All about Liv
Norwegian FM, June 2004. Translation by Aleksandra
Oh, Liv Tyler. Arwen in the "Lord of the Rings" trilogy, car washer in "One night at McCools", and well... beautiful in "Stealing Beauty". FM met her in New York.
Well all right, Liv Tyler usually plays bit clumsy and fragile girls, but if you look away from her beautiful appearance, her fallow-deer eyes and the shied voice shes definitely tougher than she appears to be. As most of you know, Liv grew up thinking Todd Rundgren was her dad, it was later that she found out that Steven Tyler from the rock group Aerosmith was her REAL dad. Last year she married the British rock singer Royston Langdon, whom she has been with for these last six years. A girl who can brag about being godmother to Keith Richards son is rocked enough if you ask me ...
If youre going to be brutally honest, Liv is more known for her appearance than for her impressing acting achievements, and probably has more male fans than female. Despite a rock solid role as Arwen in the "Lord of the Rings" trilogy she still gets related with being cute and sexy. And that can be very frustrating if you have ambitions of being taken seriously as an actress. Especially since the press has become more interested in her personal life than her movies. As director Kevin Smith told me:
"Tyler is nice to look at, right? But shes smart too, a lot smarter than she appears to be, that you should know. Shes playing the press a fucking deck of cards! I dont doubt that a second."
While FM sits on hotel Essex House in New York with another handful journalists from all around the world and waiting patiently for Liv Tyler to show up, my fellow colleges are having fun telling horror stories about Liv. About how she has stormed out of interviews if she didnt like the questions, started interviews with groaning how much she hates journalists and as the matter a fact acts kind of grumpy. I dont know if these stories are true, though if you look at the questions shes asked who can blame her? How was it to kiss Ben Affleck? Do you look at Sex & the City with your friends? What kind of furniture do you have in your house? How many times have you watched Dirty Dancing, and a lot of other similar intellectual questions. If we normal people would have gotten questions like these we might have considered knocking those journalists down! Though Liv fortunately doesnt do that. She just shakes her head and in the worst case says Sorry, I dont feel like answering to that one. And she always tries to lead the conversation to a bit more serious things. She quits most of her answers with a friendly, apologizing laugh, but it surely lets you know that this is a young woman who has little tolerance for bullshit. All respect to her!
When Liv finally arrives, an hour too late, it felt right to ask her if she reads the stuff about her in the tabloids.
"It happens, but I try not to. Because the stuff is never completely true. In every single interview Ive done my statements comes out as something completely different from what I said. Ive even done interviews by e-mail, where I myself have written the answers, and then made the journalist read up the article by telephone; even then they make my answers look completely different ..."
She tells about a tabloid story where she was referred to as a huge Playstation fan that was disappointed about the Lord of The Rings game.
"Oh my God, Ive never even played Playstation in my whole life. I havent even seen the Lord of the Rings game! And I didnt know that I was in it!
She laughs but its obvious that this sort of things really annoys her.
Well, you can at least comfort yourself with the fact that you dont have to talk about the Lord of the Rings ...
"Heh. I was actually really nervous before I came down here to do interviews this morning. Because I thought: Oh my God, all I can talk about is Arwen, Lord of the Rings and Peter Jackson! What shall I talk about now?
Well we can start to talk about her character in Kevin Smiths new comedy "Jersey Girl". Liv plays a voluble and modern girl who works in a video shop and seduces the single dad Ben Affleck with stories about her masturbation habits. (As usual) Kevin Smith has laid some dirty and juicy lines into Livs mouth, and its different from all the other films she has ever appeared in.
Will you say that Maya is a lot more like you than many of the other characters you have portrayed before?
"Well I mean, I just played the role and the lines was a part of it. But I laugh a lot of it when I see the film. I dont know if Im quite like her, but I can be verbally dirty and I talk dirty with my friends all the time. Im not shy in that way really."
In "Jersey Girl" Ben Affleck plays an arrogant publisher in New York who moves back to New Jersey after his wife, Jennifer Lopez, dies in labour. After several years in celibacy he meets Liv Tyler (Maya), who has huge problems with living up to his memory of his great love. This is among the most charming characters weve seen both Liv and Ben done before, and they have a really good chemistry.
You and Ben Affleck have been friends for a long while now ... ? Is the good chemistry in the film because of your friendship or is it because it is a good script?
"By some reason we have a special chemistry. But to be honest I havent seen Ben more than a couple of times after we shot "Armageddon", but we understand each other well. Ive worked with some of the worlds most fantastic actors and actresses and I love them all, but I actually feel a special spark when we act together. Its easy for us to be very free together. I dont know why, chemistry is an interesting thing. Though we dont see each other very much. Our lives have been so different. But his brother, Casey is one of my best friends, so I see him a lot!"
A Boys club
Do this chemistry make it easier or harder to play love scenes with Affleck?
"Its so weird to do those scenes! Theyre so technical, and you struggle to come up the stairs, be right proportionate and say your lines on screen. I mean, Ben is an angel, hes very natural and comfortable with those kinds of scenes and that makes me feel safe. But scenes like that are not at all romantic. I think everyone would had been quite uncomfortable in a scene like that: to stand in nothing but your underwear, and surrounded by a hundred men!"
She laughs and continues:
"In every single film Ive been in there has been a Boys club. Its either me and the hobbits or me and Kevin and Ben ..."
