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All things to all men in One Night At McCool's
by William Thomas, Empire Magazine, May 2001.
Rock royalty is all things to all-star men in One Night At McCools.
Long before Britney ever dreamed of
tying her shirt ends together. Liv Tyler
and fellow school girl Alicia Silverstone
were shedding unwanted uniforms entirely.
"I just thought it would be fun," Tyler grins,
recalling the notoriously sexy clip for
Aerosmith's Crazy video. "I didn't realize
that, like, three weeks later it would be all
over MTV." The teenage Tyler could hardly
expect to find the video in heavy rotation
years later, but then, she did have less reason
than most to he so naive - after all, her dad
was lead singer in the hand.
Since she made the apparently easy move
from schoolgirl minx to teenage model
to lead actress - "It just happened over
time" - Tyler has happily mixed the
block-busting Armageddon (1997) -
"I think it'll be a cult classic someday;
I really do think that movie is so funny” -
with smallish parts for directors like
Robert Altman [in Cookie's Fortune (1999)
and alongside Helen Hunt and Kate Hudson
in the upcoming Dr. T And The Women]: "I
would walk across the room for that man."
Now, Tyler is turning heads in One Night
At McCools, an inventive indie comedy
from Michael Douglas freshly-minted
production company, as the arch male-manipulator.
Jewel, a girl who will literally
transform into different versions of herself
in an endless bid to furnish her dream home.
"Jewel is like most of us," Tyler explains.
"She has the grass is always greener
drive inside of her. She just wants to have
somewhere to park her feeling and
somewhere to call home. Of course, having
the looks that she does, she's gotten used to
using all that to achieve her goals."
This is typical of Tyler, unable to
distinguish between the obvious charms of
Jewel, and her own singular beauty. "One's
self-image is always warped in a way, don't
you think? When you look in a mirror at
yourself, you don't see what's actually there.
It's more about feeling spirited one day or
not." Vanity, it seems, is not a priority for
a woman who finds the trappings of fame
difficult to deal with: "We are spoiled, we
are taken care of, everybody's nice to us. It's
important to surround yourself with friends
who'll say, 'You are a cunt today.'" Indeed.
Fresh from wrapping McCool's,
Tyler made the long trip to the Southern
Hemisphere to dedicate the next chapter of
her life to learning elvish
and slaying Orcs for Peter
Jackson's Tolkien trilogy.
Currently recovering and
glad to be back home, Tyler
is well drilled in the Jackson
school of secrecy - "I'm
not sure how much of it I'm
allowed to talk about".
However, she's happy to
confirm that her Eldarin
princess, Arwen, will be
mixing it with the best of
them, or at least, trying her
damnedest. "I was with
Viggo (Mortensen) and
(sword fighting coach) Bob
Anderson." she smiles, recalling an early
physical encounter, "and I was surrounded
by about 20 Uruk-hai who were all hitting
me, and I had to attack them. It was
terrifying. I just hid behind Viggo."
There were also more cerebral trials to
overcome, not least learning the English
accent with which Jackson has decided elf
royalty speaks. "It was a challenge for me
as an American speaking in a British accent
anyway, but as an elf you have to he so
centered. We had to move effortlessly
While she is still a mere 23 years old,
Tyler is of course quite prepared for
unusual personal circumstances and testing
examinations; after all, this is a woman
who was raised by not one, hut two,
bona fide rock star dads (initially by
prog-rock star Todd Rundgren, then by
biological father, Aerosmith frontman
Steven Tyler). However, Tyler hasn't
exhausted her appetite for hard-rocking
men, as she got engaged on Valentine's
Day to British musician, Royston Langdon
"It's really interesting," she agrees,
with mild understatement, "because I love
music so much and I still can't play an
instrument completely, which really
frustrates me! But I've got a bit of a break
now, so I'm going to go home and learn
the piano for good." If the versatility she
displays as Jewel is anything to go by, it
can't be long until Tyler is calling the rune
as a one-woman band.