The Stunning Transformation Of Lindsay Lohan

Lindsay Lohan has grown up before our eyes. From an adorably talented 12-year-old in The Parent Trap, to her troubles with alcohol and rehab, Lohan has endured many triumphs and trials — all by the age of 30.

Now, a look back at the precocious little redhead and how she became the star we still root for today.

She's been acting and modeling since she was three

It didn't take long for Lohan to get into acting. Her parents, Michael and Dina Lohan, got her into modeling by the age of three when she was signed with the Ford Modeling Agency in 1989, according to Rolling Stone. If you looked at any children's ads in the '90s, you probably got an early glimpse of the future star. She did commercials for Jell-O and Duncan Hines, and appeared in a number of catalogues, including one for Toys R Us where she looks shocked by the futuristic powers of a "Video Painter."


Lohan got the chance to showcase her abilities beyond looking excited to play with toys and eat desserts, with a small spot on Late Night with David Letterman. She played trick or treater visiting "Dave's house" and did a great accidental physical comedy routine. But her first real acting job was when she landed the role of Alli NBC soap opera Another World. It was 1997, and Lohan was already successful at just 11 years old, but her real break was yet to come.

The Parent Trap big break

When Lohan was asked to audition for The Parent Trap, a remake of the 1961 Disney comedy, 12-year-old Lohan told People that she'd "never done a screen test before." Plus, the audition was her first trip to Los Angeles. Despite whatever nerves she may have had, Lohan won director Nancy Meyers over. In a behind-the-scenes special for Parent Trap, Lohan recalled jumping on the bed with excitement, while her dad cried tears of joy, when she got the life changing call.


1998's The Parent Trap was a hit, thanks to Lohan's ability to carry a film, play two characters, and master an English accent. In Roger Ebert's review, he said of Lohan, "What she has, all the time, is the same kind of sunny charm Hayley Mills projected [in the original movie]." Meyers likened Lohan "to a young Diane Keaton," in People, with the magazine also reporting that Lohan's stellar performance landed her a three picture deal at Disney.

A "rocky" childhood

Despite her great success, Lohan didn't have an easy childhood. Her father went to jail for for four years, for insider trading in 1990 — when Lohan was only five years old. Their relationship would continue to prove difficult. In her 2014 reality show Lindsay, a 28-year-old Lohan described her childhood as "rocky," remembering, "We could have five cars, and everything we wanted, and a beautiful home. And then...within a three month span, it's like, 'Oh, just waiting for dad to f*ck up and not come home for three nights again.'"


Lohan went on to describe a day when her father came to visit her on the set of Parent Trap. Though she was excited to see her dad, the moment was interrupted by two federal agents who put Michael in handcuffs. According to mother Dina, in the interview, Michael had violated parole by crossing state lines.

A thriving career and a bad reputation

After Parent Trap, Lohan stayed away from feature films until Freaky Friday came along in 2003. The then 17-year-old's second Disney remake was even more successful than her first, vaulting Lohan from kid star to teen icon. Rolling Stone recapped the following two years, where she starred in Confessions of a Teenage Drama Queen, Herbie Fully Loaded, and Mean Girls. If that wasn't enough, she also released two albums, Speak (2004) and A Little More Personal (Raw) (2005), both of which landed in the top 20 of Billboard's year end charts. For her leading role in Just My Luck alone, Lohan banked $7.5 million. Though she'd become a superstar, the singer-actress kept making headlines for the wrong reasons.


When Lohan was barely 18, she admitted in an interview with Rolling Stone that she was dating 24-year-old Wilmer Valderrama and spoke about the hardships of dating while famous. "It's hard when we go out. [Girls will] seriously hit on him right in front of me. I'm already insecure, and there are a lot of pretty girls in L.A. It makes me feel bad." Throughout the interview, Lohan denied the rumors of her hard-partying lifestyle, but admitted, "People in this business build you up, and build you up, then they try to take you down. They'll write what they want. You just have to be yourself. And if people don't like it, f*ck 'em."

The real trouble began

Even though 2005 brought her largest paychecks to date, a string of personal troubles also arose. In an interview with W Magazine, Lohan described her contempt for her father after he announced he would sue wife Dina for a portion of Lohan's earnings. "I don't think he deserves anything. He doesn't even deserve my respect." Still, at the time, Lohan was slated for a promising film that could have then led to her status as a serious actress.


