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The World Is Wide Open

by Degen Pener, The New York Times, May 1993

NAME: Liv Tyler.

IDENTITY: 15-year-old model, high school student.

PARENTS: Steven Tyler, the lead singer of Aerosmith, and Bebe Buell, a singer and former model.

HOME: East Village.


Q. How old were you when you began modeling?

A. I was 14.

Q. Who got you started?

A. We've been friends with Paulina and Ric for years.

Q. Who?

A. Ric Ocasek and Paulina Porizkova. Ric had taken pictures of me when I was younger and then when we actually moved back here (from Maine), Paulina took these pictures. They came out really beautifully. She had sent those pictures around to the magazines. Basically the agencies saw them and started calling.

Q. What have you done?

A. One of the major first things I did was Valentino ads, the Oliver campaign. My first Seventeen cover came out and then I did Italian Glamour and Italian Vogue and that was like, hello!

Q. What's your career goal?

A. I want to be an actress.

Q. You don't want to be a singer?

A. When I was a young girl, I wanted to be a singer. Both of my parents have blessed me with a voice. I would love to make an album someday, but I'm not sure that I would be taken as seriously in that field because that's my father's field. That's his territory. He's a legend.

Q. How has having a famous father affected your career?

A. It's a blessing. Yes, it can start you out. If I wanted to, I have the opportunity to do anything in the world I want to, just because of my family name. But if I can actually follow through with that, if I have the education for it or if I have the talent to do that, that is up to me.

Q. Your dad is known for his big lips. What did you think of them growing up?

A. When I was like 8 or 9, he gave me this big giant pair of stuffed, red lips and I used to sleep with them every day. I worshiped them.