Lohan, 26, is preparing to play late screen icon Elizabeth Taylor in an upcoming Lifetime movie. It will be her first lead role in years as her career was sidelined because of her substance-abuse issues and legal woes.
O'Donnell, whose OWN talk show was recently canceled after only a few months because of low ratings, discussed Lohan's casting as Taylor on Monday's edition of the "Today" show, E! News reported.
"I feel very sorry for her," O'Donnell said of Lohan. "I think she needs a lot of help. She needs a lot of time away."
Asked by interviewer Matt Lauer if she approves of the casting decision, E! said O'Donnell replied, "No.
"Because she's had a lot of trouble doing every single movie, including ['Saturday Night Live']. She was out and not at rehearsal and I think she's not in a place to work," O'Donnell said. "I don't think she's right for the role, and I don't think she's capable at this point of doing what's needed to portray that character. I think the interest level in her has waned significantly."
Lohan's publicist swiftly responded to the barbs, telling E! News exclusively, "I think Rosie should focus on her own career and stop worrying about everyone else's."