2006's Prairie Home Companion, directed by Robert Altman and starring Meryl Streep, seemed like a sure ticket to Lohan's continued career success. Unfortunately, the film didn't get much attention and earned only $20 million at the box office. Then 20-year-old Lohan hosted SNL in May of that year. In a sketch, she chided the Easter Bunny, "The partying is overshadowing your talent: you don't need to be out every night, getting in fights with the Tooth Fairy," mirroring her real life. At the time, Lohan was so thin, Mean Girls alums and SNL cast members Tina Fey and Amy Poehler were compelled to intervene. "[Fey and Poehler] sat me down," Lohan told Vanity Fair (via MTV), "Literally before I was going to do the show, and they said, 'You need to take care of yourself. We care about you too much, and we've seen too many people do this,' and I just started bawling. I knew I had a problem and I couldn't admit it."


Lohan later splashed across headlines after trouble on the set of her next film Georgia Rule. After calling in sick and claiming "heat exhaustion," producer James G. Robinson sent her a scathing letter that got leaked to the press via The Smoking Gun, stating, "We are well aware that your ongoing all night heavy partying is the real reason for your so called 'exhaustion.' We refuse to accept bogus excuses for your behavior...You have acted like a spoiled child and in so doing have alienated many of your co-workers and endangered the quality of this picture."

A tumultuous relationship with her mother

She may have experienced problems with her father, but things weren't always perfect with Lohan's mother, either. In 2012, TMZ posted a phone call Lohan made to her father, in which Lohan claimed that her mom was taking cocaine and trying to kidnap her. Page Six reported that Michael called the cops, who reported the incident as "just a verbal dispute in [a] vehicle," according to police inspector Kenneth Lack. "It was an argument between Lindsay Lohan and her mother Dina."


Since then, Lohan's relationship with her mother has been a rollercoaster. In an interview with Oprah, Lohan said she was "close" with both of her parents. When asked if she felt that her mom ever abused or took advantage of her, Lohan replied, "I don't think anything was intentionally done in that way...I hate what a bad rap people give to my parents." In 2014 on Watch What Happens Live, Lohan defended her mom's partying, saying that Lohan herself usually brings her mom along to parties as a "security blanket." The mother-daughter duo made headlines again in 2016, when People reported an incident where Lohan posted "we're done" to her mom's Instagram account (the comment was quickly deleted).


Moving to London to escape the negativity

In an interview with Turkish television in 2016, a 29-year-old Lohan spoke about her move to London, and new direction in life. "London was the best thing I've done for myself." Lohan decided to focus on helping children, and participating in charity work. According to the interview, she doesn't pay attention to gossip columns and loves the anonymity London gives her. During her time in England, she also made her West End debut in the 2014 revival of Speed-the-Plow.


According to reviews, critics found her performance to be the best part of the production — even "a minor revelation" — though she did forget a few lines.

Humanitarian work for Syrian refugees

In an interview with CNN in 2016, Lohan revealed her humanitarian work came to her nearly by accident. She was visiting a friend in Turkey when she met President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and was drawn to help the refugees of the Syrian crisis. So, Lohan decided to stay. She visited camps, refugees, and learned their stories first hand. In her interview, Lohan dismissed the idea that she got into charity work as some kind of publicity stunt and swore her own reputation was the last thing on her mind.


When the host asked if Lohan was ready for the tumultuous year to be over, 30-year-old Lohan replied, "I've had a tumultuous years. But everything happens for a reason. I wouldn't be sitting here with you today discussing humanitarian work and what we could do to change the world in the future." Despite her love of charitable works, Lohan's also planning a lipstick line, as well as a foray into real estate — both, likely keeping her overseas, according to the interview.

Returning to music

In an online chat with Alex Simpson, Lohan revealed that she's obligated to make another record for Motown and Universal. "I love making music. I write everyday," said the star. The only thing holding her back is her sister. Ali Lohan is signed to EMI and Lindsay doesn't want to steal focus from her sister's singing career.


Lohan goes on the list the many things she'd like to do in the meantime: continue to aid refugees, write, direct, make films that contain singing from both her and her sister. But Lohan does miss music. "As much as I want to sing every day, I don't want my sister to hate me."

Her upcoming social media prank TV show

In March 2017, Lohan unveiled her first TV project since 2014's Lindsay. This wouldn't be another reality show revolving around the intimacies of her life, but a social media themed prank show. "I'm back b*tches," Lohan states, in the teaser for her proposed program.


The Anti-Social Network will feature Lohan taking over someone's social media accounts for 24 hours and daring them to do embarrassing things. Currently, the show is being pitched to various networks.

So much potential

Though Lohan has been working as long as someone twice her age, it's easy to forget that she's only 30. Her work with refugees, and heart for charity, have seemed to tame some of the chaos in her life.


Despite all of her troubles, no one has ever accused her of not being talented. With her potential prank show on the horizon and a new movie coming out, it's clear that Lohan's not done yet.