A lot of actors would have been intimidated by Peter Jackson’s “The Lord of the Rings” trilogy, but Liv Tyler was just excited about having job security. However, once the films were completed in 2003, Tyler felt ready to move on from Middle Earth and explore new acting opportunities. As she described to MTV, “I would sit on the set of ‘Lord of the Rings,’ and I absolutely loved what I was doing, but I would sort of dream of laughing and doing comedy and not crying all the time.”
In her first film after “The Lord of the Rings,” however, Tyler found herself struggling to get used to performing without the safety net of Jackson’s grand plans for the trilogy. She starred opposite her former “Armageddon” co-star Ben Affleck in Kevin Smith’s “Jersey Girl,” which she recalled as a terrifying experience compared to “The Lord of the Rings.” Without the makeup, costumes, and post-production trickery involved in playing Arwen, Tyler had nothing to rely on but her own performance. “I felt so scared and vulnerable and almost kind of naked,” she revealed.
It took a few independent dramas for Tyler to feel comfortable stepping back into the realm of mainstream blockbusters. After solid performances in “Lonesome Jim” and “Reign Over Me” in the mid-2000s, Tyler joined Ed Norton in 2008’s “The Incredible Hulk” as Betty Ross, which was much closer to her experiences on the set of “The Lord of the Rings.”