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Liv Forever!

By Mike Sampson, JoBlo.com, March 25, 2004


JoBlo.com interviews jersey girl star Liv Tyler
Original page

here are a few celebrities, who shall remain nameless, who's beauty on-screen doesn't hold-up when you're up close and personal. Liv Tyler doesn't have that problem. In fact at the JERSEY GIRL junket she looked better than I'd ever seen her. Dressed comfortably casual, she just looked so adorable, I just wanted to give her a big hug and take her home with me. But there are laws against those type of things so I just sat in my seat and politely asked some questions about JERSEY GIRL. Here's what she had to say:

Are you a big Kevin Smith fan?
No, actually I wasnít hugely familiar with Kevinís work. Iíd seen CHASING AMY and DOGMA and I was kind of just more intrigued, because people love him so much and my agent was like, ďoh my god! Thereís this new Kevin Smith film and theyíve offered you a part!Ē So I was really intrigued, and yeah, I guess I definitely was surprised. It wasnít exactly what I would have expected. But I found the script to be very moving. I was very touched by it. I initially thought, wow, what a brilliant part this is for Ben. I thought that it would be a really good part for him and that he could do a really good job with it.

What attracted you to the part?
Iím always going after the filmmaker. For me, thatís everything. So I was very excited that he wanted to work with me. I really liked the part, but it wasnít until I actually started to play her and sort of be her that I finally grew to like her more. I just really liked the fact that she was so well rounded and wasnít just this stereotypical romantic comedy character.

Are you as direct as she was with him?
It depends. Iím pretty direct, yeah. I feel bad at comparing myself to her, but Iím pretty direct, yeah.

What was it like working with Ben again?
It was great. Itís really nice to work with friends itís sort of like, youíve already gotten past that initial nerve and fear and it just made it really great for us to just sort of dive into everything. Itís interesting because out of all the actors Iíve ever worked with, I feel particularly comfortable with Ben, like we have some sort of a special chemistry. I donít even know what chemistry means or where it comes from but it feels very natural for us to act together and to be able to be really great together.

Letís talk a little bit about Sweeney Todd. Was it a lot of fun?
It was! I actually had never seen the musical. Iíd heard a little tape of the song. The first thing we ever did was get together and we sort of rehearsed it with this guy who was totally like Corky from WAITING FOR GUFFMAN and we couldnít stop laughing. And then we recorded it in a recording studio before we ever acted it out. So it was kind of bizarre because I was jus sitting there in a room with Kevin with these headphones on and just being totally over the top. It was really fun. It was a good way to break the ice and help to act together.

Are you a romantic comedy fan?
I am and Iím not. A lot of times, I unfortunately donít get to go to the movies that much anyway. I really wish I could go to the movies more often. I think the kinds of movies I likeÖ I really want to see ETERNAL SUNSHINE OF THE SPOTLESS MIND. Thatís a little bit more off the beaten track that I would be drawn to. I want to see STARSKY & HUTCH too, but I donít know if thatís a romantic comedy! [Laughs]

This is Raquelís first feature film. Did you have any advice for her?
You know, she is so professional. I was so impressed with her. She was kind of a little adult anyway. Sheís very mature for her age. She always knew all her lines and she was sort of more prepared than we were sometimes. I just tried to sort of spend time with her and make her feel comfortable really, because I imagine that it was probably slightly overwhelming for her. So all of those things that happen in the movie, those little connections between she and I kind of just happened naturally. They werenít necessarily in the script and stuff. I adore kids.

How long have you been a child person?
Iíve always been. I can remember being six years old and knowing I wanted to have kids and a family. It didnít particularly make me go, ďhey,Ē but Iím definitely looking forward to having a family someday.

Is that something you want soon?
I donít have any kind of a master plan of any kind. Iím definitely enjoying working right now. Iím really enjoying being married. I definitely would like to have kids, you know, in the next couple years probably. But not tomorrow.

Did you always have confidence that you would be successful?
You know, I think itís such a sort of up and down roller coaster, the whole celebrity thing and all the feelings that come along with that. Of having a lot of people paying attention to you and then not paying attention to you and liking you and then not liking you. Absolutely, that affects your feelings and makes you feel insecure at times and itís just natural. I think that for any creator or performer of any kind, those are natural feelings. Even when Iím at my most success, I think I might never work again, so I always feel just a little bit unsure. But I just try and keep working and I also really just try to enjoy my life at those time and try to not worry too much about everything. I think Iíve been pretty lucky. I mean, the past three years have been sort of strange because Iíve been in the Lord of the Rings and it seems all very successful, but Iíve also been working on that for five years. I havenít really been able to work on anything else. So creatively, Iíve been holding so much in that I want to get out. So Iím happy now that thatís completed and I can move forward.

What are LORD OF THE RINGS fans like to deal with? Do they try to speak to you in Elvish?
I havenít had that many weird LORD OF THE RINGS fans like that. The boys have some pretty good stories. A lot of people come up to me and say that they really like it. You definitely get the sense that more people know who you are and have really enjoyed them, but I donít know that Iíve had anything particularly strange happen.

Was it nice to have something scaled down like JERSEY GIRL after the intensity of LORD OF THE RINGS?
It was funny because a lot of the times when I was sitting on the set of ďLord of the Rings,Ē I loved everything that we were doing. But I did long for a sort of more goofy, laid back acting experience. And I would sort of dream about ďoh wouldnít it be nice to just be like firing dialogue with someone in a diner scene?Ē I actually kept thinking that and there I was on my first day of work in a diner scene. It was actually really hard for me because I was so used to three hours of hair and make-up and wigs and ears and costume and speaking with an English accent. There were so many elements outside of myself that made that character, so suddenly when I was just being a normal contemporary girl without all the things, I felt so vulnerable and didnít really know what to do at first. So it actually took me a little while to adjust to it. Also, just things like, in LORD OF THE RINGS, a lot of things were done in post-production, so I would act things out on a blue screen and they would air brush me and they would add things in, so that feeling of always knowing that I could trust Peter, that what I was doing then and there wasnít necessarily what was going to be in the movie. And suddenly in this, itís really just what youíre doing then and there.

