03/04/2008 AT 06:35 PM EST
Multiple car accidents, three stints in rehab and a court ordered spell at the morgue can put anyone's life into perspective. Lindsay Lohan
tells PEOPLE that the last few years of turmoil have made her more focused on acting and singing than ever.
"My life was distracted by certain things and that got in the way of work," Lohan, 21, said Tuesday at the Paper Magazine
and Diesel luncheon celebrating this month's cover story. "But now I'm back on track and figuring out what's next."
Alongside designer Jeremy Scott, who shot the cover, and DJ friends Samantha Ronson and Steve Aoki, the actress laughed and took personal pictures at the event in her honor held at the Sunset Marquis Hotel and Villas.
"Lindsay and I have been talking about doing a shoot together for some time and we hadn't had the chance," said Scott, who is also a friend. Though Scott is not the only one to have photographed the actress recently, he says, "Everyone always shoots her in a very generic [way]. So we took her and put her on a set and let her act." He adds: "She's an actress for God sakes, and sometimes people forget that."
So what is next for the starlet? She is getting ready to start shooting the comedy Ye Olde Times
with Jack Black and David Arquette. Plus, there's another album in the works.
"I'm recording right now [with] Motown and being in the studio again has been really great," she said of her "dance, hip-hop and R&B album," adding, "It's all coming together."