At 26, Liv Tyler has played an Elf princess, married her rocker
boyfriend and was recently crowned the face of Givenchy's perfume
Very Irresistible. Indeed!
Opening the door to her presidential suite in the George V
Hotel in Paris, Liv Tyler exclaims, "Look! My room is
something else!" At the last
moment, Tyler got upgraded to her luxurious
room and she admits to being so excited that
she "jumped up and down on the bed like a
tramp!" Tyler graciously offers a guided tour
of this minipalace. The dressing room is as
big as a yacht. Hanging in her closet: multicoloured
caftans by Ghost, fringed '50s Prada
skirts with flower patterns and masses of
Mark Jacobs' technicolour ballet slippers.
In the all-marble bathroom, perfectly aligned
along the lip of the sink, are a neat row of
Sundari creams, a tube of Nuxe Family Balm
and Carmex lip balm. Tyler blushes when she
catches me noticing the neatly folded pile of her
miniunderpants in Day-Glo colours. Last on
the tour, her private hamman, the ultimate
luxury. Tour over, Tyler settles her voluptuous
five-foot 10-inch frame into one of the nearby
king-size sofas for the interview.
What's it like to be the face for the new
Givenchy perfume Very Irresistible?
I'm so happy that Givenchy chose me for this
campaign. I hesitated at first because I knew
that doing the job would demand a lot of work
and personal investment - the pleasure of the
job surpasses all my expectations. My grandmother
was an elegant woman with a sophisticated
wardrobe. And my parents have an intensely
personal vision of fashion. On the other
hand, I'm just entering the haute-couture
world. I had never even seen a runway show!
It's fascinating to work for Givenchy, and
frightening to walk in the footsteps of someone
as extraordinary as Audrey Hepburn.
Two American actresses for the French label?
Yes, all the more so since my first gig as a model
involved impersonating Audrey Hepburn in
a Breakfast at Tiffany's - style yellow wrap and
pearl necklace. I wonder if that shoot motivated
Givenchy to choose me?
Do you wear perfume?
In general I prefer light, floral perfumes. I
adore baby products. Everything depends
on my mood at any given moment.
If it's sunny out, I want something
airy and fresh, so I gravitate toward
citrus smells. If it's overcast and
gloomy, I prefer musk scents. When
I was 15, my best friend's mother
wore Ysatis by Givenchy. I loved it
from the moment I smelled it and I
started wearing it too.
You and fashion: is this a relationship of passion or reason?
I'm a serial shopper. I've gotten worse
since I quit smoking. I love clothes,
almost insanely so. I'm a collector. I
buy designer pieces that I never wear.
The same goes for shoes. I have a ton
of shoes, one pair more beautiful than
the next, but I always end up wearing
my Converse runners. My preferred
styles include vintage and basics
and mixing up things, like using
scarves as belts. Like Cinderella, I go
from jeans to formal attire in the
same day. Even though comfort is my
priority, I always try to be sexy, so I
go for low-cut necklines.
Are you more at ease in front of a
movie or photographer's camera?
Photos are better because I can count
on touch-ups! Actually, I like both
and I've been doing both since the age
of 14. During a photo shoot, I'm so
conscious of the camera that I start
to act immediately. During a movie
shoot, it's the opposite. I have to forget
the camera completely to fall into
the role as naturally as possible. At
the end of the take, I always need to
see the rushes to get a sense of the
framing. Bernardo Bertolucci taught
me to do this and it's become a habit.
Speaking of images, you seem quite
comfortable with yours. Youíre far removed
from the stereotype of the
blond, ultra-thin Hollywood actress.
We all have a feeling of insecurity
about our bodies: stomach, breasts,
thighs. Clearly, I feel better being thin,
but I also cannot deny my true nature.
I don't like actresses who transform
themselves to fit in with the
physical standards that rule at any
given moment. These women don't
realize that they lose their appeal. A
lot of people are afraid to be themselves,
selves maybe because they lack confidence;
maybe they suffered from a
lack of love during their childhood,
which is not at all my case. My
weight varies with different activities:
while shooting, I lose weight. Between
films, I easily gain a few pounds. I'm
a sensualist and like to eat. Sports
control my excesses. I have energy to
burn, and sports balance me physically
and mentally. I like yoga, but I
prefer to wear myself out with a good
kick-boxing session, squats or swimming.
I also love a good massage.
When I'm in L.A., I go to the Beverly
Hot Springs because they have the
best shiatsu in town.
With a recent marriage and this new promotional contract,
your image as a child-woman is changing.
Absolutely. I'm becoming a woman. This year was incredible.
I just got married. We [Tyler married boyfriend
Royston Langdon] bought a house in Greenwich
Village, as well as a sweet King Charles puppy.
With the international success of The Lord of the Rings,
does that make you feel secure?
No, I'm anxious by nature. I admire people who take
life as it comes. Me, I worry about the people around
me. I want to take care of everything and everyone.
You like acting, but do you like Hollywood?
I have to admit that I'm very intimidated by Hollywood.
I've never lived there, just worked there. I can't blend
into the scene. I feel like a round peg in a square hole.
Since film is my passion, however, I adapt.
How has being beautiful helped your career?
It opens doors, no question. But you can't count
on beauty forever. I saw Bernardo Bertolucci recently.
He knew me when I was young and he was amazed
that my mouth bad shrunk! "For a girl who built
her reputation with her mouth, that beats everything!"
That made me laugh. It also reminded me to
keep things in perspective.
LIVíS WISH LIST
1. if you hadn't become an actress, what would
you like to have been? An orchestral conductor.
2. What's your favourite meal? Doritos and a glass of red wine.
3. What's your favourite book? The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein.
4. Your favourite movies? The 400 Blows by Francois Truffaut and Three Amigos.
5. Your favourite singers? Serge Gainsbourg (Histoire de Melody Nelson), Marilyn Monroe.
U2 (All That You Can't Leave Behind) and
everything by Iggy Pop.
6. Something you dream about but don't yet have? A baby.
7. Your favourite place on the planet? A tropical beach.
8. If you had magic powers, what would you do with them? Rid the earth of garbage.
9. Your favourite quotation? "Live a little," as Kate Jones says.
10. The best advice you ever received? Robert Altman told me to "keep quiet and stop thinking."