It’s a new era for Lindsay Lohan. The actor—who stole our hearts in films such as Mean Girls, Freaky Friday, and The Parent Trap before largely stepping away from acting for close to a decade—is back in action with a brand-new movie. In Netflix’s Falling for Christmas, costarring Glee’s Chord Overstreet, Lohan plays Sierra Belmont, a spoiled heiress who is diagnosed with amnesia after a skiing accident and must piece her life back together. “For me, [the film is about] how the materialistic things in life don’t always matter,” Lohan says. “It’s really the simple things in life that mean the most—family and love—rather than Instagramming and getting a big ring. Not that that’s bad!”
One senses she speaks from experience. Earlier this year, Lohan married financier Bader Shammas, and now she’s ready to throw herself back into acting projects. “After we wrapped [this film], I was like, ‘When am I starting the next film?’” says Lohan, who also recently completed a 2023 rom-com, titled Irish Wish. In honour of her exciting return to the screen, Lohan talks exclusively with Vogue about shooting Falling for Christmas, reflects on her iconic “Jingle Bell Rock” dance in Mean Girls, and dishes on the possibility of remaking Freaky Friday with Jamie Lee Curtis. (Spoiler alert: It’s not off the table!)
Vogue: Hi, Lindsay! I have to say, your movie has officially gotten me into the holiday spirit. I even ordered a Christmas tree on Amazon last night.
Lindsay Lohan: No way! I love it. Now I need to order one.
I’d love to know what drew you toward making a holiday movie this year.
I think it’s because I’ve never done one. As you get older in life, and you move away from your family, you get more nostalgic for the holidays. You want to be near [your family] and be around for the holidays more. So I was really excited to film in America and to be closer to home.
There are so many great Christmas movies out there. How do you think this one is different?
I liked the character and her arc. I haven’t really gotten to play a character like Sierra, who is aloof and running around like a chicken with its head cut off. I’ve never had the opportunity to play an heiress, so that was really exciting for me. I like to play a character where you can see the softer side of her. To come back after not doing movies for so long—almost a decade—I wanted to find something [where] people can relate to both sides of her character. And it’s really heartwarming. I love a light love story. It’s not too heavy or deep. It made me really happy when I read it, and it made me laugh out loud—and that was important.
At the beginning of the movie, Sierra is this spoiled heiress, and she wears these fabulous over-the-top outfits. How involved were you in her costuming?
I was involved in all of them. The initial look—the white robe—was one of my favourites, to set up who she is. And her [pink fluffy] ski look was a big deal for me. I was like, ‘The hat makes the outfit’. I feel like she’s a Bergdorfs or Neimans girl. Maybe Net-a-Porter when she’s on the go!
Whenever I watch holiday movies, I’m fascinated by how they turn any location into a winter wonderland. Did you learn any of the movie-making tricks they use to do that?
One thing that I learned about the snow is that even when there’s real snow, it doesn’t shoot as pretty as fake snow. Even when we had real snow, we still were adding foam or paper snow. But also, behind the scenes, when you set up the Christmas decorations and make it Christmassy, it changes the tone of everyone working on set. Everyone immediately gets happy, and that really helps when you’re filming, because you have this different kind of energy where everyone’s giddy all the time. That was really nice.
Where did you guys film?
We were in Park City, Utah. And when we needed snow days, we’d change locations to Salt Lake City. We’d either have no snow or tons of snow—too much snow. The last day we were shooting, it was a full-on blizzard.
There’s a lot of physical comedy in this film, which I think has always been one of your fortes. What’s the secret to nailing a good laugh on screen, do you think?
A lot of the times as actors, we hold ourselves back from really going there and being funny, and we only say what’s on the page. I’ve learned to just let myself go with it, and something funny usually comes out of it. And if that something funny works, then I like to add on to it. That’s what we did in this film—when I’m trying to open the [bed] sheets, I was like, ‘I can do so much more with this. Can I keep going?’ My favourite scene was plunging the toilet—that was some of the most fun to do. When you can make the crew and the director laugh on set, that’s the best feeling in the world. You’re like, ‘Okay, it was actually funny.’
I love the car scene in the film, when you sing along to “Jingle Bell Rock.” Was that an intentional nod to your iconic Mean Girls dance sequence?
