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Interview: Liv Tyler for "The Lord of the Rings: Return of the King"

By Paul Fischer Monday December 8th 2003 11:00PM
Liv Tyler for "The Lord of the Rings: Return of the King"

Liv Tyler is a luminous presence, but try talking wedding ring, as opposed to Tolkien's Ring, and Ms Tyler clams up. "You really those personal questions, don't you", she poses with a sweet smile that clearly hides her disdain. But the recently married Tyler 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 aggress that she is bittersweet now that it's all over. "As an actor to work on the same project for 3 and a half years, has been an incredible comfort and thank God that we all adore each other and have loved working in Peter's world, because every year I've gone back to New Zealand to work.," Tyler enthuses. "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 so that is going to be very confusing I think for us in a way because that is what we expect every year. Our schedule - there are certain times that we know that is going to happen."

This is the third year Tyler and I have chatted about 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. "It was a funny thing because in retrospect now there was time when I was there I found it really difficult because as the 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."

Tyler says that learned a lot from her whole Rings experience. "I feel like I've learned a lot. We talk a lot about how it's such a growing experience for us all because we're about 26 and I think 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. I guess that was probably my initial response to saying "oh, I was homesick" in that I wasn't feeling connected somehow. It wasn't that I wasn't being given a lot of love or attention, but there was a real confusion. I thought sometimes maybe 'oh, I am doing something wrong' but what I didn't realize was that Peter and Fran and Phillipa really didn't know yet what they wanted to do with Arwen so a lot of it was sort of up to me and it was this whole process of it. I was down there for a good, 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. The on-again, off-again release changes for the film are of little concern to the actress. "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 continues to resist talking about her personal life, but acknowledges the fascination the press has with that aspect of her life, and treats it rather philosophically. "You have to stay focused on something, because if you start to acknowledge all these things around you, that every photo you know look good, and everything everybody says, it can make you really kind of depressed and paranoid, so like I think that 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.'" And 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, weird things, and 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."

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