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INT: Liv Tyler

03.25.2004

There 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 wasn’t hugely familiar with Kevin’s work. I’d seen CHASING AMY and DOGMA and I was kind of just more intrigued, because people love him so much and my agent was like, “oh my god! There’s this new Kevin Smith film and they’ve offered you a part!” So I was really intrigued, and yeah, I guess I definitely was surprised. It wasn’t 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?
I’m always going after the filmmaker. For me, that’s everything. So I was very excited that he wanted to work with me. I really liked the part, but it wasn’t 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 wasn’t just this stereotypical romantic comedy character. Are you as direct as she was with him?
It depends. I’m pretty direct, yeah. I feel bad at comparing myself to her, but I’m pretty direct, yeah. What was it like working with Ben again?
It was great. It’s really nice to work with friends it’s sort of like, you’ve already gotten past that initial nerve and fear and it just made it really great for us to just sort of dive into everything. It’s interesting because out of all the actors I’ve ever worked with, I feel particularly comfortable with Ben, like we have some sort of a special chemistry. I don’t 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.

Let’s talk a little bit about (song in movie?). Was it a lot of fun?
It was! I actually had never seen the musical. I’d 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 couldn’t 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 I’m not. A lot of times, I unfortunately don’t 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 like… I really want to see ETERNAL SUNSHINE OF THE SPOTLESS MIND. That’s a little bit more off the beaten track that I would be drawn to. I want to see STARSKY & HUTCH too, but I don’t know if that’s a romantic comedy! [Laughs] This is Raquel’s 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. She’s 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 weren’t necessarily in the script and stuff. I adore kids. How long have you been a child person?
I’ve always been. I can remember being six years old and knowing I wanted to have kids and a family. It didn’t particularly make me go, “hey,” but I’m definitely looking forward to having a family someday. Is that something you want soon?
I don’t have any kind of a master plan of any kind. I’m definitely enjoying working right now. I’m 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 it’s 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 it’s just natural. I think that for any creator or performer of any kind, those are natural feelings. Even when I’m 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 I’ve been pretty lucky. I mean, the past three years have been sort of strange because I’ve been in the Lord of the Rings and it seems all very successful, but I’ve also been working on that for five years. I haven’t really been able to work on anything else. So creatively, I’ve been holding so much in that I want to get out. So I’m happy now that that’s 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 haven’t 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 don’t know that I’ve 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 “Lord of the Rings,” 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 “oh wouldn’t it be nice to just be like firing dialogue with someone in a diner scene?” 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 didn’t 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 wasn’t necessarily what was going to be in the movie. And suddenly in this, it’s really just what you’re 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 you’re sitting there at the event and it’s happening. It seems a lot more exciting and clear than when you’re 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 didn’t 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. It’s always nerve wrecking do any kind of love scene or makeout scene. But I feel really comfortable with Ben and I’ve 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 woman’s 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 you’re 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. It’s weird because people are so critical and it’s so ridiculous because I’m not a supermodel, I’m an actor. And I’m also a young woman and young women go through changes and I feel like I particularly like that everybody’s really different. You go to someplace like Boston and you see everybody’s bodies and everybody’s so different in their style and their shape and that’s 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. There’s definitely pressure, but I don’t think it’s 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] I’ve only been to Jersey a couple times in my entire life. I don’t really know what it’s 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 I’d love to do a musical. I’ve always dreamt of that. I think the first time I saw “Sweet Charity,” 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 what’s going on. I was on the edge of my seat through all of CHICAGO and I’ve seen it about six times. I really like musicals and I like to sing. Do you aspire to your dad’s longevity in entertainment?
It’s very impressive. It’s amazing. He’s worked so hard to be there. He’s also very lucky. I can only hope to have that long of a career. We don’t really exchange that much advice about things. In a way, my dad’s always more surprised by me because of the decisions I make because I’m so young. The decisions he was making when he was my age were horrible. [Laughs] So he always says to me, “Where did you come from?? Who are you?” But I’ve learned a lot from the mistakes they’ve 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. He’s so gorgeous and sexy and amazing. And he’s 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 don’t actually. I’m 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 it’s our job, but so much of it really isn’t that important as well and I just kind of try to get into another head of space where I’m not talking about myself. Could you relax during JERSEY GIRL with funny guys like George Carlin, Ben Affleck and Kevin Smith around?
I’m used to being the only girl in a movie with lots of guys. Working is always scary, because there’s so much responsibility and pressure. No matter how much you’re laughing, you’re 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 don’t know. I think he’s a sweet, sweet man. I’m always impressed with his mind. He’s incredibly intelligent and I’m really interested in the fact that he’s always trying to expand his horizons and learn. He’s very knowledgeable about things. I think it’s 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. There’s so much going on and I admire him very much that he’s constantly learning and expanding his horizons. What’s next?
I’m doing a little, tiny, microscopic movie with Casey Affleck that Steve Buscemi is directing. We’re shooting on video and I’m 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. I’ve only seen him a couple times though.

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Source: JoBlo.com

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