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Arts and Entertainment

'The Canyons' Director On Lindsay Lohan, That Epic NY Times Piece And Why There's Only One Tom Cruise

Paul Schrader during a reception for members of the Berlinal Jury in 2007. (360b /
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When the New York Times decided to profile director Paul Schrader's latest project, it started out as a feature of an independent film being financed in brave new ways. Schrader made his name writing "Taxi Driver," "Raging Bull" and "The Last Temptation of Christ" but his latest film "The Canyons" would be financed in part by his own savings account and Kickstarter and promoted via social media.

And that was an interesting aspect of the New York Times piece that followed, but the focus of the piece radically shifted once the female lead was cast. Schrader told Slant: "Even The New York Times isn’t immune to the celebrity gale winds which surround Lindsay."

Schrader gave an interesting Q&A with the website in response to the Times piece that garnered interest from a set of readers not usually tuned in to what's happening on TMZ.

Schrader expounded more on just why it is that Hollywood puts up with bad behavior from its biggest stars:

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Well what is it about movie stars, you know? There are probably fifty guys in Hollywood who look just like Tom Cruise, but there is only one Tom Cruise. It’s inexplicable. It’s the same thing they said about Marilyn Monroe. No one ever had a pleasant experience working with her. When director John Huston was making The Misfits, which she starred in, he said, “I wonder why I am putting myself through this. Then, I go to the dailies and I think, ‘Oh yes, that’s why.’ There’s something you’re just mesmerized by.

And he says that there is no correlation between the behind-the-scenes drama (or lack thereof) and the quality on the screen. He called Lohan's antics "business as usual":

The thing that’s aggravating is that people outside the film business equate production difficulties with commercial or artistic failure. In the history of film, there’s very little correlation between those two things. Some of the most troubled productions have become huge successes and vice versa. Our drama-filled ride doesn’t mean much in terms of the final product. Every film is difficult and every film has its horror stories. In fact, this particular film finished on time and on budget. It was just an exhausting experience. Before it’s even been seen, the film is being discredited as a disaster because Lindsay was late and pulled some stunts. That doesn’t make a film a disaster. It’s business as usual with a high profile actress. Lindsay wasn’t even the most difficult actor I’ve ever worked with. The most difficult was Richard Pryor.

He also took a swipe at the Times' fact-checking process. He said that even though he spoke to the fact-checkers before publishing, the facts he verified didn't all make it to print:

I’ve experienced this my whole life, where journalists pull together events for dramatic effect: Something happens on Monday night, then something happens on Tuesday morning, and somehow they both happen at the same time in the finished piece.

He said that the most accurate take on the article came from Lohan's co-star and adult industry veteran James Deen himself who said the article was "accurate events reflected in the mirror and then retold for dramatic effect."Related:
Lindsay Lohan's Drama Queen Antics On The Set Of 'The Canyons'
James Deen Is Pretty Understanding Of Lindsay Lohan's On-Set Antics