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
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.
About her favorite smell:
"Those smells that remind me of home. I can smell my dad from
a mile away. I can smell it whenever he's worn my clothes. He has
this ambery smell that just melts into him."
On playing Arwen in Lord of the Rings:
"It wasn't until I came back home after such a long time away
that I realized how much hype there was about this. I get to play
someone 3,000 years old. I'm 23, so that's quite an acting challenge."
On Gere in "Dr. T and the Women
"It was really funny and uncomfortable to have Richard Gere
looking between your legs all day long... because he really didn't
know what he was doing with all those instruments and I was like,
'No, it would go a bit lower!'"
"The age I'm at now, you go from being a young gil to suddenly
you blossom into a woman. You ripen, you know? And then you start
"I cried on my 18th birthday. I thought 17 was such a nice
age. You're young enough to get away with things, but you're old
"I have these slumber parties with my father, and when we
can't sleep we stay up all night trading beauty tips. He knows all
about the good creams and masks."
"I've been told that if I'd lose weight I'd have more work,
but I refuse to submit myself to those standards. To the rest of
the world, I'm slim, and I like the way I am."
When I did Stealing Beauty (1996), I was just a kid. I'd done a
couple of movies, but I'd never been to an acting class in my life.
But what I took away from it more than anything was the sense that,
even though I was the central character, it was my job to get completely
lost in the film. I had a real awareness of Bernardo Bertolucci
as a filmmaker, not just a director, painting a canvas in which
I was just one element.
Subtlety is my favourite thing in cinema. It lets you dream. When
everything is on the nail and on show, it leaves no questions in
your mind. I find that so boring.
Clothes have become too important and films are saturated with
fashion. So you find yourself wearing designer clothes that aren't
relevant to your character. I'm always so intrigued by Christopher
Guest and his movies, like Best in Show (2000) and A Mighty Wind
(2003). He hires the actors and they all come up with the story
and the concept, improvise. And they are all responsible for their
own hair and make-up. They buy their own clothes, are in control
of creating their characters. I would love to do that.
"Life excites me. I'm not talking about appearing in movies
or doing interviews, but just little, normal, everyday things. Getting
out of bed. Getting dressed. Making food. I find it all exciting,
"I don't live a very posh life. There are no drivers waiting
or people doing everything for me. I pretty much live like a normal
person. . . . It's not good to have a life without responsibilities,
"It's cool to be compared to her [Elizabeth Taylor], but honestly
who gives a damn?".
"There were times when I would get mad at him (Viggo Mortensen)
beacuse he would push me harder. There was a weekend when I got
really sick and had a horrible flu, and that was my one and only
day to sleep and recover and not work. We were supposed to go horseback
riding together and I cancelled it because I wasn't feeling well,
and Viggo gave me a really hard time about it. So I went, and it
was one of the greatest days of my life. It was actually the one
time, while I was riding, that I really broke through to the other
side with the canter and becoming more comfortable on the horse.
I had a beautiful day and am incredibly grateful to Viggo for pushing
me further. He taught me so much about that, about really being
willing to submit and submerge yourself into making the film and
the character work."