Liv Tyler was born July 1, 1977, in Portland, Maine. Her unique first name can be traced after her mother, model and former rock groupie Bebe Buell, saw Liv Ullmann on the cover of a TV Guide the week Liv was born. As for the roots of her last name, Liv always believed that her father was musician Todd Rundgren, who her mother had a long-term relationship with and who helped raise her. Although her birth certificate stated that Rundgren was indeed her father, a 10-year-old Liv became suspicious after meeting Aerosmith's Steven Tyler at a Rundgren concert, and even more suspicious after seeing Tyler's daughter Mia, who could have passed for Liv's twin, at an Aerosmith concert. Liv confronted her mother about the topic, and her mother told her the truth: Steven Tyler was her father (Liv was the product of an 8-month relationship between Tyler and Buell). Liv made her biological father's name her own at the age of 12, and 2 years later, mother and daughter headed to New York. While Liv grew into a statuesque, blue-eyed beauty (she had her father's unmistakable pouty, Mick Jagger-like lips), she claims she was chubby and awkward while growing up.
But family friend Paulina Porizkova saw the beauty in Liv (as does everyone today), and encouraged her to start modeling. Indeed Liv did, and soon appeared in magazines such as Seventeen, YM and Mirabella. But modeling became boring, and Liv wanted to start acting. She was offered a part in the 1994 film, Silent Fall, which came and went quietly, and she was also cast as Callie in 1995's Heavy. Liv also starred in the 1995 bomb Empire Records, which was set in a record store, but she did attract attention while co-starring with Alicia Silverstone in dad's video for Crazy. Finally in 1996, Liv landed the lead role of Lucy in Bernardo Bertolucci's exquisite film about a teen in search of finding her father and losing her virginity, Stealing Beauty. Although the film was not a moneymaker, it did raise eyebrows in film circles, especially the 1996 Cannes Film Festival.
After a starring role in Tom Hanks' film, That Thing You Do!, Liv was cast in 1997's Inventing the Abbotts, in which she co-starred with Joaquin Phoenix, with whom she had a 2-year relationship. After a tiny role in U Turn and an uncredited role in Can't Hardly Wait, Liv starred as Bruce Willis' daughter in the summer blow-up hit, Armageddon, which opened on her birthday. In 1999, Liv rounded out a stellar cast in Cookie's Fortune, appeared in Plunkett & Macleane, co-starred with Ralph Fiennes in Onegin, and appeared as herself in the documentary, Franky Goes to Hollywood. Liv starred in the female star-studded Dr. T and the Women (along with fellow celebrity progeny Kate Hudson), and will next be seen in the comedy, One Night at McCool's, as the scheming Jewel Valentine, as well as the first installment of the film trilogy, Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring, as Arwen Undomiel. Liv will be keeping rock 'n' roll in the family and will now be a rocker wife, after her Valentine's Day 2001 engagement to Royston Langdon, Spacehog's lead singer and bass player, and her steady of 3 years.
After stepping out with Oscar nominee Joaquin Phoenix, Liv found love with British rocker Royston Langdon. The two got hitched in a secret wedding in Barbados on March 25, 2003. The happy couple welcomed their first child, Milo William Langdon, in December 2004.
Despite her success, Liv remains the down-to-earth girl from Portland who grew up playing Scrabble with Mick Jagger. "I've always had a real appreciation of life and my surroundings," she says. "I woke up this morning and thought, 'This amazing, cool breeze is coming through my window and the sun is shining. I'm happy.' It doesn't take a lot to make me happy. And I have a beautiful love in my life who gives me so much strength in order to be so confident."
Liv Tyler: The Fellowship of the Ring
How much did you know about "The Lord of the Rings" before the film?
In my mother's generation - in the 60s and 70s - there was this huge boom in the book's popularity. Then it fizzled out. But suddenly children now are reading the books again. I think that's really wonderful, to reintroduce it to a new generation. I didn't know anything about it when I was a child. I'd heard boys talking about it, but it was more of a boy thing.
How did you find living away from home for 15 months?
When I first went down there [to New Zealand], I was living alone in this big house on this beautiful cliff by the sea. It's really windy in Wellington, all the time, and the houses aren't really made for it. They're little beach cottages. Everything shakes all the time. From getting really involved with the film, and reading the books, I started having nightmares. One night, I woke up and I was sick, and I had a fever. I heard tap, tap, tap on the bedroom door; it was actually the wind. Seeing things that were scary, that was hard for me.
When did you become aware of the massive expectations for the film?
When I got home from New Zealand, I remember going to check my email one day on a friend's computer. It was AOL, and when you went to put your screen name in, you could click on Elijah Wood's face. I suddenly thought, Wow, this is really big! I know that sounds really ignorant, but we were all out of the loop of the expectations while we were making it. We were completely immersed in what we were doing.
Have you seen the toy figures of your character yet?
