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All things to all men in One Night At McCool's

by William Thomas, Empire Magazine, May 2001.

Rock royalty is all things to all-star men in One Night At McCools.

Long before Britney ever dreamed of tying her shirt ends together. Liv Tyler and fellow school girl Alicia Silverstone were shedding unwanted uniforms entirely. "I just thought it would be fun," Tyler grins, recalling the notoriously sexy clip for Aerosmith's Crazy video. "I didn't realize that, like, three weeks later it would be all over MTV." The teenage Tyler could hardly expect to find the video in heavy rotation years later, but then, she did have less reason than most to he so naive - after all, her dad was lead singer in the hand.

Since she made the apparently easy move from schoolgirl minx to teenage model to lead actress - "It just happened over time" - Tyler has happily mixed the block-busting Armageddon (1997) - "I think it'll be a cult classic someday; I really do think that movie is so funny” - with smallish parts for directors like Robert Altman [in Cookie's Fortune (1999) and alongside Helen Hunt and Kate Hudson in the upcoming Dr. T And The Women]: "I would walk across the room for that man." Now, Tyler is turning heads in One Night At McCools, an inventive indie comedy from Michael Douglas freshly-minted production company, as the arch male-manipulator. Jewel, a girl who will literally transform into different versions of herself in an endless bid to furnish her dream home.

"Jewel is like most of us," Tyler explains. "She has the grass is always greener drive inside of her. She just wants to have somewhere to park her feeling and somewhere to call home. Of course, having the looks that she does, she's gotten used to using all that to achieve her goals."

This is typical of Tyler, unable to distinguish between the obvious charms of Jewel, and her own singular beauty. "One's self-image is always warped in a way, don't you think? When you look in a mirror at yourself, you don't see what's actually there. It's more about feeling spirited one day or not." Vanity, it seems, is not a priority for a woman who finds the trappings of fame difficult to deal with: "We are spoiled, we are taken care of, everybody's nice to us. It's important to surround yourself with friends who'll say, 'You are a cunt today.'" Indeed.

Fresh from wrapping McCool's, Tyler made the long trip to the Southern Hemisphere to dedicate the next chapter of her life to learning elvish and slaying Orcs for Peter Jackson's Tolkien trilogy. Currently recovering and glad to be back home, Tyler is well drilled in the Jackson school of secrecy - "I'm not sure how much of it I'm allowed to talk about". However, she's happy to confirm that her Eldarin princess, Arwen, will be mixing it with the best of them, or at least, trying her damnedest. "I was with Viggo (Mortensen) and (sword fighting coach) Bob Anderson." she smiles, recalling an early physical encounter, "and I was surrounded by about 20 Uruk-hai who were all hitting me, and I had to attack them. It was terrifying. I just hid behind Viggo."

There were also more cerebral trials to overcome, not least learning the English accent with which Jackson has decided elf royalty speaks. "It was a challenge for me as an American speaking in a British accent anyway, but as an elf you have to he so centered. We had to move effortlessly and gracefully."

While she is still a mere 23 years old, Tyler is of course quite prepared for unusual personal circumstances and testing examinations; after all, this is a woman who was raised by not one, hut two, bona fide rock star dads (initially by prog-rock star Todd Rundgren, then by biological father, Aerosmith frontman Steven Tyler). However, Tyler hasn't exhausted her appetite for hard-rocking men, as she got engaged on Valentine's Day to British musician, Royston Langdon "It's really interesting," she agrees, with mild understatement, "because I love music so much and I still can't play an instrument completely, which really frustrates me! But I've got a bit of a break now, so I'm going to go home and learn the piano for good." If the versatility she displays as Jewel is anything to go by, it can't be long until Tyler is calling the rune as a one-woman band.



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