Oprah On Lindsay Lohan: 'I Really Do Believe That She's Ready'

'I was deeply moved by her desire to move forward,' 'The Butler' star and talk show guru tells MTV News.

NEW YORK — She's ushered the phrase "aha moment" into the dictionary and created a sanctuary for damaged celebs under the banner "fix my life." So it wasn't surprising that Oprah Winfrey sounded like just the person to bring some calm to the chaos that has become Lindsay Lohan's true Hollywood story.

But can Oprah "fix" Lohan, a once-promising movie star who lately seems to spend more time in rehab than running lines? On a warm Sunday afternoon at the stately Waldorf-Astoria, the talk-show guru was promoting her upcoming film "Lee Daniels' The Butler," and she told MTV News "you asked me at the right time" when we wondered why she was hopeful about the actress, who's nabbed a reality show on Winfrey's network, OWN.

"I just interviewed her [Saturday], and I was deeply moved by her desire to move forward in her life at this time," Winfrey said, before adding, "And I asked her, 'What's different about all the other times, 'cause it's been six times [in rehab] now, so what's different about this time?' "

Winfrey, who released a teaser for her August 18 sit-down with Lohan on Monday (August 5), wouldn't reveal the 26-year-old's response to her pointed question. Yet she was firm in telling us "I believe the answer," even invoking her own very human (and public) struggles with weight loss.

"I really do believe that she's ready," Winfrey continued. "This is what I want to say [to] everybody who wants to judge: Everybody has been in places in their life — how many times have I said, 'Come Monday, I'm gonna go on a diet! This is really it! — and everybody knows that to do anything, you've gotta make a decision and really be fully ready. And that there are times when you think you're ready, but you're not there."

For those who've already turned the page on the "Mean Girls" star, convinced that she's unlikely to rebound, or that this moment represents her last shot, the Queen of Talk said now is not the time to throw in the towel. In fact, a post-rehab Lindsay saw her indie "The Canyons" open in limited release to healthy receipts on Friday, and she's set to guest-host on E!s "Chelsea Lately Monday night.

"I'm rooting for her ... because I think you keep getting chances," Winfrey said, her voice falling to a near-whisper, "until you take your last breath."