Lifetime’s TV movie Liz & Dick hopes to capture the storied love affair between Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton, a legendary Hollywood romance fueled by fights, sex and alcohol.
Lindsay Lohan plays the violet-eyed star opposite of Grant Bowler's Burton in a TV movie directed by Lloyd Kramer (2007's Mitch Albom's For One More Day) and produced by Larry A. Thompson.
Before the television movie premieres on Sunday night, here are five things to know:
1. No garment or accessory was previously worn or owned by Elizabeth Taylor.
While there were 117 costume changes in the 88-minute TV movie, costume designer Salvador Perez told The Hollywood Reporter that it was better to stay away from the onscreen icon’s personal wardrobe and accessories.
“We could have pulled it [off] because there just an auction so we knew where everything was from, but the insurance liability was huge,” said Perez.
He noted, “And can you imagine taking an original piece of jewelry or dress, and have something happen at the dry cleaners?”
2. Lohan loved sitting for hours of costume fittings.
“The first day we had a 3-hour fitting, but she loved it,” noted Perez. “I’d be like, ‘Lindsay, try on these dresses’ and there was never a ‘no.’ She’d just be like ‘OK.’ And whenever I found something new she’d just be like ‘let’s try it on.’ We got along great. We had a complete understanding on what to do. ”
Even if there were days that the Liz & Dick star didn't want to wear a particular outfit, Perez pointed out that "luckily, I had a closet of Liz and was able to pull something out."
3. The chemistry becomes evident between Lohan and Bowler during the Cleopatra scene.
Thompson told THR that he knew the Mean Girls actress was right for the role when she read with Bowler.
“I had to have the chemistry between Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton. Once they were in the room together and the chemistry was there and sparks flew -- I knew I could make Liz and Dick again," he said.
He adds: That scene when they fall in love in Rome on the set of Cleopatra and start to have a scandalous affair because they were both married at the time -- you’re going to see what the scandal is all about.”
4. Lohan’s iconic black poster dress is from outside the state of California.
After establishing a great relationship with a vintage costume house in Portland, Oregon, 15 years ago, Perez knew it was one of the places he had to visit to get the right garb on set.
The costume designer said, “He always had the best pieces so as soon as I got the movie, I called him and said, ‘pull out your '60s collection.’ I flew up there and just bought it out to L.A. A lot of what you see on camera is vintage. What you see as the iconic dress in the poster is from him.”
5. Lohan looks the part in the Cleopatra outfit.
Actor David Hunt, who stars as Burton’s older brother Ifor Jenkins, was in awe when he saw the leading actress in the period costume: “We were about three weeks in and doing Cleopatra, and I came out of my trailer the same time she did. She was in full Cleopatra garb, and I stepped out and I gasped. My jaw hit the floor because she was a dead ringer for Liz. She looked unbelievable. I just stopped her and went ‘whoa’ for about five minutes. She certainly looked the part.”
Liz & Dick premieres Sunday at 9 p.m. on Lifetime.