Evan can't wait...
by Claire Connors, Dolly, 1995. Photos by Andrew Southam.
to make his debut as a movie star - maybe that's because he's doing
it with Steven Tyler's daughter, Liv. Claire Connors hits small-town
Pennsylvania to find out exactly what's going on behind the scenes.
"Evan is beautiful!" shouts Liv Tyler from
the from seat of the car. Led Zeppelin is
blasting from the radio as we head to
the set of Upstate Story, the movie Liv
and Evan Dando are making in rural
Pennsylvania Liv's mum/manager,
Bebe Buell, is driving, and in the
backseat with me is Deborah Harry,
former lead singer of Blondie, who
co-stars with Liv in the movie. Debbie
mumbles something about how Blondie
used to cover a Led Zeppelin song, and
the next thing I know, I'm Singing Black Dog
with one of my punk heroes. Cool, or what?
Liv, 17, the daughter of Aerosmith's lead singer Steven Tyler
(and costar of his video Crazy) is obviously crazy about rock'n'roll,
so I wonder how she likes Evan's music. Liv just smiles.
"I love Evan's voice," she yells above the throbbing beat, "but
I like old rock, the classic stuff. It's in my genes." She turns up
the volume. The car speeds down the road with four women
bopping their heads to the music.
The set, as it turns out, is on the crossroads of a bizarre
little town that can only be called 'Twin Peaks: The
Sequel'. As we pull up, I spy Evan lurking by some
mailboxes. Liv runs up to him and gives him a big hug and kiss.
Obviously they've had lots of practise. In the film, Liv plays a
college drop-out who has an over-protective boyfriend, played
by the freshly shorn Evan Dando.
I knew he had chopped all his hair off, but I'm still taken
aback by how young and sweet he looks. "Hi, I'm Evan Dando,"
he says in his soft baritone. (I love it when famous people don't
assume you know who they are). Our make-up artist tells Evan
he's a friend of Holly, Evan's sister, and Evan immediately lights
up. "Holly Dando?" he asks. "Awesome!" adding a bass
version of Beavis' 'heh-heh'. With the ice officially broken, I feel
free to run my fingers over his cropped top and ask him why
he cutoff the famous locks. "For the hell of it." he says. "I got
really sick of being the person that magazines had made me
into. I needed to stop all that."Ē
The costume designer for the film drags Liv and Evan into
their trailers to go over the clothes for the day's scene, in which
Evan sings a song to Liv. Unfortunately, the two songs Evan
sings in the film aren't his. "A friend at
the director wrote them." says
Evan as he watches Liv hold
up a pretty floral dress.
Our photographer snaps
Liv and Even in their
trailers and then takes
them outside to pose
around the town.
"Hey, Liv," he calls.
"You'll have to give
Evan pointers on
how to pose tor the
pictures." Evan gives
him a wry little smile. "I think I've had some
experience with being photographed."
He ain't Since the release at his
record Come On, Feel Dre Lemonheads,
the 27-year-old dude has graced the covers
of more magazines in America than mega-stars
like Sharon Stone and Sly Stallone. But
Evan's going to put a stop to all that by
concentrating on film tor a while. "This
has been a place for me to come
and be in the country between
tours and do something more fun," he says.
Considering Evan's only appeared once before
onscreen, in Reality Bites for about three
minutes, he seems very calm about his
first big part. "Oh no, I
was definitely nervous, heh-heh," he
says. "Luckily, for the first couple of
scenes I just had to hang out in the
parking lot and look sullen."
Liv is also pretty new at this acting stuff
having decided just last year that she,
too, wanted to make a transition to movies.
Her first audition was for a Bruce (Driving
Miss Daisy) Bereslord film called Silent Fall
(not yet released in Australia). She was so
perfect for the part of a girl whose brother
witnesses the murder of their parents, that Beresford
put himself on the line and demanded that the
producers at Warner Bros allow the inexperienced Liv
to get the part... or else. She got the part. "I couldn't believe
I got it," Liv says, laughing. "I went to Bruce and I said, 'Can I
scream now?' He said, 'Feet free.' I just lost it."
Jim Mangold, the director of Upstate Story, calls Liv and
Evan into an old house to rehearse before their scene. They go
over their lines a few times and then take a short break. The
hardest part about making movies is all the waiting. Liv and her
mum walk over near the Special Touch unisex salon and talk
quietly about future projects, projects they can't divulge to
anyone yet. Evan hangs by the food cart with a girl friend (or
is she a girlfriend?) who's visiting.
The film will wrap in a few days, but Evan is already packed
for the Lemonheads' European tour. As for future acting plans,
Evan is noncommittal. All he knows is he's feeling good right
now. He's stopped drinking, he's writing new songs, and he's
trying to figure out a way to keep the lame thing in perspective.
"I'm not good at being idolised completely." he says. "I
tend to lose it and get depressed and stuff. So being up here
in the country has been good for me."
As fer the movie, since it's an independent release, it'll be
small. So small, you'll have to look hard to find it when it opens
(unfortunately an Australian release date for Upstate Story
has not yet been set). But if Liv is to be believed, itíll be
good. "This movie is going to be such a tearjerker,"
she says, walking with us to our vehicle.
"It's going to be really wonderful."
We climb back into our van, and as cliched
as it sounds, we really do wave as we
drive into the sunset.
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