Lindsay Lohan

In 2006 interview, hard-working Lohan was focused on career

Feb. 29, 2012 at 3:42 PM ET

On TODAY: Lohan in 2006, left, and this week.

Lindsay Lohan is making news this week as she continues to make strides toward a comeback of sorts. She's done an exclusive interview with Matt Lauer on TODAY and this weekend she'll host "Saturday Night Live."

In his conversation with Lohan -- in which the actress discusses her lifestyle, her career, and the state of both -- Lauer alludes to "when they spoke last." That last time was May 8, 2006, and Lohan was at a very different place in her life as a 19-year-old star with two movies set for summer release.

This archival TODAY video offers a telling look back at Lohan, both physically and pyschologically. The red-headed child star was certainly growing up, but she appeared a long way off from the Marilyn-esque blonde bombshell who would go on to pose for Playboy magazine. And her focus on her career and craft is at the forefront of the conversation, long before legal and personal problems seemingly took over the spotlight for good.

Lauer starts by asking Lohan about her role in "Just My Luck," in which the actress portrays "the luckiest girl in the world" who has everything going for her before things go terribly wrong.

Lohan says that it was nice playing a character who has both balances because everyone thinks a person in her position is always so lucky. "You have to go through ups and downs and highs and lows and I could bring that to the charcter."

Lohan was also promoting "Prairie Home Companion," in which she appeared with Oscar winner Meryl Streep. Lauer discusses Streep's praise at the time for Lohan's skills in front of the camera. Lohan appears humbled by the compliments and says, "I aspire to have a career like hers."

But as has been the case for several years now, the career, and talk of it, isn't the lasting focus of any Lohan discussion. Even six years ago, Lauer is compelled to ask about the "package of publicity" that comes with Lohan on any film set.

Lohan says she's forced to laugh off what the tabloids say about her and keep her focus on her family and the people she works closely with.

"Hopefully people will know me for my work and not car accidents."

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