Unlike Gretchen Wieners’ infamous advocacy of the word “fetch” in Mean Girls, Lindsay Lohan wasn’t even trying to make the video of what would become the #DotheLilo dance — which went viral in September 2018 — “happen” as a pop cultural phenomenon. In fact, the 32-year-old actress-turned-entrepreneur (and producer-star of MTV’s upcoming reality show Lindsay Lohan’s Beach Club) didn’t even know the instantly iconic moment was being filmed.
“We just started dancing!” Lohan tells EW in the video interview above, admitting that she wasn’t aware the clip (filmed by a bystander during production of Beach Club, which follows Lohan’s ventures as a day club owner and operator in the Grecian paradise of Mykonos) had saturated the internet until a colleague emailed her a link to one of the countless memes inspired by the groovy moment. “She goes ‘This dance is going viral. It’s called #DotheLilo!’ and I was like, ‘What are you talking about?’
“Then, I saw it,” she continues. “And she was like, ‘We have to make this a spectacular thing,’ and she did! But it wasn’t planned… we were just having fun and it became something. Then I saw Halloween costumes later, and it completely changed the whole perception of what dancing is!”
Lohan was particularly floored by a subsequent video inspired by the dance that features an Australian dance class learning Lohan’s moves as if they were legitimate choreography. But Lohan says even she wouldn’t know how to recreate the magic.
“I was like, how do I even do those steps? Because I was just dancing!” she says with a laugh. “I don’t even know exactly how I would do that!”
Speaking about the show, Lohan calls Beach Club “an opportunity” for her to course-correct from the path of her troubled past — one she hopes people will “please just leave me alone and just give me positive affirmations” for.
“This is a time for me to just show people that the past is the past and we’re only moving forward,” she explains, adding that her hard-partying ways are behind her so she can focus on managing a group of American hospitality experts working under her to help build a brand she can be proud of. “It was definitely a juxtaposed position that I was put in, and I really appreciate that and admire it because these kids also have their own issues they’re going through in those moments, and I got to have some insight and get to know these people.”
Part of that responsibility meant stepping into the role of a no-nonsense nurturer.
“Two of the girls that work with us had an argument over this guy. I said, ‘Look, we’re supposed to stick together; we’re women! You have a beautiful opportunity in life. You’re here for the right reasons, so you have to be friends with each other,’” Lohan says. “To actually hear a story from someone is something that we forget to do all the time. This show really explores other sides to people and how I can share my past with them [to] help them.”
Lindsay Lohan’s Beach Club premieres Tuesday at 8 p.m. ET on MTV, while Lindsay Lohan’s Beach Club: After the Show — featuring Lohan and her Mean Girls costar Jonathan Bennett — will air immediately after the episode. Watch Lohan discuss her new reality TV venture and her iconic Mykonos dance above.
For more on Lindsay Lohan’s Beach Club — and our full winter TV preview — pick up the new issue of Entertainment Weekly on stands now, or buy it here. Don’t forget to subscribe for more exclusive interviews and photos, only in EW.