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An interview with the lovely Liv Tyler: Super

Tonight at the Movies, April 6th 2011.

Liv Tyler is arguably one of the most beautiful women in the world; she is certainly one of the most striking. I happy to report that she is also one of the sweetest and most authentic people in the industry, despite being the daughter of the legendary lead singer of Aerosmith, Steven Tyler. During our interview with her she answered each question openly and honestly and without reserve or hesitation. We have admired both her beauty and talent in films such as Stealing Beauty, as Arwen in The Lord of the Rings trilogy and now in James Gunn's latest film Super. Tyler plays Rainn Wilson's wife and Kevin Bacon's love interest in a dark drama-edy that is based around superheros. She talks with us about why she took the role, the advantages of wearing a mask and working with such an amazing cast.

TATM: What was it when you read the script for Super that made you want to do the film?
LIV TYLER: I read the script... and I just loved it. I just couldn't put it down. I thought it was funny, and weird, and dark and wrong and it really made me laugh out loud. I felt so ... much compassion and so much love and related to Frank so much for some reason. I felt like the beginning of the movie where its establishing the horrible things that had happened to him in his life and how he feels like a failure and he doesn't fit in and that he finally sort of meets someone in his life that makes him feel whole in his heart. The idea that she leaves him, and leaves his life. He's just not ready for it; he had a taste of it. I related to that on such a deep level.

TATM: Did you know that Rainn, Kevin and Ellen were attached to the project when you read the script?
LIV TYLER: I knew that Rainn was cast, and I think Ellen was attached or just in the process of being a cast, I believe that Kevin came along at the last second... we were all very excited.

TATM: It looks like a blast to be working with Rainn, Kevin and Ellen.
LIV TYLER: Yeah, it's funny; my favorite thing about being an actor is getting to work on ensemble pieces. It's such a nice feeling to work with so many different kinds of actors and share in that, that sort of theater troupey kind of experience, for me as an actor more than being a performer and carrying the whole movie. I really like to submerge myself in the experience and be around a lot of interesting talents that I can learn from and be a part of.

TATM: James Gunn mentioned that this was a very difficult shoot because it was so cold. How was the shoot for you?
LIV TYLER: It was intense; the greatest challenge was only having 24 days to shoot. There are a lot of different elements... the stunts as well as the performance in the acting scenes which are also very important. I was really impressed with how well it was all mapped out... [James] had a completely though every drop of everything through story. He knew exactly what shots he wanted, what angles he wanted, what he wanted from me. Sometimes it was kinda tricky, we'd only have a couple of takes and we'd have to move along. I definitely found that hard, especially the first few days. Then I just kinda thought, you know, fuck it, I'm just gonna totally let go and give over to this experience. It was almost like an acting exercise to some extent, to have to do that, and I felt extra vulnerable because I was playing someone who's sort of out of it all the time. I wasn't so familiar with that or comfortable [with that] and I didn't get to look at play back and see what that looked like... It was the tricky thing, to kind of just let go of that... I knew [James] would tell me if something wasn't good.

TATM: In earlier stages after so few takes, were you confident with your performance?
LIV TYLER: That's so personal for different actors. I wouldn't say I ever fell like, "Oh I nailed that." It's nice to be able to have as much time as you can. There's times when you get to a point where you think there's nothing more you can give, I couldn't do another take... if you've done like twelve takes, but generally that feeling of being rushed is tricky. You just have a very small amount of time... You'll think of something after that fact that you wished you could have done or that you didn't get to squeeze in there.

TATM: Many actresses say that they don't like the whole damsel in distress archetype and playing that type of character.
LIV TYLER: I think I, I don't dislike anything. I mean there is something to be said for all different kinds of parts and this story is typically more of her being a damsel in distress, I've referred to it that way myself. The classic she needs to be rescued. For me it was more the idea - and I found it tricky at times because you often see her from his point of view and his idea of her. And you see her darkness and what she's struggling with. You don't really see the nitty-gritty of like what's going on with her as a person so there was a fine line for me with that. So there's a fine line of that. He always has to look at her and see her as a victim or see her in a bad situation that he has to rescue her from because she can't rescue herself. So it's more, I guess that makes her a damsel in distress. I tried to look at it at the point of view. And Again, every film is different every part is different and I felt comfortable in doing that for this film but there was days when I would be frustrated about it, or I didn't have anything else to do, or I wanted to do something else. But it was, you know?

TATM: Are you ever a damsel in distress ever?
LIV TYLER: In life? You know, I'm such a survivor because I've always had to sort of take care of myself in my lifetime, but there's a part of me that would like to be. I have such a natural ability to take care of myself and I'm very solution oriented. I'm usually the one coming up with the way to fix things or do things. So... probably not.

TATM: You attended Comic-con this past year for Super, what was your sense of how much it has changed?
Liv Tyler: I was there once for The Strangers and The Hulk and that amazing room and I'd never heard of it and never seen anything like it. I was so fascinated by the energy of being in that room with all those fans and everyone sort of dressed up and people ask questions. But this year was so amazing because Ellen and I wore masks and we went into the convention and walk around and had so much fun. The first year they wouldn't let me. We just walked around for two hours and bought things and read things, and I loved it. It was really interesting.

TATM: What were your masks?
Liv Tyler: My mask I borrowed from Ellen's friend, the V from Vendetta [mask], which was interesting because people were looking at me, like they do when I don't have a mask on, but not because it was me. I was like, can they see my face under this thing, but no. It was like when we walked by someone and they took a double take or look at you in a funny way. I liked wearing a mask, I wish I could wear one more often.