Liv the dream
Daily Express Saturday, June 2004
With a new movie out on Friday, a devoted husband and a rock star dad, Liv Tyler appears to have it all. So why does she feel "depressed and insecure"?
Liv is currently one of the most sought-after actresses in Hollywood, thanks to her role as Elf princess Arwen in The Lord Of The Rings blockbuster trilogy. But in the flesh, Liv - who turns 27 next month - couldn't be more down to earth.
In fact, not long after we meet, her famous and very perfect lips confess: "I go through periods where I feel very depressed, insecure and uncomfortable with it all. The fame and glamour feel quite foreign to me because I was raised to always feel that I could express myself and be myself no matter what I looked like. Being in this business perpetuates so much scrutiny about such little things that aren't important."
She continues, "I used to get so upset and starled if I was walking down the street and a paparazzi appeared. I'd try and hide. Only the other day, I went for a wax and this guy followed me to the salon! I'm like, 'What is so exciting about me?' But I've learned to ignore them, because I can't control it.
"I mean, everybody writes something about you, and some of it's true and a lot of it isn't. I just try and not pay much attention to it any more and just do my work, and to really live by what makes me happy."
Ahh, what makes Liv happy? A certain Yorkshireman called Royston Langdon, perhaps? The raven-haired beauty searches for the perfect words to express her affection for the former lead singer of Spacehog. "He's just great," she gushes. "Being in love, I don't know... it just takes over everything. I just knew that he was The One."
The couple married by candlelight at a private beach house on Barbados in March 2003, Liv wearing a Jane Austen-style dress. They renewed their vows a month later at a party in a trendy New York restaurant, not far from the apartment they now share. The 100 guests included Stella McCartney and David Bowie, while Liv's parents, Royston's brother and Evan Dando took turns to sing.
So what's Liv's secret to a successful marriage? "Roy is so funny and he's such a gentleman. He has beautiful manners and he always treats me like a lady. That's why I'm so happy. Roy was raised very well - a lot of English boys don't have any of those traits.
"The fact that we've been together for six and a half years also helped tremendously. By the time we got married we knew each other very well, and there were no hidden surprises or skeletons in the closet.
"Getting married was a nice little enhancement. The whole ceremony is an extremely magical thing to experience with the person that you love, and one day we'll cement that by having kids. But not just yet!"
Fashionably dressed in a black V-neck off-the-shoulder sweater, tailored trousers and high-heeled ankle boots, Liv's ice-blue eyes blaze against her flawless milky-white complexion. It's not surprising she was born with a helping hand in the talent and looks department: her mum is ex-glamour model and singer Bebe Buell; her dad is Aerosmith's flamboyant front man Steven Tyler, now 56.
So, was Dad a little concerned about his daughter marrying a rock'n'roller? Shaking her trademark tresses, Liv smiles, "He loves Roy so much. They have a really, really sweet relationship and they talk and share notes about the music business. Everyone loves Roy - it's impossible not to."
Liv was not told Steve was her father until she was about nine. Throughout her childhood she believed her father was rock guitarist Todd Rundgren, who signed her birth certificate then split up with Bebe six months later. It wasn't until she met Steve at a concert that she learnt he was her real dad.
"I had no idea who he was at first," recalls Liv. "My mom pointed at him at the bar, and I said, 'Oh my God, is that Mick Jagger's son?'"
Raised by her mum and grandmother in Portland, Maine, Liv admits that she had a relatively normal upbringing. "People think that I grew up in this pretty wild rock'n'roll kind of atmosphere, but I didn't," she says, tucking a stray strand of hair behind her ear.
"I've always had friends who were older than me, and so I was already a little bit restless in school and I wanted to do other things. My mother used to tell me that I was such a drama queen and that I was going to be an actress, and I was like, 'Really? I want to be a singer!' I would rock out in my bedroom to Janis Joplin and Motley Crue!"
Instead, Liv fell into modelling and ended up seeing the world. "I remember when I was modelling, I was really excited to travel and meet artistic people. When I was 17, I lived in Tuscany for three months, which was huge for me. Travelling is really important, particularly in America, because we tend to live in such a little bubble and we forget there's the rest of the world out there."
After a successful modelling career in her teens, Liv discovered her acting talent and began clocking up roles, appearing in Bernardo Bertolucci's Stealing Beauty, Tom Hanks' That Thing You Do!, Robert Altman's Cookie's Fortune, Harald Zwart's One Night At McCool's and blockbuster Armageddon.
Her latest part - in Jersey Girl - finds her reunited with Armageddon co-star Ben Affleck after six years. Shooting the rom com was like a breath of fresh air for the actress, who has spent the last three years on location in New Zealand, trapped in Middle Earth.
Set in New Jersey, the story is of a high-flying music publicist, Ollie (Affleck), whose wife (real-life ex-fiance Jennifer Lopez) dies in childbirth, leaving him to raise his child. Liv steps in as Maya, a no-nonsense, self-confident student who works part time in a video store. She helps a celibate Ollie come to his sexual senses and overcome his wife's death. For Liv, working with Ben again was like putting on an old comfy pair of shoes.
She giggles, "It's funny. When we made Armageddon, he was this skinny Bostonian who had to get in shape and be that sex-symbol superhero. I remember the director made him stand there while they poured water over his naked torso. It wasn't something either of us was used to. But he is used to being a movie star now. I adore working with him. It's a real shame that him and J.Lo split up, although he's never talked to me about it."
And while Liv's a huge movie star now, she still keeps her hand in with modelling and has a lucrative contract with fashion house Givenchy. "I've always taken care of myself - mentally and physically. My family are forever exchanging lotions and potions. I would send my dad a box of face oils all the way from New Zealand. He may be a rock star, but he takes incredible care of his skin!" She continues, "But I actually like the character lines on someone's face. I think if a woman smiles and doesn't have a crease on the sides of her eyes or around her mouth, she looks like a robot!
"I may have periods of insecurity, but I try no to be that hard on myself. I'm only young, after all, so I'm not thinking about wrinkles just yet!"
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