Liv's new life
by Karina Machado, Australian Who magazine, June 2008, Photo by James White
The newly single star loves working out, motherhood - and some good therapy
Liv Tyler strides into her interview with WHO already smiling, and it's like switching a light on in the room. The next thing you notice is that the actress - wearing only a hint of blush and mascara, and a slick of light-pink on her famous mouth - is more gorgeous girl-next-door than va-va-voom movie star. "Oh, thank you," she says, when complimented on her look (black tights, ballet flats and a little sleeveless jumpsuit). "I literally threw something off my closet floor into a bag. I was very late this morning because I brought Milo with me, and he's in the room next door having a grilled cheese sandwich, jumping on the bed and watching Dora the Explorer."
Given half a chance, the hands-on mum would be bouncing right alongside her 3-year-old, but between work and a bumpy personal life, there's not much time for play. Hours after our May 8 catch-up at New York's Regency Hotel, Tyler's rep announced the 30-year-old and her husband of five years, British rocker Royston Langdon, 36, had separated: "They remain good friends and devoted parents."
Though she has kept mum on the split, Tyler, who co-stars with Edward Norton in The Incredible Hulk (opening June 12), was happy to chat - and chat - about her small boy. "He's so cute!" she gushes. "He thinks I work in a trailer, so every time we drive down the street and we see a trailer, he goes, 'There's Mummy's work!'"
For "Mummy" to shape up for her latest gig as the Hulk's love interest, Betty, she amped up her usual five-day-a-week regimen of squats, push-ups, sit-ups and cardio with her long-time trainer, David Kirsch. It paid to build up her stamina. "For The Hulk, I spent 12 to 20 hours a day running, screaming, kicking and fighting my way out of helicopters," the actress - she also got her heart rate up in blockbusters Armageddon and The Lord of the Rings - told Self magazine. Not that she needs an excuse to work out these days: "I love it and it's fun," says Tyler, one celebrity who has always been frank about her struggle to stay in shape. "The hardest part is losing the pounds after the baby. Some actresses say, 'It just rolled off me and I'm skinny,'" she says. "I was hungrier than I have ever been in my entire life when I was breastfeeding."
For a smooth transition into motherhood, Tyler took a year off after Milo's birth in December 2004. The actress, who found fame in 1996's Stealing Beauty, calls herself "very lucky" to have a nanny, though it's still "difficult," she says, to juggle long hours at shoots. But downtime is all about everyday pleasures, like play dates with Kate Hudson and her son, Ryder. "Compared to all my friends, I'm really boring," says Tyler. "I don't have a huge social life. I don't go out to dinner three or four times a week. I always try to spend the evening with Milo and cook dinner - we'll have a bubble bath together, play and read," she says. "The things that make me happy inside are the little things like being at home with my family and friends."
The life Tyler is building for Milo is worlds away from her own turbulent childhood. The daughter of Playboy playmate Bebe Buell and Aerosmith's Steven Tyler, Liv - born Liv Rundgren, after her stepfather, Todd - learned the identity of her biological father in 1988. Tyler, who modelled at 14 before her star turn in the Aerosmith video 1994 "Crazy" launched her screen career, is now very close to her father: "Milo loves my dad. I think it's because he's like a child himself, in some ways."
A fan of self-help books, Tyler is hungry to learn about relationships and their place in her life: "How you are in your love relationship stems completely from who parented you," says Tyler. "I love therapy... when you have an 'a-ha!' moment," she says. "I literally skip out of the office."
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