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