Tricky ‘Liz & Dick’

Grant Bowler, who portrays icon Richard Burton, can talk more about his role than he can about his co-star.

Look: You can't interview Grant Bowler, the star of the much-publicized Lifetime Original Movie "Liz and Dick," without asking him about his infamous co-star, Lindsay Lohan.

 

Well, you can ask -- but he won't really answer.

 

"I speak for myself," he says when asked what it was like to work with Lohan. "Oh, you know. [Heavy sigh] I don't know. It's, well, you know."

 

No, we don't. Care to elaborate? What about all the attention the film is receiving due to it featuring Lohan's first starring role in five years?

 

"Yeah, I think at the moment, with the film coming out ... rah, rah, rah," he says, trailing off to dead silence.

Rah, rah, rah, indeed. Luckily, Bowler -- who tackles the daunting challenge of portraying famed actor Richard Burton and his tumultuous, iconic love affair with screen siren Elizabeth Taylor -- was much more eloquent in talking about his role.

"There are so many downsides to playing a famous actor," he says. "If you're an actor and you play a famous tennis player, you're not going to be compared to them -- no one assumes you can play tennis. To play an actor is a treacherous thing to take on. I was concerned about that, and very determined about not doing a poor job representing him. He was a personal icon of mine."

Bowler says he was able to take on Burton "bit by bit." "I bit him off in chunks," he says. "We covered so much time --30 years -- so I kind of started with the major turning points in their relationship. I looked at archival footage of him being interviewed and watched a lot of movies. But nothing was as informative than him being interviewed and watching them being interviewed together."

OK, but back to Lohan -- really this time.

"When you tell any story, you want as many people to listen as possible," he tastefully acquiesces about the amount of publicity given to "Liz & Dick" -- even though it might not be the best kind of attention. "It's very, very hard telling a story to an empty room."

Tune-in

“Liz & Dick” premieres Sunday at 9 p.m. on Lifetime.

 
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