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In the Spotlight

Biography, March 2001.



Claim to fame
Ingenue known for aura of grace and innocence, and often compared with European actresses. Frequently cast as the object of obsessive desire.

Currently starring in
the black comedy One Night at McCool's as the appropriately named Jewel Valentine, enigmatic ideal of three different men.

Recent roles
Lesbian lover of the title character's daughter (Kate Hudson) in Robert Altman's Dr. T and the Women (200); played a sweet but rebellious small-towns girl in Altman's dark comedy Cookie's Fortune (1999).

Beginnings
Born July 1, 1977, in New York City, the daughter of model.groupie/musician Bebe Buell and (she was told) innovative rocker Todd Rundgren. At 11, learned her real father was Aerosmith front man Steven Tyler. (Earlier told he was a "family friend," she developed a crush and put his poster on her wall.) Spent a conventional, idyllic youth with relatives in Portland, Maine, and Virginia, later moving with her mom to NewYork. After a brief but successful teen-modeling career, decided to try acting. Landed an agent who'd read about her in an article on kids of the famous. Soon won the role of an abused girl inAilent Fall (1994); gained acclaim as a virgin who discovers her father's true identity in Bernardo Bertulucci's Stealing Beauty (1996).

Next up
Plays Arwen, an elf warrior princess, in the movie trilogy Lord of the Rings, based on the Tolkien fantasy novels.

Musical Tastes
Favors country and blues - and Aerosmith.

Lifestyle
The prep-school grad is a vegetarian who thinks clubbing is "kind of slimy" and shudders at drugs (Okey...she smokes).

Did you know?
Loves all things Italian - her father's original family name was Tallarico.

Quote
"I think the point of getting into a character is to separate yourself from yourself as much as you can. It's sort of like an out-of-body experience."



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