Liv Tyler was, and is, my biggest crush.
My first memory of seeing Liv was on the poster for That Thing You Do, a musical comedy released in 1997, the year I turned 12. I remember thinking how sweet and cute she looked. I didn’t actually see the film until a few years later when it aired on Australian free-to-air TV, probably in ’98 or ’99.
Those characteristics I had gleaned from the film’s poster turned out to be very true for Liv’s character, Faye. I remember feeling actual anger when Faye was (spoilers!) heart-broken by her self-interested boyfriend Jimmy, played by Johnathon Schaech. I remember thinking “how could anyone do that to such a lovely human?”
Once I had regular access to the internet in the early 2000’s one of the first things I did was check out what other movies Liv had been in. I only checked out ones that didn’t seem too “girly” though(come on, I was 15,). Armageddonwas okay, Plunkett & Macleane was a lot of fun and One Night at McCool’smade an…impression . It was Empire Records, however, that I enjoyed the most and I now rate it as one of my favourite films. You know, the kind of movie you tell all your friends they have to watch.
Of course the Lord of the Rings trilogy of films debuted at the end of 2001. With Liv in the role of Arwen in all three films she started to appear all over the place. Thanks to this it wasn’t long before my bedroom walls were covered in posters and magazine cuttings of her. I even had her on as my computer’s desktop background and, thanks to website LovelyLivTyler.com, I was building quite the collection of movie stills and photos. I was smitten.
I continued to follow Liv’s career after LotR through The Strangers, The Incredible Hulk and lastly, Super, in 2010. I’d hit my mid 20’s by this time so girls in real life had grown more important — not to mention attainable — to me than a glamorous celebrity that I would probably never be in the same room as.
Still, I continued to hold a torch for Liv in a small corner of my heart as I went through a few relationships. I visited the aforementioned website a few times a month and she still graced my desktop and mobile phone backgrounds along with images from comics and films. Before I actually lived with a significant other I even kept several of the posters up.
I didn’t follow Liv’s career quite as closely from about 2012 on (Super was the last of her feature films I’ve seen, although I would like to see Robot & Frank) but I never forgot about her. She was always there, a fond memory of the girl who taught me to like girls.
Now, in 2017, I’m married to an amazing woman whom I utterly adore. Yet Liv is still there, albeit she now represents something different and perhaps more important than ones biggest celebrity crush.
Liv came back to the forefront of my mind recently when she visited my now hometown of Oxford. Unfortunately, I did not get the chance to meet her as she appeared at the Oxford Union of which I am not a member. Still, the fact that she was literally half an hour’s walk from my house was very exciting. (My wife loves to tease me that I missed out on meeting my “precious Livy.”)
Now when I think of Liv I think of inspiration; someone who means a lot to me because of what she was for me during the formative years of my life. Yes, I found her incredibly beautiful (and still do. Can you believe she’s 40!?!), but she was always more than just a “babe.”
That initial impression of the sweet, kind, loving girl from the That Thing You Doposter stuck with me. Along with my mum, grandmothers, and my sister, Liv showed me why women must be respected. Her activism work with UNICEFand support of cancer research has helped so many women. But most of all, in all the media coverage I’ve seen of her, she always comes across as the sweetest, most kind and humble of people. For someone who has achieved as much as she has that is truly wonderful.
So that’s the story of my relationship with Liv Tyler; a woman who enticed a younger me with her cute, girl-next-door looks and who continues to inspire me by giving back to the world that made her famous. We may not all reach the levels of fame that Liv has, but I think that if more people followed her example of leading with love and understanding the world would be a much better place!