Lindsay Lohan once recreated a memorable Marilyn Monroe photo shoot back in 2008. And according to her "'The Canyons" director Paul Schrader, the resemblance goes beyond looks.

In a column for Film Comment, he compares the 27-year-old starlet to the legendary actress. "'Similarities? Tardiness, unpredictability, tantrums, absences, neediness, psychodrama — yes, all that, but something more, that thing that keeps you watching someone onscreen, that thing you can't take your eyes off of, that magic, that mystery," he writes.

Lohan and James Deen play lovers in the L.A.-set thriller, written by Bret Easton Ellis. It revolves around the lives of young people trying to make it in Hollywood, by any means possible.

The project has been the subject of many headlines in the past year. In January, the New York Times published a lengthy article about the making of the film, tracking just how difficult it was to work with the Lohan during the shoot. She was cast in the flick in June 2012, the same summer she stirred up controversy and headlines while shooting her Lifetime biopic, "Liz & Dick," where she reportedly suffered from exhaustion.

"Monroe and Lohan exist in the space between actors and celebrities, people whose professional and personal performances are more or less indistinguishable," Schrader continues in his column. "We call them 'troubled,' 'tormented,' 'train wrecks' — but we can't turn away. We can't stop watching. They get under our skin in a way that controlled performers can't."

Prior to landing a home at IFC Films, producer Braxton Pope defended the film after it was rumored that the SXSW Film Festival passed on premiering it after screening it due to "quality issues." Shortly after Lohan's casting, Pope spoke to MTV News about hiring the troubled actress and tabloid fixture, mirroring many of Schrader's comments.

"What's kind of lost in a lot of the Lindsay discussions is the fact that Lindsay is a very talented actress," he said. "She's very charismatic and she has a lot of acting skills. So her lifestyle and some of the things that she's gone through have tended to kind of overwhelm the fact, but Lindsay has kind of real talent. So for this part, we felt that she was really the right actor for a host of different reasons."