How do you feel about the LORD OF THE RINGS sweep at the Oscars?
It felt so great. In a way, it almost just feels surreal when youíre sitting there at the event and itís happening. It seems a lot more exciting and clear than when youíre watching it on TV at home. But it was just amazing to just have everybody be recognized; especially that it was not only Peter, but everyone else in the movie, because those are just the people that worked their asses off for seven years of their lives. So it was really beautiful that that happened.

Speaking of fan followings, did you know that Kevin had such a cult following?
I didnít really know. I mean, I learned that more from being around him and I looked at his website before. Yeah, he does have a pretty intense fan base.

How was the shower scene to film? Were you nervous? Did they close off the set?
They always close the set when we do stuff like that. Itís always nerve wrecking do any kind of love scene or makeout scene. But I feel really comfortable with Ben and Iíve known him for a long time. So, you know, you just kind of let go and have fun with it. That was kind of a funny scene too, the idea that he had actually not touched a womanís body for like, seven years. And the whole bit with the shower was actually on a sound stage in just a little tiny room with this disgusting, pumped out trailer water. Our pants were filled up with water, because we had a lot of our clothes on.

Liv, you look fantastic, but youíre not the typical weight. How do you deal with the stereotype of woman having to be extremely thin in Hollywood?
You know it really depends. My whole life, nobody really said anything about that to me. And then in the last couple of years, I think I was probably a little bit heavier and went through a few pounds up and down. Itís weird because people are so critical and itís so ridiculous because Iím not a supermodel, Iím an actor. And Iím also a young woman and young women go through changes and I feel like I particularly like that everybodyís really different. You go to someplace like Boston and you see everybodyís bodies and everybodyís so different in their style and their shape and thatís what makes them unique. If everybody looked the same it would be a boring world. So I just try to be as healthy as I can really and be comfortable in myself. Thereís definitely pressure, but I donít think itís really healthy to put all that pressure on yourself.

So are you a Jersey girl or a New York girl?
I was born in Manhattan. I actually know nothing about Jersey. I was completely lying. [Laughs] Iíve only been to Jersey a couple times in my entire life. I donít really know what itís like to be a Jersey girl.

You have a great voice. Will you ever do a musical?
When I was a little girl, I think I only ever thought I ever would be a singer. My mom was the one who was always telling me I was gonna be an actress because I was such a drama queen. I used to perform and I was really outgoing. I did little skits in the living room. But Iíd love to do a musical. Iíve always dreamt of that. I think the first time I saw ďSweet Charity,Ē I was taken aback. I loved that movie. I loved CHICAGO and MOULIN ROUGE. I like sort of fantasy elements; that you completely forget where you are and whatís going on. I was on the edge of my seat through all of CHICAGO and Iíve seen it about six times. I really like musicals and I like to sing.

Do you aspire to your dadís longevity in entertainment?
Itís very impressive. Itís amazing. Heís worked so hard to be there. Heís also very lucky. I can only hope to have that long of a career. We donít really exchange that much advice about things. In a way, my dadís always more surprised by me because of the decisions I make because Iím so young. The decisions he was making when he was my age were horrible. [Laughs] So he always says to me, ďWhere did you come from?? Who are you?Ē But Iíve learned a lot from the mistakes theyíve made. And they really paved the way for so many people and I really admire that. I still, to this day, go and see my father play and I just cannot believe how beautiful and amazing and talented he is in his 50s. Heís so gorgeous and sexy and amazing. And heís captivating all these thousands of people still and that totally blows my mind and inspires me.

How do you relax? Do you take many breaks or time off?
I donít actually. Iím kind of tired. This whole past 10 days has been crazy being in LA and I just got home and this all started and I could actually use some sleep. I find that the best relaxing I can do is to just laugh. And my husband is so funny and always keeps it sort of real for me and I love to go home and see my puppy. You think that all of this is so important, and it is important because itís our job, but so much of it really isnít that important as well and I just kind of try to get into another head of space where Iím not talking about myself.

Could you relax during JERSEY GIRL with funny guys like George Carlin, Ben Affleck and Kevin Smith around?
Iím used to being the only girl in a movie with lots of guys. Working is always scary, because thereís so much responsibility and pressure. No matter how much youíre laughing, youíre still going to have to go on set and remember all your lines. Every one is sort of relying on you. We had fun though.

What was difficult about JERSEY GIRL?
Like I said originally, it was quite shocking for me to go from LORD OF THE RINGS to this. Just because I had been so used to playing this other character with so many other things going on. So I would say the hardest thing was playing a normal young woman again.

How has Ben changed since ARMAGEDDON?
I donít know. I think heís a sweet, sweet man. Iím always impressed with his mind. Heís incredibly intelligent and Iím really interested in the fact that heís always trying to expand his horizons and learn. Heís very knowledgeable about things. I think itís so easy in this business to not do that, to not be involved in things and to not do enough. And I have that problem all the time. Thereís so much going on and I admire him very much that heís constantly learning and expanding his horizons.

Whatís next?
Iím doing a little, tiny, microscopic movie with Casey Affleck that Steve Buscemi is directing. Weíre shooting on video and Iím leaving at the end of the week to go make it in Indiana.

Have you stayed friends with Buscemi since ARMAGEDDON?
You always stay friendly with the people you work with. Iíve only seen him a couple times though.