How Liv Connected With Elvish

Submitted by Paul Fischer on Wed, 12/10/2003 - 16:00

LOS ANGELES. Liv Tyler is a luminous presence, but try talking wedding ring, as opposed to Tolkien's Ring, and Ms Tyler clams up. Tyler married 30-year-old Royston Langdon, the Leeds-born lead singer of Spacehog, in March.

"You really like those personal questions, don't you", she poses with a sweet smile to hide her disdain. But then she begrudgingly responds: "I'm very happy, thank you for asking."

Tyler was more interested in talking about the final phase of Lord of the Rings, the much anticipated Return of the King.

Tyler agrees that she is bittersweet now that it's all over, although it has also been "an incredible comfort" to work on the same project for the last three and a half years.

"In the summer we've done pick-ups for a month or so, we've gone to London to do all of our voice work and it's been this ongoing experience."

This is the third year that Tyler and I have chatted about her Rings experience, and the one constant, was how homesick she became during the process. On that score, the actress appeared more circumspect this time around. In retrospect she believes that feeling stemmed from a lack of clarification about her character.

"I wasn't really part of the Fellowship so I was sort of on my own and a lot of times we didn't really know what we were doing with my character."

Nonetheless, the 26-year-old actress says the process of making the Rings films has taught her valuable lessons. "I've learned a lot in my life about patience and trust from this experience in a way and I'm looking forward to bringing that into whatever I do next."

However, initially she felt "a real confusion" about her role.

"I thought sometimes maybe 'Oh, I am doing something wrong,' but what I didn't realise was that Peter and Fran and Philippa really didn't know yet what they wanted to do with Arwen so a lot of it was sort of up to me," she says.

"I was down there for between 2 to 4 months of every morning: sword fighting lessons, horseback riding lessons, archery, learning my English accent, learning Elvish, hours of fittings. We were doing all this work and I was trying to find this character that was the Arwen in the scripts at that time, and I wasn't connecting to it."

"I didn't know why, and it was because it just wasn't right. It wasn't working. It wasn't the right Arwen. So when we figured out what we were going to do, and when we changed it, the whole world opened up for me in a new way and that was very exciting and from that moment on I felt really connected to Arwen," Tyler explains.

Now the actress gets to turn up in the much more modern Jersey Girl opposite Ben Affleck and a brief Jennifer Lopez. She says that the on-again, off-again release changes for the film are of little concern.

"I really enjoyed working with Kevin Smith and with Ben on the film and I hope that the film will be able to speak for itself. I know it must be very frustrating for Ben and Jen, all those sort of things get put onto their film work as well, so hopefully that won't happen."

Tyler resists talking about her personal life, treating the fascination the press has with that aspect of her life philosophically.

"You have to stay focused on something, because if you start to acknowledge all these things around you... and everything everybody says it can make you really kind of depressed and paranoid."

She adds. "There's something to be said for people getting to a certain point in their career and kind of saying, 'You know what, I can't do this anymore.'"

Marriage does, of course, keep her focused on what's important.

"Well I love my husband and he supports and helps me through everything, but those other insecurities and things are quite personal no matter how much love you have around you. I think I went through a period even last year for the first time in my life where we moved, and suddenly there was like paparazzi outside of our house all the time," she says.

"There are so many of those magazines now, that are sort of gossip-oriented, so many things are just made up which are not true, and it can make you unhappy."

So Tyler avoids going out in the line of paparazzi fire. "I do the things that I have to do for my work, for charities that I believe in or certain things like that, but other than that, besides going to see bands, I try to not to go to too many things."