Lindsay Lohan arrived an hour late to the red carpet to celebrate the premiere of "Liz & Dick" but basked in the media frenzy - saying it felt good to have the focus on her work as an actress.
"It feels great to be on a red carpet for working hard. It feels good," Lohan said.
Lohan went for an old-Hollywood glamour look in a slinky ivory slip dress, her long hair wavy and parted on the side with ruby red lips. Lohan plays screen icon Elizabeth Taylor in the made-for-TV film about her romance with Richard Burton that airs on Lifetime Sunday at 9 p.m. EST.
"I wasn't going to let them make the movie without me, first of all," joked Lohan. "I harassed (executive producer) Larry Thompson. But just because it's such an iconic story of love and defeat and loving it and Elizabeth Taylor was such an icon of mine and so many other people's that it was an important film to depict correctly."
Top choices for the role were Lohan and Megan Fox, and Thompson said the choice became obvious after his meeting with Lohan.
"Well Lindsay Lohan wanted it. That was really the big difference," said Thompson. "She evidenced in her words and looking at me in the eyes that needed it, she could relate to Elizabeth Taylor, she felt that she could bring an inner essence other than just being a good actress."
Lohan said she felt similarities with Taylor: "She grew up with her mom mostly and so have I and also living your life in the public, I think that's the main one. It's hard but I think there are certain people that are, I look to her because she got through it."
Lohan has made headlines for problems with cocaine, alcohol and driving that landed her in a Los Angeles-area jail for about two weeks in 2010, and a shoplifting charge that put her on house arrest.
Brushes with the tabloids continued during the filming of "Liz & Dick," when she was involved in a car accident that sent her and her assistant to a hospital. She was cleared of accusations in both Los Angles and New York that she clipped people with her car.
Thompson acknowledged "there were days as reported that making the right decision was easier than living with the right decision. But it was the right decision nonetheless." He added that in her heyday, Taylor was "a handful, too."
Copyright 2012 The Associated Press.