In the moment, I think the director knew that it was intentional, but I was in character, so I wasn’t thinking about it. Then when we did it, on the second take, it clicked. I was like, Wait, where are we going with this? Then I was like, It would be funny if I did the Mean Girls dance at the end of the movie. Or I should [record] the song. And it was a total joke. But after they finished the movie, they were like, ‘Will you please do it?’
I love that you ended up recording it as a single. I’ve always loved your music, and it’s been a minute since we got a new track. How was it, stepping back into the studio?
It was nerve-racking because I haven’t been in the studio in so long. My sister, Aliana, did two songs for the movie, so I was betting on her doing it and me getting away without having to do it! But then I was like, okay, this is my first movie in a while, and I did sing a lot on my movie soundtracks [in the past], so I might as well give it to my supporters and go all-in.
Do you think you’ll make more music in the future?
I don’t know. We’ll see.
Did you ever expect that Mean Girls scene to become as iconic as it is now?
I never expected it, and it still to this day makes me so happy! It’s such a blessed feeling to see how it makes people feel, and just the fact that people get dressed up as any of the Mean Girls characters—it’s really opened so many doors for all of us in so many ways.
I want to ask you a few general holiday questions. Are you crazed for Christmas?
I’m crazed for Thanksgiving. I love Christmas, but I love Thanksgiving based on the food. I love family getting together and cooking. It’s so nice being with family and making it a point to be with family on holidays. Now I have a niece, so she gets to do everything for the first time. It’s really an exciting thing.
What do you like to cook?
At Christmas, we do an Italian chicken parmesan spaghetti with meatballs. Or ham with syrup. I do the stuffing and the sweet potatoes with marshmallows. I’m all about the food. And I’ll eat the leftovers—turkey sandwiches the next day.
There are tons of holiday parties coming up. What will your holiday style look like?
It depends on if I’ll be here or back in Dubai; the weather is cooler in Dubai. Velvet always reminds me of the holiday season. It’s been a long time since I’ve seen any good crushed velvet, which could be really bad or really great. I love a classic, long, black pantsuit for the holidays or a nice dress with over-the-knee boots. And I love a good long coat. I saw a good Prada cashmere one the other day that I want to get—I always buy one good coat a year. I bought an L.V. one, which is a cosy one, and then maybe I’ll get the Prada.
Christmas is obviously about more than gifts, but I’m curious if there’s a present you’ve received that’s really stuck with you?
The most memorable, because it’s off the top of my head, was from my husband. He gave me a Cartier bracelet, and it was our first Christmas together, so that was really special to me. That will always stay with me and go to my daughter when we have kids. I don’t know how to react when I get gifts at Christmas a lot of the time, but I love [buying] gifts and wrapping them. I’d like to consider myself a professional gift wrapper. I’m really good at it, even with the bows and the scissors—that little trick.
Oh, well I’ll be coming to your house then.
The holidays are also a time to reflect on what you’re thankful for. What are you thankful for this year?
I’m grateful for the people in my life. My family, my husband, and my extended family. And the support that I’ve gotten from a lot of people and fans that have watched me over the years. I feel really blessed. I’m grateful to have a home and a bed to sleep in. Just the simple things—there’s so many little things that we forget to be grateful for.
Back to the movie: You mentioned this being your first acting project in a while. Did you get the appetite for doing more films after being on this set?
I did. I was really overexcited to be there, and everyone probably thought something was wrong with me. I’m very chipper on set—I get close with every single person on set. I like to know my crew. I want it to be a family when I’m filming; you all have to do it together. After we wrapped, I was like, ‘When am I starting the next film? I’m ready!’
What do you think you’ll look for in your next acting projects?
I’m not gonna stop doing rom-coms. I just finished one, and I’ll be doing probably another one very soon. But I want to stretch into something based on a true story, or maybe producing or directing something. Thrillers or action [films] are two things I’ve still not been [able] to do, and I would love to really dive into that.
I’m not going to ask if you’d make a Mean Girls follow-up, since I’m sure everyone asks you that…
And I can’t answer that! [Laughs.]
But I will ask you: Would you ever remake a Freaky Friday movie? Your costar Jamie Lee Curtis recently said she’d be on board.
Yes, it is something I would be very interested in.
This article was originally published on Vogue.com