by Tiffany Rose, New Woman, July 2004
Liv Tyler swapped rock for frocks to play world's best-known elf princess. But she'll forever be famed for her flawless skin and ice-cool style. Here's how she does it. Plus the latest on babies, A-list mates and 'running around naked'...
Looking as immaculate as Monica Geller's kitchen, dressed in a black sweater and fitted trousers, Liv Tyler strolls into Manhattan's swanky Essex House Hotel in a cloud of sweet lavender. 'I carry this bottle everywhere with me,' she says in her trademark soft tone, holding up a miniature spray that could have come straight from an elf princess's dressing table.
It's a sunny morning and Liv's in a bubble mood. It's not surprising - this A-lister's got plenty to smile about. Her role as lovelorn Arwen in The Lord Of The Rings catapulted Liv to super-stardom. And despite spending most of the last few years filming in New Zealand, in March 2003 she tied the knot with her long-term lover, Royston Langdon, at a beach house in Barbados.
Liv was introduced to the Leeds-born rocker by Buffalo Soldiers hunk Joaquin Phoenix, who she was then dating, and five years later Roy popped the question. 'He was very romantic,' she recalls. 'He called my dad [legendary Aerosmith frontman Steven Tyler] and asked his permission, which my dad loved.' Now Liv and 32-year-old Roy are happily holed-up in a four-storey Manhattan townhouse they've renovated together.
As the daughter of rock wildman Steven and former Playboy model Bebe Buell, you don't need Gandalf's wisdom to work out where Liv inherited her rock-chick attitude, peaches-and-cream complexion and knack for effortless style. Plus she's part of the ultra-chic celebrity crowd, counting Kate Moss, Gwyneth Paltrow and Stella McCartney as 'good pals'.
To top it off Liv has an easy-going nature and it's a breeze nattering to her about starring with Ben Affleck and Jennifer Lopez in her new flick Jersey Girl, being loved-up with Roy, and how on middle earth she always looks so stunning...
First things first: How do you keep your amazing skin so flawless?
'I guess I've got my parents to thank - my mum, dad and grandmother all have beautiful skin. But I do have to take really good care of it, especially because I travel so much and don't always get enough sleep.'
So What's your skincare secret?
'I take a lot of vitamins, but I'm not good at drinking lots of water. I do lots of facemasks and stuff, and I have these special facials where they use electric currents to sculpt and lift the face. I don't know how much it does for me, at 26, other than reduce some of the puffiness cause by flying, but I know Susan Sarandon goes, and it's amazing because you really don't need to have plastic surgery. It helps to keep everything lifted and beautiful.'
Do you discuss beauty lotions and potions with your family?
'Yeah, we're always like: "You have to get this cream, it's amazing!" But honestly, I find if my diet's good then my skin's really good, and if I eat a lot of crap I break out in a second.'
Do you find it hard to keep your weight down?
'Well, I do have to work out and if I ate whatever I wanted all the time I'd be a lot heavier. Lately I've been on the raw diet, eating a lot of fruit and vegetables, and fish once in a while. The whole Atkins thing didn't work for me. Exercise-wise, I work out with a trainer and I like doing Pilates. It's really important to me to release energy physically - it helps my mind work better.'
You always look super-stylish. Have you always had an eye for fashion?
'I've grown up around fashion and I've always felt passionate about clothes. Even when I was six I used to fight with my grandmother about what I wanted to wear to school.'
And now you're good friends with Stella McCartney...
'Yes, and she sends me clothes sometimes, which is really nice.'
What do you get up to when you're not working?
'I'm at home trying to be as normal as I can. I cook, clean, see my family and do all the things that remind me I'm not a princess! I actually enjoy doing household chores!' [Laughs.]
How do you keep your relationship rock-steady when you're away working so much?
'Truth is, I don't know. I guess [Royston and I] are just compatible. We're both very creative, but in different fields, so we do very well when we're together. But it's also really important for us both to focus on our work, and to be apart sometimes - he can't write music if I'm breathing down his neck the whole time! [Laughs.] We're both patient and understanding, and we love each other. It just works.'
How does Roy deal with your fame?
Honestly, he's not bothered by it at all. I'm so lucky because Roy's been really supportive of everything. A lot of the time he doesn't come [to celebrity events] because he'd rather do other things and see me when I get home. His patience is amazing.'
Are you planning to have children?
'Not right now, but I'm really enjoying being married and I definitely want to have children in the future.'
How would you describe your childhood?
'My family was never normal by any means! I travelled a lot, living with my mum and my aunt in Maine, then with my grandparents in Virginia. Then we moved back to New York. It was something my mum wanted to do and I was excited about it - by then I was used to moving around a lot. The idea of relocating was exciting to me and is probably just a part of my nature.'
Your dad's a rock star, now you're married to a musician. Were you always into music?
'I still have the first record I bought, The Mint Pops. It's basically children singing songs by Blondie, The Ramones and Abba. It was my first big obsession! [Giggles.] I remember the kids all dressed up with make-up on, and they were kind of sexy - which is a little disturbing now! I also remember my mum playing Iggy Pop's Raw Power, and I used to run around the house naked, dancing to it!'
Tell us about your new film, Jersey Girl...
'It's such an adorable movie. Ollie [played by Ben Affleck] is this bigshot music publicist who marries his dream girl [Jennifer Lopez] and seems to have everything. Then it goes horribly wrong when his wife dies in childbirth, leaving him to raise his daughter, Gertie [Raquel Castro]. I play this self-assured girl, Maya, who's studying but works part time at the local video store when she meets Ollie. She knocks some sense into him because he's putting his life on hold by still mourning his wife.'
You last worked with Ben six years ago on Armageddon. What was the chemistry like this time?
'I had such fun working with Ben again. Armageddon was such a different movie, an action film, so it didn't get personal. But it was good this time because we know each other well and have lots of common friends, which of course helps. You're sort of past that initial stage of feeling awkward and meeting each other for the first time.'
During the film, your character isn't shy about making sexual advances. Are you that forward?
'It depends who I'm with - or how many cocktails I've had! [Laughs.] But no, I'd never ask a guy for sex.'
So are you shy around men?
'Well, I've been with my husband for six years and before that I was with Joaquin for three years. I've never been a big dater. In fact I don't know anything about dating. But I have so many beautiful, amazing girlfriends who go on dates all the time and they just don't have the same luck because they can't find the right guy. I'm like: "What's going on? You're amazing women!"'
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