went to school and then I switched to home schooling. And it was easier for me that way because I experienced all I wanted to experience of high school and then I wanted to work more.
The changes in your own life must have been pretty momentous in recent years. What's the biggest adjustment you have to make?
What's weird is having people following you during the day just to get a picture. I went shopping recently, my friends came over from New York and I suggested we go to lunch and then go out shopping. We were on Robertson Boulevard where there's always lots of paparazzi, and you literally could not see out the windows because they were filled with guys in black shirts taking pictures. I felt so bad for my friends because they couldn't get to their cars. But it's something different to experience, it's something I've always aspired to do and have, and I love it. I think it's so cool - they want my picture!
Do you remember the first time someone asked you for an autograph?
That happened after I did Parent Trap. People were telling me that I wouldn't be able to go out as much for a little bit, because it would be overwhelming. But I was 13-years-old, I wanted to go to the mall with my friends. There were posters of the movie up all over. Girls my age and younger were coming up to me to get an autograph as well as parents asking for their kids. I didn't know what to do. When I went home I started thinking of different signatures, but then I went back to school after that and forgot about everything. Then I had it all over again for Freaky Friday.
Another theme of Mean Girls is the corrosive nature of gossip. Is that something you've had to get to used to in real life as well?
Recently yeah. People write things all the time. In the States they were writing that I'd had plastic surgery done - I'm 17-years-old, that's ridiculous. It's disgusting. But sometimes it's fun to read obscene things about yourself because you know what's true and what's not.
After so many teen comedies, are you ready now to make the transition to more adult roles?
There's this movie that I'm reading now that I really want to do, about this girl who has an abortion. But if I lose my virginity in a film on screen, I can't go back from that. It's really, really hard because I want to do this movie to show people that I can do that, because I know I can. It's challenging. But at the same time I don't know if I want to jump that far ahead right now.