I saw one. I was home, alone. I sat there and took it out of the box and put it on table, and I was really scared of it! To see this tiny version of me. It was just like a prototype, and the arm kept falling off, and I was trying to put my arm back on! In a silly kind of way, it's very exciting to be a doll! When I was a kid I used to buy Barbie dolls, and the first thing I did was to take all their clothes off, cut their hair, and change everything.
Liv Tyler: Lord of the Rings - The Two Towers
Beautiful Liv Tyler was recovering from a nasty food disorder when we met at New York's Regency Hotel. Simply dressed in a dark top and jeans, the actress, back on screen in this month's much latest and anticipated Lord of the Rings chapter, admitted to having spent the last month 'being totally exhausted.' Not from making a movie or even doing press to promote it, but being a girl and shopping. 'I've been desperately spending this last month trying to find four outfits to wear to the different premieres of The Two Towers', Tyler explains. 'It's hard work, it really is. I don't like stylists but I do need someone to help me make the phone calls but I know EXACTLY what I want to wear.' Asked where she plans on getting these clothes, Tyler merely says that she's 'lucky to have some wonderful personal relationships with certain people and I go to them because I know that they know my body and they'll make me something so I can rely on them.'
Such is the life of one of Hollywood's most glamorous stars, and being famous, as she explains, imposes different pressures when asked to describe her involvement in the latest cinematic instalment of the Tolkien classic. Reminding her that last year, when we talked about the first film, she indicated that would feature more prominently in The Two Towers and that promise was not met, Tyler's own disappointment is evident. A lot of times what has happened to me in that situation, is that, because I'm probably more famous, people tend to put a lot more pressure on me to say: Oh your part?s a lot smaller and will it be bigger in the next one? I always just say to them: I'm playing this part who is not the lead in the film but she?s consistently there throughout so it is what it is', Tyler explains, somewhat defensively. 'I mean people want me to say that it's going to be more, but that?s hard for me sometimes because I really don?t know what to say to them.' What we can say is that Liv's Elf, Arwen Und'miel, is still in love with Aragorn, as she faces some serious choices. But beyond that of many subplots, in this second chapter in the J.R.R. Tolkien saga, the hobbits Frodo and Sam brave terrible dangers in an attempt to have the evil ring destroyed, while Aragorn, Legolas and their allies strive to rescue the abducted hobbits Pippin and Merry from the clutches of evil. The great wizard Gandalf also makes his miraculous return to aid in the struggle against the united towers of Saruman and Sauron.
For Tyler, speaking of her own character's journey, the best is yet to come when the final chapter, Return of the King, hits theatres in a year's time. ?But don?t expect that movie to become all about me', she insists, laughingly. For the 25-year old actress, despite her reservations about being involved in the epic trilogy, Tyler relished the chance to play the ethereal Arwen, but adds that her experience on the Rings trilogy was different to that of her fellow cast members. ?When I went down to New Zealand, originally, it was to play a totally different character in that the character that was originally written in the script was much more present in the journey with the Fellowship and was not the character that she was in the book,' confesses Tyler. The actress recalls that she was in New Zealand for a long time preparing for fight sequences 'and the more I did that stuff, the further away we were getting from why they cast me, and what was true of Arwan. They realized that and so we went back, looked at the book and the appendix and reshaped the character.'
Yet because Arwen was never a consistent character in any of the films, Liv admits that it made it tougher shooting the trilogy on location in New Zealand and so far from home. 'It was difficult because of the nature of my character being all over the place. I didn't go over there to have like three other boys to hang out with like the hobbits, so I tended to feel a little bit of an outsider, which is good, because of the character in a way, for me to go through that,' Tyler says.
Being only one of two central female characters in the entire cast, the actress was relieved when Australian actress Miranda Otto arrived on set to shoot her scenes as 'owyn, who features prominently in Two Towers. 'When she first arrived I was really excited there was another female actor to hang out with, just to see what her costumes were like if nothing else, as well as just watch her act because I love observing people. ''
Having worked for over a year in New Zealand on an epic, the actress went out of her way to look for something distinctive and modern as her next post-Rings film. She found it in Kevin Smith?s upcoming Jersey Girl, which also stars Ben Affleck and Jennifer Lopez. On my worst days in New Zealand when I was so uncomfortable and my ears were itching, I would say to myself: I just wish I was doing a scene in a diner where we were just talking. On my first day on Jersey Girl, I was sitting in a diner with Ben Affleck and just talking.
Tyler has no other professional plans but islooking forward to spending the holidays with my family which is really the most important thing for me. That includes fianc' of almost two years Roy Langdon, a musician with the band Spacehog. Unwilling to disclose if she has even set a date for the wedding, Tyler will only admit the obvious that we're still engaged and madly in love.? But that frequently asked question is a byproduct of Tyler's fame. The actress admits that she has learned how to play the fame game by keeping it all in perspective, and says. 'I don't live a life where I'm always being taken care of or being driven around.? She adds that when not doing publicity, she spends time with Roy, we would drive up to my country house, go on walks in the woods, cook dinner and hang out with my friends. It?s important for me to do normal things because that's what I like to do. All that is far removed from the glamorous world of Liv Tyler, movie star!