Rosie O'Donnell says she wasn't looking to start a feud with Lindsay Lohan when she said on The Today Show this week that the young actress should be taking a break from Hollywood instead of starring as Elizabeth Taylor in a TV movie.
O'Donnell returned to Today on Thursday (26 April) to explain why she said Lohan, who has had several trips to rehab and jail in recent years, should lie low for awhile.
She doesn't want to see the 25-year-old Lohan end up like Whitney Houston who after more than a decade of drug abuse, died in February with cocaine in her system.
'I (was) watching Whitney Houston's funeral, and I remember thinking why didn't more people say what they knew?' O'Donnell told hosts Matt Lauer and Ann Curry. 'We all knew, when she would not show up to do this show, not show up to do my show, we watched Being Bobby Brown'and it was like watching Sid and Nancy, they were people who were in the throes of addiction. But all that anyone cared about was that the show was getting ratings, not that this woman, this talented individual, this human being, this mother, this daughter, was worth saving… To look at Lindsay Lohan you can't help but feel for her. I don't think she's untalented, I think she's quite talented.'
But two days earlier, O'Donnell did seem to indicate that Lohan did not have the chops to play the late Taylor saying: 'The last thing she did good she was 16! I don't think she's right for the role, and I don't think she's capable at this point of doing what's needed to portray that character. I think the interest level in her has waned significantly.'
O'Donnell had also said: 'I feel very sorry for her. I think she needs a lot of help. She needs a lot of time away. She’s had a lot of trouble doing every single movie, including SNL. She was out and not in rehearsal. I think she’s not in a place to work.'
Lohan told Access Hollywood this week that O'Donnell should 'base her opinions when she meets someone. … It’s funny that someone you don’t know at all can say something so intrusive and so knowing,'
She believes she is a good choice to play Taylor: 'I know that I'm great. I know that I know Liz Taylor very well, and I share the same makeup artist and the same hair stylist. We've worked with a lot of the same people.'
For her part, O'Donnell elaborated on her Rosie.com blog about her hopes for Lohan: 'Lindsay Lohan is worth saving. She is the only one who can do it before it is too late. I hope she can finds her value – off camera. And then – when she returns – on camera she will wow us all once more.'