Critics Slam Dina Lohan for Producing Film With Young Son Playing Heroin Addict
LOS ANGELES – If the Lohan family wasn’t already overwhelmed by the issue of drug addiction, Pop Tarts has confirmed that mom Dina Lohan is set to produce a film in which her son, Michael Lohan Jr. will star as a heroin user – all while her eldest daughter Lindsay completes her fifth stint in rehab in an effort to overcome substance abuse.
As first reported by TMZ, Dina is said to be very “excited” that her production company, Defiant Pictures, is going ahead with “Growing Defiant” – a feature film surrounding a group of teen heroin addicts, with 23-year-old Michael Lohan as the lead.
“It is an anti-drug story, a coming of age type film, an intense crime drama set in New York. We’re fully financed and packaging right now with agents,” Ethan Terra, a producer on the project told Pop Tarts. “Dina has been very busy, dealing with Lindsay and all the other kids and is just slammed, I have no idea how she does it. She’s a producer on this film and she’s 100 percent professional and amazing and is by far, one of the most brilliant women I have ever met. She knows this business inside and out and knows what she’s doing.”
Terra also said that while it is unlikely that Lindsay will make a cameo, Michael Jr. has already spent time preparing for the drug-addict character.
“He spent a few nights out there in the middle of New York doing some due diligence,” Terra continued. “It’s not about a bunch of junkies, it’s about three lifelong friends, upper middle class, and now they’re at the tail-end of high school, shooting heroin together. It’s real, it’s gritty, and it’s shocking. The material has already been well received by lots of different people that have read it.”
Production is set to commence in March, and the team behind the flick has already been in talks with studio heads about a theatrical release across the nation.
However, it seems not everyone is as enthusiastic about the idea.
“Lindsay clearly suffers from a very life-threatening condition involving substance abuse. At this stage in her life she simply needs to be in a quiet, safe environment surrounded with love and support from family and close friends. Meanwhile, her parents can't seem to keep themselves from speaking to the press,” online casting director and founder of GotCast.com, Alec Shankman, said. “This movie feels like yet another attempt by the Lohan family to exploit Lindsay's name & fame at her expense.”
Furthermore, Beverly Hills-based chemical addiction specialist, Marty Brenner, feels that Lohan’s decision to go ahead with this film involving her son is incredibly “clueless” and could potentially lead to Michael following in his famous older sister’s not-so-positive footsteps
“Why is Dina doing this? She saw what happened to Lindsay. Dina lives vicariously through her children, she likes the limelight,” Brenner said. “It is definitely an inappropriate idea for Dina to have her son star in a film like this or any film with the use of drugs. This can open his eyes to the lifestyle of drug abuse with all the paraphernalia around. If Michael is subjected to doing this film, I’m concerned where it will lead him.”
And New York psychotherapist, Jonathan Alpert, concurred that the Lohans should probably avoid anything drug-related, regardless of whether it serves as fact or fiction.
“The film exploits the very thing Lindsay is battling: drug addiction. Dina should focus on providing a supportive environment free of drug culture to her daughter and set aside her own money-making desires. Stick with therapy over money-making ventures,” Alpert added. “It is not the smartest thing in the world to subject another Lohan to drug culture, even though it's fiction. If indeed Michael Lohan Jr. is so talented then find a new role for him to play.”
Prior to this, the younger Lohan as no acting credits listed, although Terra insists he seriously scored the acting gene.
“Michael really wanted to do this film, and he is fantastic. He is one of those rare gems – I was completely blown away,” he said.
A personal rep for Dina did not respond for comment.
But on the subject of illicit substances and the Lohan family, a family insider told Tarts that Lindsay has made positive progress having spent several weeks at the Betty Ford Clinic.
“She’s doing great, she’s really enthusiastic and determined to get better,” said the source.
Deidre Behar contributed to this report.