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Interview for L'Officiel

L'Officiel, December 2001. Translation from french by ťlise

The daughter of the Aerosmith singer and of the former model Bebe Buell, Liv Tyler started modelling at the age of 14. Then she went to the cinema. Established by "Armageddon", here is she playing in this year blockbuster "The Lord Of The Rings - The Fellowship Of The Ring" which will be in theatres on December 19th

Tell us about Arwen, your character
She's an elf. Elves are really extraordinary. They are immortal - this ability to never get old fascinates me. What woman isn't afraid of this irreversible process of getting old ? In the film, I play a young woman who falls in love with a mortal, Aragorn. Her problem, in fact, throughout the story, is whether it is better to live and love for a few years or to reach eternity without experiencing this love ?

And the choice is ?
What young romantic woman, and Iím one, would renounce the happiness of love ?

You put love above all ?
Itís obvious! When you are lucky to know someone with whom you can share everything, itís the happiness with a big H!

Do you enjoy this happiness ? Did you enjoy it ?
Iím very lucky. I live with a great musician, Spacehogís bassist, Roy Langdon. Heís a kind, courteous and refined Englishman. Very British, really. We want to get married as soon as our respective activities will give us the time. But, Iíve spoken too much, I donít like to speak about my private life.

Sense of privacy ?
I donít think so. Itís just that I donít see how my very simple life can fascinate people. I live like anybody else, except that, being an actress, Iím more exposed to media coverage.

Was it your childhood dream to become an actress or did this idea come to you gradually ?
Iíve always dreamt to become THE Hollywood star! No, of course, I'm joking. I never decided, to become an actress. By chance, towards 16, I did modeling, which I disliked, for that matter. I have been asked to audition and I enjoyed it a lot. A picture of me has been published in a magazine (Rolling Stone). My agent saw it. He called a casting director who he knew and said: "Did you hear of that girl ? Did you see her ?" "She just left my office", answered the director. And all has started! I was reading the script of Luc Besson's The Professionnal. I got my first part a few months after that, and everything started to roll on quite quickly. At that moment, I really made my decision to become an actress. When I filmed my second film, Heavy, the production warned me: "Weíve got an extremely tight budget, can we count on you ?" I didnít hesitate: "I really understand that, it doesnít matter, I am with you." And then, my next films' budgets grew. Now, my acting pleasure is intact, Iím really hooked on the camera ... and I canít complain on my fees!

How do you deal with your celebrity ?
Letís not exaggerate! Iím not there thinking all the time: "Well, youíve got famous friends, well, you are accosted on the street rue, what a star you are, my girl.!" (laughs). What I hate, is people that I donít know who take pictures of me without asking for my permission. There are people who shout at me too, as if the fact that Iím famous gave them the right to disrespect my privacy. Itís unbearable and it drives me mad. On the other hand, how not to be grateful to the audience for their interest in me ?

If you weren't an actress, what job would you like to do ?
Without hesitation, a cook. It's a dream. Do you find that stupid? I love to cook. It's a real obsession!

Do you sometimes come to France ?
Iíve been to France on several occasions, in Paris, in Cannes. I like this country, itís superb. And the French have been really nice to me. I came there for a film, That Thing You Do!. I was at the Ritz hotel, in a sumptuous suite. I love these ancient luxury hotels. Although Iím an American, Iím in love with Europe. All our buildings canít be compared with the beauty of what you find in Europe.

Are you interested by fashion ?
Am I interested by fashion ? Iím a total fashion freak, I spend so much money on clothes! I love that, really!

Have you got a regular style, a regular fashion designer, or do you gather from here and there, according to your mood ?
I love young London and New York fashion designers, not necessarily famous. Theyíve got little shops. Itís a real pleasure for me to discover them. I love, of course, French design, represented in my opinion by Coco Chanel and Yves Saint Laurent. Itís sober, and in the same time itís extraordinarily beautiful. Those are authentic stars.

While your mother has been a Playmate for the Hugh Hefnerís famous magazine, Playboy, you are more keen on period costume!
Oh yeah, yeah! Itís a pleasure for me to wear clothes made especially for a film by such and such top designer. For Lord of The Ring, for example, I spent a lot of time with the costumes designer, Ngila, helping her, proposing suggestions. The result of her work is absolutely remarkable. Itís fantastic.

Do you follow the fashion ?
No. I like an outfit for itself, not for its avantgard side. My style is in fact quite eclectic. Thereís nothing that irritates me more than to see people rush to a cloth that I want to have. Under the influence of magazines, from the smallest shop to the biggest. Everybody copy from everybody. The result? A standardization with no originality.

So you donít like to be given advice ?
If itís a wise advice, of course, I take notice of it. But I never let someone choose for me, at the end itís always my decision. I would probably not be able to continue modeling, it would have been hard for me to wear outfits I didnít like. They always bothered me, forcing me to wear clothes that I hated.

Do you love one perfume in particular ?
In a strange way, my favourite perfume is a menís perfume, Gendarme. Itís ultra-light. I put it continuously. I donít like strong odors. With only one exception, the Chanels perfumes, the Number 5 ahead. Thereís another French perfume that I love, a baby stuff, in fact, called Moustic which smells like lemon.

What would please you the most at this moment ?
Waaooh! It could well be to do a thalassotherapy. Yeah, to buy me a week in a thermal spa; to spend holydays there ... it would be brilliant! Donít ask me the reason why, I wouldnít be able to answer. Itís probably a decadence in my simplicity! (laughs).

Whatís your motivation in life ?
I love to live through all the things I do; The recent events weíve lived through in New York incite me to live even more "through" than ever. How will tomorrow be like ?

Would you like to change anything about yourself ?
A lot of things certainly! (laughs) Iím shy and I would lie if I said Iím totally immune from judgement passed on by others, again peopleís critical look too. While remaining who I am, I try hard to pay less attention to all these things.

Are you prone to stage fright ?
Terrible! The worst ... THE WORST; Iíve been asked to present the Awards or to do Saturday Night Live. I canít, that paralyses me so much. I canít understand why. The strangest, is that Iím so much at ease when IĎm chatting with someone and as soon as I have to talk in front of an audience Iím frightened to death. I really have to overcome that. But I think Iím improving.

An ideal boyfriend, a fame increasing with each film, young, pretty, attractive, this is the life!
Iím very lucky, Iím aware of that! Thanks for all these compliments that make me blush! Even if they aren't sincere, and I have no doubt they are, itís always nice to hear (laughs.) It is the best way to reinforce one's self-confidence.

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