Birthdate: July 1, 1977
Favorite Food: Japanese. Liv loves sushi.
Favorite Tunes: Although Liv primarily listens to old albums, she loves Nelly's hit single, "Hot in Herre."
Best Book: Sarah by J.T. Leroy. "It's quite tragic, but it's very honest and real."
Marital Status: Liv is engaged to Spacehog bassist/singer Royston Langdon.
Before starring in The Lord of the Rings, Liv Tyler is probably best known for her makeup commercials and appearances in her father Steven Tyler's Aerosmith videos. That's all quite likely to change, however, with her role as the Elven Queen Arwen. Liv reveals what it was like working in such a boys club and the joys of being an elf.
Well, anyway... Here's an interview on the now famous and beautiful actress. You know, all these interviews tell you a lot about how actors and actresses feel about their work.
Q: So what was it like being one of the few females in a cast of many men?
A: It was good, but hard. I brought my girlfriend with me to be my assistant, so I spent a lot of time at home with her, hanging out when I couldn't take the boys anymore. Orlando Bloom lived next door and he took me around because I was afraid to drive on the left-hand side of the road.
Q: It's sort of a boys movie, though.
A: In some ways, yes, but about half the crew was female. And Peter's wife and Philippa Boyens wrote most of the screenplay. There were a lot of strong women around, and Peter Jackson loves and respects women.
Q: In the books, Arwen doesn't appear until the third novel. Are you worried about obsessive fans' reaction to this delineation from the source material?
A: Well, there are a lot of things like that in the movie. It was Peter's decision, and he thought it was a good idea to introduce her like that--to see a different side of her, not just as some princess. Elves do have those powerful traits. Everybody's been really worried and there's been speculation, especially in magazines. It's been kind of heartbreaking, but I've also been chuckling on the inside knowing we were doing the opposite thing. But to see the film--to me, that's Arwen. It's not some ridiculous extreme [change] from her character in the book.
Q: Your voice in the film is very different from your speaking voice. Not just the English accent, it's very deep, too.
A: Well I spoke with my stomach, much like a singer would. So I've heard. I think it came from my parents. I do that a lot when I act. If I have really emotional, powerful scenes, I'll have a horrible stomach ache afterwards from it.
Q: You also speak quite a bit of Elvish in Lord of the Rings. How hard was that?
A: Yeah, I have loads of lines in Elvish--more than any of the other actors. More of my lines are in Elvish than in English. It was hard. I would make a list of the Elvish and English words and match them up so I knew which words to put inflection on.
Q: Did you like being an elf?
A: Of course. Elves were the first creatures placed in Middle-earth, so they are very powerful and knowledgeable. They're also immortal. Arwen has been living for 3,000 years, an incredible amount of time. When we meet her, she's in love with Aragorn, who is a human. And she gives it up to be with him. That's something I really responded to, that idea. It's something our society lacks today.
Q: The shoot took a year and a half. Were you there the whole time?
A: No. My part is smaller than some of the others, so I went back and forth. I could have stayed. We all had houses. It was great. We really got to know each other. Our makeup trailer became the center of things. It was given a really bad name that I cannot repeat. There were pranks, most of them also too dirty to tell.
Q: How does it feel to be a part of something that is going to be a phenomenon?
A: I feel a lot of release and excitement that this movie is coming out, and I don't have to worry about what people think about it. I think it's beautiful and so well done. Because of that, it's going to do well. I'm not saying it's going to be the biggest movie in the world, but people will go see it. It's really powerful. As an actor, that feels wonderful.
And another, more recent interview!
How do you feel about being a part of The Lord of the Rings, which is likely to become one of the great epic masterpieces of cinema?
We were working our butts off, so we can't really look at it the way everybody else does. But, it's such a great feeling to think about one day maybe seeing all three (films) projected in one sitting. Nine hours of movie!
In The Two Towers, there seems to be a love triangle going on between your character, Arwen, Aragorn (Viggo Mortensen), and Eowyn (Miranda Otto). Is this the Middle Earth version of The Bachelor?
(My character) knows that Aragorn loves her. He's just having a little moment -- the wandering eye syndrome. Look, her father's like, "Leave her alone, you can't be with her. Accept it. Deal with it," he's trying to do the right thing. Then Aragorn suddenly meets this woman, a human, who's the ancestor of kings like he is, and they have a lot in common. They can share something that maybe he and (Arwen) can't, but he's not in love (with Eowyn). It's not destiny, it's not fireworks -- it's a little more practical. Whereas our relationship is not practical at all, it's just sort of... beautiful.
