'I treasure it': Lilo reveals that Elizabeth Taylor gifted her with ring before her death
Praised: Elizabeth Taylor sent Lindsay a note
Lindsay Lohan told me the late Elizabeth Taylor sent her a ring before she died.
‘I treasure it,’ she said when we discussed her forthcoming TV drama about the two-time Oscar-winning star’s titanic love affair with Richard Burton.
‘It came with this beautiful note, hand-written by Elizabeth Taylor, which was very encouraging about my work – and that work is something I should concentrate on,’ Lohan, 25, continued.
I couldn’t resist asking: How big was the diamond She laughed and said: ‘It’s a costume ring! It has a cognac-coloured stone with precious stones set round it.
‘After I was sent it, I put the ring, and the letter, away in a safe place so I wouldn’t lose it. But I took them out recently when I was asked to portray her. It’s a tiny connection to her.’
Lindsay and I met on Wednesday in LA, as the parties were cranking up ahead of Sunday night’s Oscars.
And I thought the actress, wearing a sequinned and feathered black jacket and carrying a powder-blue Prada handbag, looked more confident than I’d seen her in a long time.
Child stars: Lindsay Lohan in the Parent Trap, left, is a dead ringer for Elizabeth Taylor, right, in National Velvet
‘I’m happy about what happened,’ she said, referring to praise she’d received from a Los Angeles County court judge at a recent probation hearing. ‘I realise how important it is not to muck this up. This is my chance to get on with my life.’
I was glad to hear it. As far as I’m concerned, there’s never been a problem with Lindsay’s acting – it’s self-discipline (or the lack thereof) that’s been the trouble.
The Taylor-Burton television film is called Liz And Dick – although Elizabeth Taylor loathed being called Liz.
Lindsay explained how the film begins on the set of the film Cleopatra. ‘That’s where they fell in love – and I must have watched Cleopatra 500 times,’ she laughs.
‘OK, I’m exaggerating, but I have watched it dozens of times, and studied her performance in detail. I’ve also watched Who’s Afraid Of Virginia Woolf A lot of people felt that film echoed her tumultuous relationship with Richard.’
Lindsay (who like Taylor, was a child star — first achieving fame at the age of 11 in The Parent Trap) has yet to decide whether she will dye her blonde hair dark for the role, or wear wigs.
‘We’re discussing all of that, and I’m working with a make-up designer who worked with her,’ she told me. She’ll wear contact lenses to match Elizabeth’s famously violet eyes.
And she’s looking forward to getting back on a film set. ‘I like the structure,’ she said.
‘You have to be there in the morning, so that means you can’t go out the night before. I’ve learnt a lot of lessons, and that’s one of them,’ she said, as she waltzed off into the LA night air to pick up her car.
Epic: Taylor Kitsch plays the lead in sci-fi flick John Carter
Taylor Kitsch plays the title character in the epic action adventure sci-fi picture John Carter, about a US cavalry officer defending a princess on Mars.
It took me a few minutes to figure out the Red Planet’s various warring factions, but once I’d got my head round it, I was more than happy to go along for the 3D ride.
I like Kitsch’s no-nonsense, macho sensibility on screen in this thrilling film by Andrew Stanton — who directed Wall.E for Pixar.
A lot of the $250 million film was shot in the UK, not that Kitsch saw much of it.
‘I went from my bed to the set; and from the set to my bed,’ Kitsch recalled of his 11-month stint working in London. When they switched locations to Utah, though, it was a different story, says his co-star James Purefoy.
‘There were lots of Brits, including Dominic West and Ciaran Hinds, and we were all holed up in the same motel in the middle of the desert.
‘All I can say is that the Brits had done a lot of duty-free shopping,’ said Purefoy, who plays a Mars-based elite soldier also protecting the princess, played by Lynn Collins.
At the party after the gala premiere, at the JW Marriott hotel in LA, Purefoy explained: ‘There’s not much else to do after you’ve finished filming in Utah.’
Stanton is now working on a new Carter film, based on books by Tarzan creator Edgar Rice Burroughs.
Novelist Jackie Collins was bemoaning the fact that the mystery has gone out of the Oscars.
‘Once upon a time, you would have no idea who was going to win until the moment the envelope was opened. Now the awards season goes on for six months — or more! — and we know the winners well in advance,’ Jackie said before listing the winners.
No, she hasn’t infiltrated the offices of accountants PriceWaterhouseCoopers, who count the votes. But if you’re a student of movie awards you can make a good stab at the most likely winners, by tabulating the awards already handed out by organisations such as the Screen Actors and Directors Guild.
Winner Viola Davis in a scene from The Help, which is tipped for an Oscar at the weekend
Once in a while you do get a surprise, but for the most part the victors are known. Everyone here insists Viola Davis will win best actress for her beautifully nuanced performance in The Help.
However, if there’s going to be an upset, then Meryl Streep’s Margaret Thatcher will do the upsetting.
But if Viola and Meryl cancel each other out . . . Michelle Williams’s Marilyn Monroe, from My Week With Marilyn, would be the beneficiary.
Jackie, who I met at a swanky soiree at the Hotel Bel-Air hosted by Vanity Fair’s LA contributing editor Wendy Stark Morrissey and Montblanc, was adamant The Artist will win best picture, and the smart money in town backs that view.
What a coup that will be for movie chief Harvey Weinstein.