Earlier this week, MTV News attempted to figure out a way for perpetually problem-plagued actress Lindsay Lohan to get her career back on track after the not-so-hot reviews of her Lifetime movie "Liz & Dick," but now, after yet another disappointing incident in which Lohan was arrested for punching a woman at a nightclub, her future — both professional and personal — looks bleaker than ever.
MTV News reached out to a new panel of industry experts with this question: Will Lindsay Lohan ever find work as an actress again?
"You keep hoping that she's going to get her act together, so does everyone in Hollywood. They keep rooting for her, and she blows it every time," lamented "Access Hollywood" film critic Scott Mantz. "She's got more breaks from people in Hollywood than anyone in her position deserves to get but she does not give the impression of someone who really wants to get her career back on track. She should not be going out. She should be sitting home reading scripts and get her career back on track. She is not doing that."
Another problem, aside from whatever legal fallout and potential jail time occurs given this latest arrest, is Lohan's box-office appeal, which has been in steep decline since her last major hit with 2004's "Mean Girls."
"She hasn't been able to do much at the box office for years, and I'm pretty sure it will remain that way for the rest of her career unless a great director decides to take a chance on her," BoxOffice.com chief analyst Phil Contrino told MTV News of Lohan's bleak professional forecast. "It's all TV movies and straight-to-VOD movies for the foreseeable future."
TV movies and direct-to-video roles, if she's lucky that is, since it will take a lot of faith and insurance money to fund any future Lohan production, given her checkered past. We asked a well-respected talent agent to explain what kind of insurance would be required for such a project.
"Most of the time, when you are talking about insurance, you are talking about a completion bond. The easiest way to understand it is to think about it like car insurance, where the movie is your car," explained the agent. "If you wreck your car, your insurance company gives you back most of the money to fix or replace your car. In the movie business, the insurance company pays the producers back their money they've invested in making the movie if for some reason it is not completed. The insurance company bases their fee on how likely it is that the movie will be made on time and for the budget the producers have, just like when you are getting car insurance your premium is based on your driving history. For a producer to get a completion bond for a movie starring Lindsay, it's like trying to get car insurance with a bunch of recent speeding tickets and accidents."
All that said, Hollywood will continue to hold out hope for a comeback story, providing that Lohan can get a handle on her personal struggles and stay out of trouble.
"I feel that it's a miracle she's lasted this long. It's really sad," said Mantz. "She doesn't exude the persona of someone who is trying to bounce back. There is no way she should think about going to a club. What are you doing? Stop. All she needs is one strong person to keep her on straight and narrow — whether a family member, boyfriend, therapist, just somebody to cut her off."
Our agency insider added that Lohan would have to actually commit to staying out of the spotlight and deal with her personal and legal troubles before anyone will hire her again, and added that no matter how bad it gets, Tinseltown will always welcome a comeback.
"If she can get her personal life in order and really wants to be a serious actor again, she'll work and do well. A director will take a chance on her, most likely in an indie. If she proves she can still do it, we'll all forget about her recent problems and remember her for the good actress she is."
Mantz advised Lohan to try and follow the Robert Downey Jr. model of comeback success.
"The best example of a comeback is Robert Downey Jr.," he said. "In the beginning of 2008 Robert Downey Jr. was a washed-up Oscar nominee. With one very good movie ['Iron Man'] he became an A-list superstar. All it takes is for Lindsay to have one hit movie and she's on top again," Mantz continued. "If they ever make a movie with one of Spider-Man's love interests, a character called the Black Cat, if she popped up in 'The Amazing Spider-Man 3' and Lindsay played her, that's the kind of role people would go, 'She's back.' "
Before that can happen, however, all three experts agreed that the former Disney star needs to prove to the world that she's ready to be taken seriously. Otherwise, we'll just expect more tabloid fodder.
"[Audiences] are more interested in the train wreck aspect [of her life] at this point," said Contrino.
What do you think? Leave a comment predicting LiLo's future in acting!