After all that hype, Lifetime‘s Liz & Dick drew 3.5 million total viewers last night. The TV movie about the tempestuous love affair between Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton is the fourth-most-watched original movie premiere on ad-supported …
Larry A. Thompson has managed a lot of talent and produced a lot of television over the years, but nothing he’s done before has attracted the kind of attention Liz & Dick has. Set to air November 25, the Lifetime TV movie about the stormy love affair between Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton was in the spotlight from the moment Lindsay Lohan was cast as Taylor. Car crashes, filming delays, exhausted crew members and the constant glare of the media hampered the production. Liz & Dick covers the couple’s two marriages, two divorces and career ups and downs. Grant Bowler plays Burton in the film. Lloyd Kramer directs from a script by Temple Grandin scribe Christopher Monger. Thompson talked with me about the trials of making Liz & Dick, hiring Lohan, and his next project on Oprah Winfrey.
DEADLINE: With all the attention on Liz & Dick, this could not have been an easy film to make.
THOMPSON: It was a challenge to make this movie. I certainly was aware of the risk I was taking hiring Lindsay Lohan. I realize now making the right decision is easier than living with the right decision. But it was the right decision nonetheless. Because in our movie none of the reported madness seeps into the story except when the story asks for it. It was a complicated jigsaw puzzle under the best case scenarios and then when you are challenged by new factors, it keeps you on your toes. When you’re promoting a movie, you always have to watch what you say and when you are working with Lindsay Lohan, it gives that piece of advice new meaning.
DEADLINE: So why did you hire her?
THOMPSON: I think by having Lindsay in our movie she will bring a younger generation that might not even know who Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton are. And I think because of their interest in Lindsay Lohan they are going to see a story on Lifetime that’s going to thrill them. I think all the naysayers who think that Lindsay Lohan is a train wreck are going to shocked to see how much of an actress she is. I’ve learned to divorce one’s talent from one’s personal behavior and I think the audience will start doing that too one they start watching the movie.
EXCLUSIVE: Lindsay Lohan has joined Rogers & Cowan as a client, signing with the public relations firm earlier this week. Previously, Lohan’s PR was conducted by The Honig Company, which represented her starting in early 2011. Lohan, …
Lifetime today released this teaser trailer for the upcoming biopic Liz & Dick. Lindsay Lohan stars as Liz Taylor and Grant Bowler as Richard Burton in a tale of their stormy love affair. It’s due out in November.
The good news for Lifetime and the producers of their tabloid headline-making movie Liz & Dick is that it has only about a week of filming left. The bad news is that, as the first two and a half weeks of shooting proved, with Lindsay Lohan as the star, a lot could happen in a week that could impact production.
In the last two weeks, filming on the movie was pushed after Lohan crashed her car on her way to the set and when she passed out in her room toward the end of a nightlong shoot. In a tweet, Lohan cited exhaustion “after working 85 hours in 4 days.” When two crew members in the hair department left the production a day later, also claiming exhaustion, Liz & Dick began to attract union attentions. Despite an awkwardly worded statement by SAG-AFTRA today stressing that “we have thoroughly investigated this matter” and “all applicable penalties will be paid,” there have been no violations cited by the actors union yet, and a SAG-AFTRA rep admitted that “we do not have complete information on this yet.” Liz & Dick producer Larry Thompson, a TV movie veteran who is a union signatory and knows their requirements inside and out, acknowledged in a statement that “an AFTRA rep visited us on the set late yesterday afternoon and was TOTALLY fine with everything,” adding that per the union rep, it wasn’t any complaints from AFTRA members but “tweets and comments in the media” that prompted “their curiosity and desire to inquire.”
IATSE, the union that represents stagehands, film technicians and other crafts people, also officially weighed in on the matter tonight. “We have had union representatives on the set since last Friday [June 15] and will continue to monitor the hours and working conditions there,” IATSE said in a statement, though crew members working on Liz & Dick indicated earlier today that they hadn’t been contacted by their union yet to discuss the issue.
