Matthew Wilder sees "kind of a weird parallel" between Lindsay Lohan and late porn star Linda Lovelace.
Not because of any onscreen attribute, mind you, but because of the way the media has gone about representing Lohan in light of her party-girl persona and run-ins with the law.
"Both of them grew up in this case where there was kind of this whole industry built around them," Wilder, who is directing Lohan as Lovelace in the indie biopic Inferno and was with her on that fateful promotional trip to Cannes, says in an exclusive interview airing tonight on E! News.
"It's built around destroying her."
"It really breaks my heart," the director says. "Every day I look and see these horrible things and people wishing horrible things on her.
"The real person is very thoughtful and cares about acting and has a lot of heart. Not this kind of screwball that's depicted everyday in the press. They want a person to project what they hate or what they envy on."
Lohan has indeed soiled her gifted child and teen star reputation with multiple arrests for DUI and a slew of public appearances that have left her sobriety in doubt, if not actually compromised.
Just yesterday, a judge found Lohan in violation of her bail stemming from a missed court appearance last month after her SCRAM ankle bracelet set off an alert Sunday night.
But Wilder says that Inferno will paint a whole new picture of the seemingly troubled 23-year-old as an artist.
"What I'm hoping now with our project is it's going to turn the ship sort of," he says. They're not going to see this whacked-out person…They're going to see the artist coming out."
And maybe all this initial negative attention will prove to be a positive thing in the end.
"In a way I kind of want this murmuring of meanness right now," Wilder says. "I feel like when this actually comes out and when you see what the movie is and what she's doing, it's going to be so unexpected that it's going to actually kind of blow people's minds."