Would Arwen really give up her Elvish immortality to be with Aragorn?
What's so great about immortality? Why live forever? I think that Arwen would rather spend one lifetime with Aragorn than all the ages of the world alone.
Do you believe in passionate love like that?
I totally (believe in love). There are certainly some great loves in the world, and (passion) is there to be experienced. I think love is everything, not just one thing.
OK, more importantly --- is Viggo a good kisser?
I actually never felt Viggo's lips ever because his beard was so coarse! He has all that manly stubble. So, I don't know.
In LOTR, your elf father is pretty involved in your love life. To what extent do you talk to your real dad (Aerosmith's Steven Tyler) about your relationship?
I don't talk about my love life that much. I'm really happy -- I don't have nearly as many ups and downs and troubles in my relationship as Arwen does, thank goodness!
Considering your unusual parents (Liv's mother, Bebe Buell, is a famous former groupie), how did you turn out so normal and happy?
I was born into so much. So many mistakes and decisions had already been made that had absolutely nothing to do with me. In all of that, I just quickly saw or adapted to what I wanted. I was lucky enough -- and loved enough -- that I felt like I could be the person I wanted to be. My family always encouraged me to be an individual, to be myself. I never felt all that pressure of, "Oh my God, I want to be famous" or "I want to be the best" or anything like that. I want to work hard and feel really good about myself, but I don't have to be ahead of anybody else. It just doesn't matter to me. I feel so blessed that I get to do what I want (act). And I get to do fun things, because I have friends in different fields. My friend Evan Dando (of the Lemonheads) has a record and I sang on it. I also get to work with great photographers, and I have a lot of friends outside of "the business."
Would you ever do a reality show like The Osbournes with your dad?
Oh, my God... but then I'd have to move back in with my dad! It's a little bit weird at 25 to move back in with your parents.
Besides The Two Towers, what have you been up to this year?
I just finished Jersey Girl (with Jennifer Lopez and Ben Affleck). I play a Jersey girl, but not the Jersey girl. The character doesn't have big hair -- she looks like me!
Tell us more about Jersey Girl.
It was very fun. It was a huge, different experience from working on LOTR. I could wear jeans again, which was really weird! I almost felt naked because I didn't have the ears, wig and three layers of velvet gown on me. I kept relating things to my experiences from working on LOTR for three years, and (everyone was) like, "Shut up about Lord of the Rings!"
I love Kevin Smith (the director of Jersey Girl). He's very funny. But, he was obsessed with me speaking Elvish! He'd bring (guests) to the set and make me (speak Elvish) to them. I'd turn bright red and get weak in the knees! I can't really speak it, I'd just say my lines, but he loved it.
Was it weird being surrounded by all that hoopla about Ben and J. Lo?
We shot a lot of the film in a little town in New Jersey. On my first day (everyone else had been shooting for a couple of weeks already), we did a scene at a diner. So, I come walking up at six in the morning and there's at least 300 people there all waiting for Ben. By the middle of the day, there were like, 1000 people in the middle of the street -- huge news vans, paparazzi, and people holding out their crying babies to Ben. I looked at him and said, "Benji, I didn't realize you were so famous!" It was like he was the Beatles! People were going nuts -- screaming, crying -- I don't understand it.
So, do you have a preference when it comes to choosing movies? Like, indies vs. Hollywood pictures?
I don't single anything out as being bad or good. I don't pick my films like, "I'm gonna do a big movie now" or "I'm gonna do a small movie now." I want to do good movies with great stories and different characters. It's hard -- all the elements have to be there. This year I have a new agent, and I've been reading some really great scripts, but they're not necessarily right for me. I am reading good material, though, which makes me happy.
Is there a particular role you've always dreamed of playing?
My whole career, I've always wanted to do a musical. I'd love to play a singer. And I'd like to do some different period films -- I'd love to play a (1920s) flapper.
One last question: Did you get to keep your elf ears?
The ears are gelatin, so I couldn't keep them.
Liv spoke Elvish for her role in LOTR, but that's as far as it went. "I actually read somewhere that I was doing it on people's answering machines for money! So bizarre."
The velvet gown and robes caused her even more distress than the elf ears! "It was hot and a lot of layers, but the hardest thing about it was the length. I'd start to do a take, and then I'd trip!"