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It's beautiful to be married

by Alun Palmer, UK New!, June 2004

One of the most effortlessly flamorous women in Hollywood, Liv Tyler - movie star and face of Givenchy - might be a regular on the best-dressed pages, but she is refreshingly down to earth in person. And, unusually, it would seem she doesn't aspire to fit into a size 6 like her Hollywood counterparts. "I've been a size 14 my whole life, give or take 5lbs," says Liv, 26. "I've been told that if I lost weight I'd have more work - but to the rest of the world I'm slim."

The daughter of Aerosmith frontman, Steve Tyler, and model Bebe Buell, Liv thought her father was singer-songwriter Todd Rundgren in her early years. But at the age of nine, when she met one of Tyler's daughters, Mia, and discovered they were almost identical in appearance, Liv confronted her mother, and soon after took her real father's name.

Many years later, she seems remarkably stable for someone with such rock'n'roll lineage and has enjoyed a film career of more than 21 movies. Liv got hitched in March 2003 to Yorkshire-born Spacehog frontman Royston Langdon in a secret ceremony in the Caribbean. The shy couple try to keep out of the public eye, preferring, she says, nights at home in front of the TV.

For her current film, Jersey Girl, she's put away her prosthetic ears from her role in the Lord Of The Rings trilogy and teamed up with Ben Affleck, who she also starred with in Armageddon. Here, Liv talks to New! about working with Ben, married life and motherhood...

Is it different being married as opposed to living with Royston?
It's beautiful to be married. We've been together six and a half years and I wouldn't say that our relationship feels that much different but it's a special thing being married and it makes us feel even more close.

Do you sometimes feel like you've got it all?
I feel incredibly lucky but I don't think anybody ever has everything. I mean, I'm never satisfied. I don't feel like, "Oh, I'm great." I always feel not so sure about myself and my abilities and I'm always trying to work harder.

Are you looking forward to motherhood?
Yeah, absolutely.

You've friends with Kate Hudson - are you hanging out with her and her baby, Ryder, much?
A little bit, yeah.

Are you picking up any tips?
I was actually, yes. I was very intrigued. I have a lot of friends who have babies.

What else do you still want to achieve in your life?
I have a lot of things within myself that I'm trying to do but mainly I'm just trying to live and be a woman. A lot of my life I grew up in the spotlight and I sort of went through last year what I probably should have gone through at 18 - being suddenly not sure about who I was. I went through this bizarre period and I've come out of that now, but it was hard for me in some ways.

What brought about that period?
Oh my God, I'm opening cans of worms! [laughs] I'm 26 now and got married. I moved from this tiny apartment into this huge house which was my dream my whole life. My mom and I really didn't have a lot of money when I was a kid. We always lived in apartments and I always wanted my own house. Now I've bought my mom a house, and suddenly all these things that I'd always dreamed of doing, I kind of made happen. It's just a lot of responsibility, I guess.

You've said that you still get nervous on the first day of shooting a movie - what do you do to get over that?
Have a panic attack [laughs]. There's a lot of anxiety in what we do and I think people just assume celebrities love attention, but I get really nervous about a lot of things. There's a lot of things that are really scary because you're really putting yourself out there.

How about your husband?
He gets nervous when he goes out onstage. Everybody does. My dad gets nervous. I think it's normal. But what sets you apart is whether you can function or not.

What do you do to relax beforehand, then?
It depends on what the situation is and who I'm with. Usually I'll just try and talk about it with someone who I love and trust.

What was it like working with Ben Affleck on Jersey Girl?
I think Ben did some amazing work in this film. I like to see him in humbling performances where you really get to see him suffering as opposed to him just being an action hero. And I think it was great that we'd already worked together and formed a friendship. I'm really good friends with his brother Casey as well, so I'm very comfortable around Ben.

Ben has had so much focus on him lately because of his relationship with J.Lo - can you empathise?
I really don't know because I'm not him. He's a big, famous movie star and everybody lives differently and has a different life and different ways of handling things. I've been really lucky that I've led a pretty boring life and I haven't had any big scandals.

Was there a fence around the set when Ben and J.Lo were working on Jersey Girl?
Yeah, there was.

In the movie, your character Maya talks quite openly about sex to Ben's character. How open are you when talking to a guy about sex?
Don't ask me! [laughs] I'm a pretty open girl but I don't know if I'm quite as open as Maya is. Some of it was difficult, but Ben made me laugh so hard, it was funny.

When did you learn about sex?
I actually once did an interview when I said something about sex in passing like this, and then it was on the cover of the magazine! So I'm never doing that again! I'm not answering!

OK, an easier question - was that really you singing in the movie?
Yeah. I wanted to be a singer all my life but my mother used to say that I was going to be an actress because I had this huge personality. I would act things out and perform and if I was ever being emotional she would tell me I was being a drama queen. I've always wanted to do a musical but it hasn't happened yet.

What's your next project?
I'm doing a movie that Steve Buscemi is directing with Casey Affleck. We're shooting it on video for 20 days and it's got a $300,000 budget. I'm going to drive myself to Indiana with my assistant and my dog. I don't even know if we have trailers, but it's a really great story. Casey is the star and it's called Lonesome Jim and I play a single mother. I'm really excited about it and a little scared because none of us have shot on video or that quickly. Maybe it will be like a little acting class, in a way!

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