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Liv Tyler as Arwen

Total Film Magazine, 2002.

Wrapping her tongue around Tolkien's made-up languages was just the start for the One Night At McCool's star...

So how is your Elvish these days?
Well, I didn't learn Elvish, like would learn Italian or something. But I spent a lot of time learning the vowel sounds. There's a lot of weird sounds I'm not used to making like 'ch' and 'fech' and all these, you know.... sounds.

Haven't you been winding your friends with it?
There was a piece in the paper, some gossip column, that they were getting annoyed because I was calling and leaving Elvish messages on their answering machines. I would like to say now that I have never, ever in my life left any Elvish on anybody's answer machine. Ever. [laughs]

As if getting to grips with the language wasn't enough, you were also working on all three films in the trilogy at once. Was that very hard?
Yeah, that was difficult. It was really hard to get any kind of perspective or clarity about where we were going with our characters, because we were all too tired to go and watch the rushes. And we could be doing stuff from any of the three films in one day - it was really all over the place.

You knew you were going to spend more than a year of your life making these films. What was going through your head, when you first arrived in New Zealand?
When I first got there, I was kind of traumatised and a bit overwhelmed. The first thing I did was go on a hour of the Weta workshop, where they bunt all the prosthetic and the armour and the creatures. It was really powerful to see all of that. But then I really started to have nightmares. I lived on this cliff overlooking the sea in Wellington, which is kind of windy and the houses aren't really built to take the weather. The whole house would shake and I'd have nightmares all the time. It was the wind, but I'd be dreaming about orcs, dwarves and all sorts of scary things...

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