The Secrets Behind Lindsay Lohan's Elizabeth Taylor Transformation

06/05/2012 at 04:30 PM ET

Lindsay Lohan as Elizabeth Taylor
Courtesy Lifetime

When Lindsay Lohan first walked onto the set of Lifetime’s Liz & Dick dressed as screen legend Elizabeth Taylor, “there was an audible gasp,” the movie’s costume designer, Salvador Pérez, tells PEOPLE. “You’d swear it was Elizabeth.”

Dressed in Taylor’s favorite styles — jewel-toned cocktail dresses, fur coats and those famous gems (well, good fakes) — the actress looked remarkably like her screen idol. “She just walked into the clothes and became Elizabeth Taylor,” says Pérez.

Producer Larry Thompson had some of Taylor’s most famous bling, including the 33-carat Krupp diamond, recreated for the film. “Part of the magic is the wardrobe,” he says. “And Lindsay said she wants to bring magic to the movie.” Many of the vintage dresses fit her like a glove, too; Lohan’s waist measures a tiny 23 inches, while Taylor’s was a mere 22 inches.

Lohan will wear 66 different looks in the 80-minute biopic, which begins in 1961, ends with Richard Burton’s death in 1984 and focuses on their tumultuous relationship (an affair while she was still married, two weddings and two divorces). To prep, Lohan hired a voice coach and even dyed her auburn hair a deep brunette to better match Taylor’s dark tresses.

Lohan’s hair and makeup will span all of Taylor’s looks, from the long lashes and red lips of the 1950s (attained using M.A.C’s “Hot Tahiti” lipstick) and the Cleopatra-inspired eyeliner and nude mouth of the ’60s to her teased ’80s bouffant, always with her trademark eyeliner to accentuate her famous violet eyes. (Lohan is wearing opalescent lavender contacts for the role.)

“She brings in makeup for me,” makeup artist Eryn Krueger Mekash, who’s using mostly Chanel, Dior and M.A.C products, tells PEOPLE. Adds the movie’s hair stylist, Beatrice De Alba, “She looks so much like her. There was a moment when she saw her picture on the monitor and said ‘I’m her.’ It was thrilling.”

–Liz McNeil, with reporting by K.C. Baker


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Showing 133 comments

Casey on

I don’t care what anyone says, this picture is beautiful. I hope she does a good job

Lis on

I don’t think she looks anything like Liz. I think she looks more like Joan Crawford and I also think this project is going to be a steaming pile of excrement.

kww on

Pretty decent transformation…but Liz had raven black hair and that is what is missing here…

ishkie on

can you say photoshopped?

Jasmin on

Feminism is a sickness. Feminism is a misandrist cult for dumb incompetent girls.

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Janie on

Elizabeth Taylor, at her peak, was the most beautiful woman who ever existed. You could die my hair black and get me violet contacts and fake lashes and a store-bought bosom and slap on the make-up, and I would not look like Liz at her peak.

Lohan won’t fool anyone either.

TheMadola on

1. Yes, she is very beautiful in this picture.
2. Duh! The idea is not that she should look just like Liz, she is ACTING the part, not trying to impersonate the woman!
3. This picture is not photoshopped, at least no more than maybe a bit of airbrushing.

Lindsay is actually quite a beautiful woman herself, in spite of her personal problems and the way she looked sometimes when she obviously had more booze than sleep. When she takes reasonable care/time with herself, she’s awesome!

Elocin on

Lindsay You are too intelligent and beautiful
for you not to progress from now on. Go girl
you are now on the right track. You truly look
like Liz Taylor. GOOD LUCK.

Gloria on

Great picture. But doesn’t even look close to being Liz. Makeup all wrong for sure.

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