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The Hot Seat: Robot & Frank star Liv Tyler

by By Sarah Theeboom, TimeOut, August 2012.

The charming Liv Tyler returns to the big screen in Robot & Frank. She chats with us about the film in this week's Hot Seat interview.

Actor Liv Tyler sits in the Hot Seat this week to talk about the film Robot & Frank. She costars alongside Frank Langella, Susan Sarandon (who we interviewed back in March), Peter Sarsgaard and James Marsden.

TONY: Hi, Liv!
Liv Tyler: Hi, how are you? Where are you?

TONY: Good. I'm in Hell's Kitchen, at the Time Out office on Tenth Avenue.
Liv Tyler: The first boy I ever kissed used to live in Hell's Kitchen. [Laughs] I like that neighborhood; it's one of the last very New Yorky places.

TONY: Wow. I never thought of it as a particularly romantic neighborhood before.
Liv Tyler: Oh my God, it was! And there were all these rats running around everywhere....

TONY: That doesn't sound very romantic.
Liv Tyler: Well, it was romantic in the sense that it was very alive and there were strange things going on. I mean, this was in the '90s, when I was a teenager. That sort of old New York doesn't exist in the same way anymore.

TONY: Okay, let's talk shop. I haven't seen you in a film for a while. What have you been up to?
Liv Tyler: Well, I wasn't so focused on moviemaking for a big chunk of time. When I had my son, I just wanted to be home more, and workwise I've had a cosmetic contract with Givenchy and Pantene. So I've just been doing stuff like that, and having a little break from moviemaking and moving. I moved from New York to L.A. back to New York, and I got divorced, and, like... You name it, it happened.

TONY: And now you're in the indie comedy Robot & Frank, which got a great response at the Sundance Film Festival in January. What about this project hooked you?
Liv Tyler: I really just go with my gut when I read things, and there was something just so incredibly touching about this. The humor and the simplicity of it sort of reminded me of the movies that I loved as a kid. What's that movie where alien pods come down into the old folks' home? It was such an amazing movie. What was it called? Okay, I'm gonna think about it-it'll come to me.

TONY: Cool. So Robot & Frank is set in the near future, where technology has advanced to the point that robots can help care for people-
Liv Tyler: Cocoon! It's called Cocoon!

TONY: Well done, I'm impressed! So yeah, about technology: How do you feel about how integrated it already is into our lives?
Liv Tyler: For me, I find it all incredibly stressful. I think it creates a sort of disconnect between you and everybody in your life. I find that I'm much happier and more creative-and a better mother and a better person in general-when I'm not that involved with machines all the time.

TONY: You have a seven-year-old son. Are you concerned about him being glued to his phone at the dinner table?
Liv Tyler: Oh, he's not having a phone. [Laughs] Not in the time he's gonna be living in my house.... I really want to watch Cocoon right now.