In "Jersey Girl" Liv also gets the chance to sing along in a musical act from "Sweeney Todd" and she proves that she has a very good voice. She luckily has no plans of pulling a J-lo, meaning that she isnt going to start a carrier as a singer, but she definitely want to star in a musical some day.
"People ask me all the time if Im going to make my own record, but I have no such plans. I love music and I feel privileged to get to spend so much time with musicians. But I dont play any instruments, and Im not a songwriter. I love to sing and Ive always been a huge fan of musicals such as "Chicago" and "Sweet Charity", so something like that Id like to do."
A sport fuck
Kevin Smith gave Liv the weird nickname sport fuck during the shooting of "Jersey Girl", but since Liv has gotten her doze of stupid questions Im going to skip that today. When I later told Kevin Smith that I didnt ask her about this nickname because of strategic reasons, he had a good laughter.
"Sport fuck, yes! Its a good thing you didnt ask her that question, because if you had she would have felt quite uncomfortable. Sport fuck was meant to be ironic. You know what it means right? Someone who fucks because of the sport, like a work out, I of course have never done it. But I thought it was a funny expression, because Liv is the not at all a sport fuck-person! She had just married when we started shooting so I started to call her sport fuck, just for fun. She said constantly (with a shy girly voice): Dont call me that! But I just said, Oh yes! Its your name now! Then I got a telephone from her publicist who said (with an evil, dark voice): Dont call her sport fuck! So that was the end of sport fuck ..."
Love to be married
Since Liv isnt in a bad mood, FM wont destroy the good atmosphere with questions about sport fuck, as tempting it might be. Because as Kevin Smith says; Liv Tyler is real fucking married and she just celebrated her first anniversary and expresses with huge enthusiasm:
"I love to be married! To start with I felt like asking myself Who am I? And whats happening? Actually it brought up emotions that I never thought marriage would do. I mean we have been together for such a long time and I adore Roy, but it makes you have to handle things like responsibility and faithfulness. It feels a bit like youre dying as an individual person and reborn as a couple, kind of ... Its that kind of stuff no one prepares you for or talk to you about, but I think most people goes trough it. Its a funny feeling, even though youre committed to stay with this person for the rest of your life! But Im just so happy know! Im so satisfied than Ive ever been in my life before!
Ive gone trough a tough period the last couple of years, constantly working on the Lord of the Rings. Even though it was a unique and fantastic experience, I didnt have a lot to do. My character was very undefined, a kind of work in progress. So it was a bit confusing to work with that so hard, and for a very long time, and to just get the chance to do so little. So its a relief that the films are done and that they did so well!"
You managed to keep your wedding a secret for the press, so that must have been a relief?
"Yes it was, quite unbelievable! I did everything to plan it all and stuff. Someone told me that a known paparazzi photographer had been on the same island we married, and even he didnt know! So everything went smooth, and it was perfect! Nobody knew and it was a magical moment. I was very happy that I got to keep my personal life on that event! But it also was a bit scary. Because right after wed married we moved into this huge house. Weve always lived in a small apartment, with a security guard and stuff! And it was weird to suddenly become an adult. So it was a huge change. Well I have a maid; I mean I dont wash the toilet or something like that. But I have to keep the house in order, and quite frankly we live a very ordinary life."
How does it feel to be portrayed as a role model for young girls just because youre not too thin?
"Well, I only try to make me feel good inside, take care of myself, keep myself healthy. Everybodys different and what I try to tell myself is that it is the differences that make us all unique, because I as all other women too feel insecure. Its weird to have breasts ...
She grabs her breast and squishes them to emphasize her statement.
... And a butt and the period! I mean every single month we go trough changes, and its an intense feeling, right? So I just try to be me! Journalists have written that Im a role model because Ive said things like I want to be me, I will not change. That has been quite confusing because a lot of the quotes Ive never even said! To be quite honest I do diets and work out, because I have an obligation to keep in shape, because in that way I can do my job properly. But I dont feel any kind of pressure concerning the way I look, but I might push myself to look my best. But I think most of us do, right?
Between the Lord of the Rings and Jersey Girl, Liv also managed to appear on this year Academy Awards, and it seemed to be a nerve-wrecking job.
"It was terrible! I mean you stand on a stage in front of every single fantastical actor and actress in the whole world, and everybody stares at you! Youre wearing a fancy dress and high heals, and all youre thinking about is to walk properly without falling on stage. And you cant mess with your lines; you have to read it right from the monitor, because if you make a fool out of yourself you can ruin the whole show! So that was scary! You feel very pressed to behave perfect!"
Well, I bet the night improved when "The Return of the King" won almost all the Oscars?
"Yes! We were so happy all of us. We couldnt have asked for anything better! I mean the greatest reward was that the audience gave the films such a huge response; people loved them and believed in these characters! So for me the Oscars were only like a bonus. I didnt even go to the party afterwards, I went strait home! I couldnt even stand up strait with my shoes on, my feet was dead! Because you arrive at the Oscars around 15.30, and afterwards you have to attend the Governors Ball. So at the end, after standing half an hour waiting for my car I was like really: I want to go home.
The actress Liv
Even though shes beautiful, lovely etc. we must not forget that shes also a great actress! Liv Tyler has done a lot of good films including "Stealing Beauty", "That Thing You Do!", "Cookies Fortune", "One night at McCools" and the "Lord of the Rings" trilogy. "Jersey Girl" is also a marvellous movie, and I must say Liv Tyler is worth the whole film! And Liv remains one of my favourite actresses ...