Lindsay Lohan insisted during a pre-taped interview with the “Today” show’s Matt Lauer that the very public troubles that have defined her life over the past few years are behind her.
The actress said that she realized her life was going the wrong way in the past year and a half. During that time period, Lohan has spent time in jail and under house arrest and has made many court appearances for charges from a DUI and theft case.
“I learned how to live my life in a way that I’m happy,” she said.
Lohan explained that she had “lost sight of” what she loved: acting and making films.
When she last appeared on the “Today” show when she was 19 — she’s now 25 — Lohan said she it was “scary to express” what was really going on in her life.
“It was a fear factor that I had about what was really going on,” she told Lauer. “I had to get that wakeup call.”
When asked what changes she has made to get to a better place, Lohan said she’s changed “the people I surround myself with.”
“It gets very lonely in this industry,” she said, adding that she allowed people who weren’t looking out for her best interest to be around her.
She said she now trusts her family — her father Michael Lohan not included — and the people she works with.
After years of legal troubles and false starts, Lohan is now attempting to make what many feel is her final attempt at a comeback. Lohan, who will host “Saturday Night Live” this weekend, did not object to the use of that term, despite her young age.
“I regret the choices that I made, but I’m grateful for where I am today because of them,” she said. “I don’t need to see anymore negative stuff.”
She credited “SNL” creator Lorne Michaels for being supportive and allowing her to prove herself by hosting the NBC show for a fourth time.
Although Lohan said she was pitching sketches that poke fun at her past troubles, she has spoken with her attorney about how to be respectful to Judge Stephanie Saunter and the court.
Many eyes will be on Lohan as she hosts “SNL” this weekend, some wishing her ill will. She did not seem hindered by those who are rooting against a comeback.
“It’s unfortunate, but if I harped on that and only focused on the negative and the people that doubted, then I might be back where they think I’ll be,” she said. “But that’s not what I want for me.
“I want to move forward with my life. ... I want to keep growing in the right ways.”
Lohan seemed confident that she will find redemption in Hollywood. Five years from now, Lohan said she would like to be talking about attending the Oscars as a nominee.
The actress confirmed her next film project, playing Elizabeth Taylor in a biopic.
“I’m really honored. And I will not let anyone down, especially myself,” she said of the role. “I could see where it could be scary for people to invest in me. And I don’t want people to have that reason to be scared anymore. ... I’m going to do what I’m supposed to do.”
One of those things is staying single, Lohan said, adding that she wants to focus on herself and her work:
“I’ve learned to love myself. ... I’ve learned to take the time that I need to do what I need to do that’s gonna make me happy.”
Watch the interview below.