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Me, My Elf And I

by Debra Wallace, New Woman, 2001.

The elves in Lord Of The Rings are perfect little beings who can do no wrong. No prizes for guessing why Liv Tyler plays one then.

The first of the three Lord Of The Rings films is an epic all night. With a budget of nearly $300 million and a cast of extras which almost included the entire New Zealand army ( they were sent to East Timorat the last minute to serve as peacekeepers), it wasn't ever going to be a film that quietly came to the cinema then disappeared out of sight. Which has got ta make Liv Tyler happy. Afterall, she spent 18 months in New Zealand away from her fiancÚ. Spacehog bassist (and Brit boy) Royston Langdon, just so she could play the elf princess Arwen in this epic Tolkien trilogy. Debra Wallace caught up with her minus the elf-costume and false cars...

How did you like playing an elf?

"Elves are kind of like perfect beings. They're very poised and centred and they never slouch or relax. Not like me. A lot of times I'd be sitting on the set going. Oh, I can't wait to do a low-budget film where I'm just sitting in a diner in a pair of jeans having a chat because this is really hard."

What was so tough?

"We all had to go through really long training process which involved horse riding, sword fighting and working out with trainers and spending hours with dialect coaches. It was like being in school from morning until night and was really tough."

Your character, Arwen, sacrifices her immortally for love. Would you do that?

"Yes, love is everything to me."

It took a year and a half to film the entire Lord Of The Rings trilogy. How did you feel on the last day?

"Relieved, because it was tiring and very hard. Also I was shooting a scene without any of the main actors, so I was actually a little bit sad, about that. I was in this sea of extras with a lot of people I didn't really know around me. I didn't feel a sense of completion because of the enormity of the project."

And how did you cope being away from Roy?

"It wasn't a problem. We've been together for three yeas and we've been separated a lot and it just makes the heart grow fonder."

What do you like to do when you're not working?

"I like to come home, make dinner, and have some time to relax around the house."

No posh restaurants than?

"I was just saying to Roy that the main advantage of being famous is being able to get into really good restaurants whenever you want and not have to wait for weeks. Otherwise, I don't live a posh life."

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