Because their budgets are modest, TV movies have far more compressed filming schedules than features do, which does lead to longer days on the set. But Liz & Dick crew members we spoke with disputed the filming hours account in Lohan’s tweet. “Lilo did not work 85 hours in 4 days and we are not averaging 20 hours a day,” one crew member said. “We worked about 70-75 hours in 5 days last week, which isn’t that abnormal for a TV movie. And we’re on set before Lilo and usually wrap long after she’s gone. We could’ve shaved off about 7 or 8 hours that we sat around waiting for Lilo.”
‘Liz & Dick’ Producer “Petrified” By Lindsay Lohan’s Car Accident, Says She Was Not Supposed To Drive
Around 4:30 PM today, hours after her call time, Lindsay Lohan finally made it to the set of her Lifetime movie Liz & Dick following a detour to the hospital for an evaluation after the car she was driving to work crashed into a 18-wheeler. “She is shaken but not stirred,” Liz & Dick executive producer Larry A. Thompson said from the set of the movie in Malibu. “She wants to work, we are sending her to makeup hoping to resume production and get as much as we can done.” Scheduled for today were exterior scenes, most of them with Lohan, who plays Elizabeth Taylor in the film about the movie icon’s romance with Richard Burton. The few scenes without her were shot and filming was suspended while producers were trying to get information on Lohan’s condition. Because Lohan needs about two hours of makeup to transform herself into Taylor, the planned daytime scenes with her have been scrapped, with the producers and the director trying to film some nighttime scenes instead. “It’s a jigsaw puzzle,” Thompson said. But despite the crew’s best efforts, “there will be a production loss today, we are just trying to minimize the loss.” As his company, Larry A. Thompson Prods., is producing the movie, Thompson has been in touch with his insurance broker to figure out if the loss will be covered.
Lifetime has released color images of Lindsay Lohan as Elizabeth Taylor and Grant Bowler as Richard Burton from the cable network’s upcoming biopic Liz & Dick. (Click on the images for larger view.) The first image of the pair surfaced Monday.
EXCLUSIVE: After an extensive search, Grant Bowler (True Blood) has been set to star opposite Lindsay Lohan in Lifetime‘s biopic Liz & Dick, playing Hollywood great Richard Burton. The biopic chronicles the enduring love of movie icons Taylor (Lohan) and Burton (Bowler), whose fiery romance was the most notorious, publicized and celebrated love affair of its day. The casting comes only 10 days before Liz & Dick is scheduled to begin filming — on June 4 — after the movie’s executive producer Larry A. Thompson and Lifetime had auditioned “many actors on just about any continent,” Thompson said. He noted that the hope was to try and find an actor who, like Burton, is Welsh, but New Zealander Bowler wowed them with his tape. “Grant will add gravitas to our couple and bring to life one of the greatest actors who has ever lived,” Thompson said. “Burton was a Welsh poet, a rascal, and a man’s man, who swept Elizabeth Taylor off her feet and flew her so close to the sun that they both exploded into stardust that still lights up Hollywood.”
After months of negotiations, Lifetime has signed Lindsay Lohan to portray Elizabeth Taylor in Liz & Dick. The biopic chronicling the enduring love of movie icons Taylor and Richard Burton, whose fiery romance was the most notorious, publicized and celebrated love affair of its day. The news comes on the heels of Lohan completing her court-mandated community service and quickly returning to her partying ways. The latter — especially tabloid reports of fights allegedly involving Lohan — raised questions whether Lifetime would proceed with the actress, whose career had been largely sidelined for the past couple of years by stints in rehab, jail, court rooms, and the recent house arrest/community service. Lohan returned to acting last month with a hosting stint on NBC’s Saturday Night Live, which drew big ratings. Lifetime brass obviously took notice. Here is the network’s release:
Los Angeles, CA (April 23, 2012) – Lindsay Lohan is set to star as the legendary Elizabeth Taylor in the Lifetime Original Movie Liz & Dick, based on the true story of the screen icon’s historic romance with actor Richard Burton. Principal photography on the movie will begin in early June in Los Angeles,