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Girls - Liv Tyler

by Stephen Kingstone, Sky Magazine, April 1995. Photos by Jonathan Glynn-Smith.


What do you do when you're 17, you've been places your classmates are still studying in geography lessons, done the film with Evan Dando and modelled the Versace T-shirt? And, like, you're about to finish high school in New York where they choose you the "Girl Most Likely to Succeed". And you've already, sort of, succeeded? "I know, I know, I wonder what they'll say - it'll be funny," drawls megababe Liv Tyler. "And I didn't want to put a recent photo of myself in my Yearbook page because that would be of strange too..." You mean, like, which of your magazine covers should it be? "Exactly - so I thought the easiest way out would be to use this baby picture of me in a little dress holding a red plastic guitar and smiling." Cute. Unassuming, embarrassed even, in the face of her myriad claims to fame, Liv Tyler has the permanently confused look of an elongated elfin in a genetic fairy tale. On one side stands daddy, Aerosmith rock giant, Steven Tyler, legend of the lips and lascivious videos. On the other sits self-confessed "mummy monster", ex Playboy pet, rock mutha and model, Bebe Buell, who's just made Liv finish all her "eggy weggy" in the bar of a Knightsbridge hotel.

Today, looking every five feet, 10 inch the gangly St Trinian, with greasy hair, micro-mini and no trace of make-up, Liv chats about her top modelling career - which began with a small blurb in Vogue and ended on the catwalks of Milan - like she's sharing secrets at the back of the bikesheds.
"It was an after-school job really, instead of babysitting, to make some money," she confides. "Like I'd get a message during school saying they wanted me for a job and I'd lie and say I had detention. You know, I was 14 and much more interested in boyfriends and doing kiddie things."

Today, the photos are being taken to promote Liv's career-swerve into films, two of which are about to be shown here. There's her murder mystery movie debut, Silent Fall, where Oscar-winning director, Bruce Beresford, and Jaws actor, Richard Dreyfuss, showed the cinematic virgin the acting ropes.
"When I saw it I was terrified," she says. "It's one thing when friends video you, but to see yourself on the big screen as this huge being, crying and things, is no fun."

More tears were required for Liv's next role in the humans-under-the-microscope movie, Heavy, where she plays a college drop-out who works in a small-town tavern, while Debbie Harry, Shelley Winters and Evan Dando roam free.
"The first day we had to do a scene where they attached us by hoisters to this bridge," she says of her first meeting with Dando. "We were forced next to each other and it was like 'Hi, Evan, pleased to meet you'. But it was good to have someone young around who I could have fun with."

Sexy pop icons can't faze the daughter of a rock heart-throb father. No, what freaked Liv was when she first overheard her mates lusting over daddy.
"I had this friend called Sue, and the first time I ever heard her talking about my father and his mouth, I was like 'Oh man, I can't deal with this,'" she says. "But I didn't know him really until after he'd gotten sober, because I grew up in Maine with just my mum. So I had a normal childhood where I could run in the fields and climb trees - I was such a tomboy. Then at a certain age we both said 'We need M-O-O-O-R-E'. So we packed up and moved to New York and here we are."

Now, with the globe at her feet, having just been voted Miss Woman of the World alongside Princess Di et al, at 17, Liv remains absolutely attached to Planet Normal. White limos are "devil cars", overdressed rich men look like "bad aliens" and the Hollywood fame trip is
"bullshit. It's so external, and the lifestyle's all dinners and champagne and... 'I'm beautiful, you're beautiful'... Yeeeuuuch... Boring nonsense," she adds. "I'm like an old woman already," she says, trashing past times in sweaty clubs and big crowds. "I'd rather be at home with my dog, a book and bed. I'm constantly tempted to run in the opposite direction to my parents, but I've learnt from their mistakes and I want to get all this out of my system while I'm still young." At which point, the mummy monster appears and drags Liv off to doll up for the cameras...

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