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Liv on the cover of German InStyle
Interview for German InStyle

by Andreas Renner and Nadine Sieger, German InStyle, September 2008. Translation by Yougotthesilver


Liv Tyler adores her son, admires her therapist and tries out new make-up tricks on her father. An exquisitely daft talk with a satisfied woman.

Experience of life might be the reason why Liv Tyler suddenly appears so grown-up. The white skin still not wrinkly, the black hair glowing. Also Liv's clothing is maidenly boheme, as usual: a white-yellow dress from the New York Boutique Opening Ceremony, grey cardigan, black leggings, and ballerinas. Maybe she's also appearing more grown-up, because she's become slender and willowy. Her fitness coach David Kirsch had grilled her previous to the beginning of filming of the new Hulk Movie. Liv has also become more energetic, since she has to put down all the questions why she and her husband Royston Langdon have split up. Still habitually willing Liv Tyler responses, though, when she's asked about the passion of her life: son Milo, 3.5.

How do you accomplish your career, which is full of spirits again after the baby break, with your role as a mother?
What a balancing act! Being a mother has priority in my life, but I have to earn money as well. I spend as much time as possible with Milo. As opposed to other working mothers who slog away 8 hours a day in scheduled jobs, I've been lucky with my job. I keep working hard for a few months, subsequently I can take some months off for it.

So where's the peewee today?
[Liv poinst to a tall door to the right side of the suite in the "Regency Hotel" in New York where the interview takes place. She's all smiles.]
Here in the adjoining room. He's allowed to watch cartoons right now.

What does Milo say when he's asked what his mother works as?
He once told somebody: "My mom works at night. In a trailer." You can draw your conclusions from his answer, but I believe he meant my nightly shooting and the trailers at the film set.

Does little Milo sense anyway what a famous mother he has and what his grandfather Steven Tyler is doing professionally?
No, not at all. He loves me for who I am. And he has a crush on his Granddad downright. I believe Milo's so sold on him, because my Dad himself still is such a Peter Pan. He's always clowning about with him, singing and dancing for him.

How close are you with your father? After all, you didn't get to know him until you were 9 years old.
As close as you can be to a rock star. He's on the road all the time. We don't live in the same city. [Liv lives with Milo in New York, Steven in Boston where he also has a recording studio.] However, we visit him as often as we can. Whenever I see him my father occurs like my best girlfriend to me: He's giving me the hottest beauty-tips! It's my dream to run a beauty salon one day. Therefore I test all kinds of practices on Dad. Oh yeah: And last Christmas we were on vacation with the whole family.

Just like normal people. What do you have to do to not to take off completely being a super star?
Competition is enormous in the world that I'm stirring in. Thankfully I'm not high-flying and I don't need the competition. I often hear that I'm grounded and normal. I hope that's meant to be a compliment. The ordinary things in life make me happy.

For instance?
I prefer sitting at home with my son and reading to him, instead of going to the disco. Friends and family mean more to me than anything else.

You're friends with former top model Helena Christensen. What do the girls' nights with her look like?
I just met her. Helena cooks incredibly well. I love her soups! And she's not only a talented photographer, but also a great mother. (Helena's son Mingus is 8.5) And she always is totally laid-back - contrary to myself!

Can you seriously acidify for instance?
I try not to become angry too often. That is to say rage is the only emotion I haven't under control very well. For instance when I have to play the furious in a film role I'm always really nervous before. Crying, Affliction, Fear - no problem at all. But rage! [Liv knits her brows and emphasizes her statement with a far hauled off gesture of the right hand.]

How do you react, If someone's really angry at you?
Depends on how intimidating the person's acting. With Hulk, who's acting improperly all the time in the movie, I'd be as frightened off as a deer dazzled by automobile headlight. I can be tough as well, though. Then I don't have a problem defending my point of view.

Does that happen rather quietly or loudly?
For many I'm tediously rational. I always want to fully discuss everything peacefully.

Men let women finish talking reluctantly. Can you cope with that?
All of us women sometimes have to be very diplomatic concerning our behaviour. If you're convinced of something as a woman and you say it you're often accused of strictness. That's unfair. All the time we - contrary to men - have to pay attention to how we communicate.

Do you have issues to find the right words then?
I get help from my help-yourself books on communication. I have plenty of them. I'm almost a little obsessive when it comes to this topic. You can ruin a lot If you are not articulate.

Is it true you're in therapy regularly?
I love my therapist! When I have time I'm lying on the couch once per week. I'm completely crazy about psychology. I need those aha-moments. When I take something in that's been utterly dubious to me before.

Super stars have one wish: They want to be normal. Is that familiar to you?
Already as a child I never wanted to attract attention. My grandmother [Dorothea Johnson runs the The Protocol School of Washington] said to me once: "Liv, stop wanting to be normal at last. You are not!"

How do you sample the break-up from your husband Royston Langdon? From the outside it seems to have run quite peacefully.
We have taken up to behave with respect with each other. That's just what we owe our son Milo.

When you and Royston were still together, who of the two of you adopted the night shift with Milo?
Since my son was born I'm chronically short of sleep. When I have a day off and can sleep in that's the biggest luxury for me. It's me who gets up at night If, he's crying. It's me who's there in the morning when he wakes up. These are the most important moments in a child's life after all. But I enjoy to be a mother. With Milo my biggest dream came true.

Including cleaning, laundering, cooking?
I cook for my son with good grace. Thereby I try using fresh regional products. I'm obsessed with that. My son never got food out of the glass. My dad Steven has some chickens on his property in Boston. When so ever we're there, I'm standing in front of the coop, urging the critters to: Come on, lay an egg!

You obviously have a very natural attitude towards food. Do you never kick over the traces?
When I want to eat a Cheeseburger, that's what I do. I don't want to be morose and hungry all the time, just because I'm an actress. Unless I'm shooting a movie at the moment or I'm having a photoshooting. Then I back off. Unfortunately, I belong to those types who gain 2.5 kilos on the spur of the moment within two days. Honestly! Obviating this means hard work for me.

Then today seems the day you rather lost 2 kilos. You're enormously slim. How do you do that?
Whilst shooting The Incredible Hulk I had to run, scream, kick and fight up to 20 hours a day. For the horror thriller The Strangers I had to sprint whole days at a stretch. And creep. And all barefoot! I tell you: Given that pounds tumble. It was interesting to follow what a body can achieve.

How did you prepare for that show of strength?
My personal trainer David Kirsch ["The ultimate New York Diet"] had armed me for The Incredible Hulk movie. He even specially gave me a bike as a present. During this time I've lost more weight than ever before. After only two days my entire body had changed. Suddenly I could walk upright, my whole demeanour had changed for the better.

Are you just as crazy about sport as other Hollywood stars?
I've never been that fitness studio bunny that says: Hey, look at my muscles! However, there's nothing better than carry sport out intensively. This feeling on your skin, when you've been properly sweating! At the most its comparable to the feeling you have directly after having had sex. It's this feeling ... Well, you know ...


The original scans in German (click to enlarge):