by Melissa Thompson, Seventeen, June 1996. Photos by Grey Zisser. Scans by Carly.
With a slew of flicks in the bag, Liv Tyler has a career that's
hot, but she couldn’t be more cool out it. Rather than
hanging in Hollywood's fast lane, she lays low in New York
City by kicking back with her family and collecting clothes.
When Liv Tyler was 5, she wanted
to grow up to be a firefighter - that was her idea of excitement.
As if her life weren't exciting
enough. After all, she practically
grew up in trendy New York
City clubs and backstage at
concerts with her rocker dad. Aerosmith
Steven Tyler, and her
Bebe Buell. And never mind
that she spent hours jamming
on a little plastic guitar and
being out rock lyrics into a
homemade mike (the wooden
tip of her four-poster bed).
"Back then, I don't think I really
give performing much thought,"
says Liv. "It was just what you
did." But by the time she hit her
teens. Liv's fantasies of firefighting,
fizzled (surprise, surprise)
and she took up modeling,
which led to music videos (she
was Alicia Silverstone's partner
in crime in her dad's 'Crazy'
video), which led to acting.
A lot of acting. After her film
debut in Silent Fall as a zombie-like
killer ("Oh that was so
wonderful," she gushes), she
made Empire Records, which
was about hanging out in a
record store ("Oh, eccch," she
volunteers). They both bombed
at the box office, but that didn't
hold back Hollywood producers
from casting her in more
movies. She has a small film
(due out any minute now)
called Heavy, opposite Lemonheads sweetie Evan Dando.
She stars in this month's Stealing
Beauty as a girl who blossoms
into a woman when she spends
a summer in Italy. And this fall
she's in That Thing You Do,
a Tom Hanks - directed film
about a rock band (costaring
How to Make An American
Quilt hottie Jonathan Schaech).
"When I got the lead in
Stealing Beauty, I thought, Oh,
this is very scary," admits Liv.
"I kept thinking. An entire
movie about this young girl?
Why would someone want to
come and se me do a whole
movie?" Well, let's just say that
Liv isn't exactly hard to look
at. She's beautiful and sexy,
but in an oddball way. Like
she's almost perfect, but something
in her face suggests
she's real, unlike a supermodel
whose flawlessness seems
unreal. "I was an ugly little girl,"
says Liv when asked about her
looks. "And I still live in her
body. I still feel ugly. Everybody
has their moments."
Liv ugly? This is the same
girl who's taken superhot photos
for Rolling Stone, Details
and the British magazine The
Face. In fact, you'd probably
guess that her party rep rivals,
say, Drew Barrymore's. But
Liv never performed professionally
as a child, and she
spent plenty of time out of the
music world, like in quiet
Maine, where she lived for several
years. (And it doesn't hurt
either that she now lives in
New York City with her mom,
away from the tension of Tinseltown.)
Turns out the sex-kitten
photos are more about
fantasy than reality. "People
think I have this incredible
life," she says, "that I am
constantly meering guys who want
to take me out. But I never see
guys - I work all the time.
Besides, all men - even if they're
80 years old - are boys! The
thing I'll never understand
about men is the chase thing.
That game is so boring."
So who docs me turn to when
she needs a little support? "The
women in my family," she
explains. "We are all very strong.
When I'm sad or down, when I
want to lay my head in someone's
lap, that's who I go to."
Hear family gal pals, it turns
out, also share one of Liv's
true passions: shopping. "I'm
such a bag lady," she says with
a laugh. "I collect lots of crazy
stuff, like vintage clothes. I'm
so old-fashioned-at least in
my mind. If I had my way, I'd
wear corsets and gowns everywhere.
I just got these beautiful
lace-up boots with square
toes that are from 1912."
Where does her affection for
all things vintage come from?
"Well," she admits, "I've always
loved to play dress-up. I
remember wearing my mom's
clothes when I was younger
and grooving out." Definitely
a performer from the beginning
Guess you can't argue