The 'Mean Girls' starlet seemed keen on putting the past behind her and moving forward with her film career. She has been cast as Kim Gotti, wife of John Gotti Jr., in 'Gotti: Three Generations,' and told Leno that in six years she hopes to return to his show "after I've won an Oscar ... that would be ideal."
Asked if she ever worried that her legal woes and private turmoil would result in the loss of film work, Lohan told Leno, "You know, I've made a lot of poor decisions in the past, and I'm dealing with the consequences of those decisions. Yeah, there were times when I was concerned, but I'm a fighter and I know that I have to work to gain the respect back. I'm willing to do the work that I have to do to follow through with being an actress because that's what I love."
Leno commented that he's had several guests in the past, Jane Fonda among them, who have spoken positively of working with Lohan, and wondered, "At what point did you realize, 'Oh my God, I could lose this, this could slip away from me'?"
"Being young and being in the position I was in, you don't really take the time to appreciate what you have," she said. "But I'm not a kid anymore, I'm 24. I've made a lot of mistakes and I recognize that. But I'm in the clear now, and I feel like as long as I stay focused then I will be able to achieve what I want to achieve."
Watch part one of Lohan's interview with Leno:
In January, just two weeks after completing three months of court-ordered rehab at the Betty Ford Center, the actress allegedly walked out of a jewelry store with a pricey necklace around her neck. Lohan has stated that she was borrowing the jewelry for a photo shoot, as is common practice in Hollywood, however, the jeweler, Kamofie & Co., contends that she stole the necklace.
On April 22, Lohan was sentenced to 120 days in jail and 480 hours of community service for a probation violation stemming from a 2007 DUI. The judge reduced Lohan's felony theft charge to a misdemeanor, but ordered her immediately into custody and set a trial date. She is currently free on bail and appealing the verdict.
As her case is still ongoing, Lohan was not free to discuss the details of the hearing or the case against her. She did tell Leno she was "kind of shocked" when the judge remanded her immediately to jail. "We didn't really expect the outcome to be what it was," she told Leno. "But I'm a big girl and I'm going do what I'm told to do and that's what I have to do to continue on with working and my life. I'm taking responsibility."
She also called going to jail a "wake-up call," admitted she let her fans down with her past behavior and remarked that she would like to change the public's perception of her. She hopes to be known, first and foremost, as an actress again and not simply a tabloid figure. "I've put myself in positions where that was the bigger story than what I was working on."
"You lose sight of what it is that you really love because there's so much stuff that goes on every day," Lohan said of the Hollywood scene. "You let a lot of people into your life that you don't necessarily ... that you take with a grain of salt, and I like to see that good in people, so people come and go and it's just a lot, but that's the past and I want to keep it that way."