Mirror.Co.Uk, 12 June 2008

It has been a tumultuous few years for Liv Tyler. After the worldwide success of The Lord Of The Rings, she fell pregnant and immediately quit work to devote the next few years to her new son.

But, with her return to work, she has suffered the heartbreak of the collapse of her marriage to Leeds rocker Royston Langdon.

Speaking for the first time since the split, the star of new movie The Incredible Hulk, out today, admits that having Milo, now three, was a turning point in her life.

“I am like a horse,” says Liv, 30, sipping a cappuccino in her plush Los Angeles suite.

“I need to be worked or run every day. I really like hard work. In everything I do in life, I need to feel like I am accomplishing something every day, be it as a mother, a wife, a woman or actress.

“After having a child, that physical feeling of going from being a girl into a woman is really something. When you carry a child and give birth you really feel like a woman for the first time in your life. It is phenomenal.

“So many great things have happened to me in my life and career that I was happy about, but I never had this sense of accomplishment until I had Milo.”

Having been through so much personal trauma recently, Liv still feels unable to publicly discuss her marriage split, and is determined to protect her son from the glare of the media.

“I am certainly not ready to talk about things,” she admits, “but I feel it is important for Roy and I to protect Milo’s privacy. That’s really important to both of us.

“Now I just want to have a fun summer, but I haven’t got anything planned. My family live in Maine and Boston, so in the summer I’d really love to get in the car and go on a road trip. I would love to get over to England and see our English family too.”

Tyler grew up believing that musician Todd Rundgren was her father. But her mother, former Playboy playmate Bebe Buell, later confessed that Aerosmith frontman Steve Tyler was her real dad.

Liv remains close to her extended family and this, perhaps, explains her determination to make sure that Milo has as normal an upbringing as possible.

“From when I got pregnant until Milo was a year old, I didn’t make a film,” she explains.

“After Lord Of The Rings and the world tours promoting it, I just wanted to be with Roy and Milo. I had been working my whole life, so it gave me the chance to be a normal woman. It was great for me to take myself away from work.”

Liv then had to fight to get back in shape and shed her baby pounds.

“I had to work quite hard because I suddenly had 20lbs to lose,” she smiles. “I didn’t try to lose weight after I had Milo because I was breast feeding, but before I could even come out to LA and meet on projects I really had to lose that weight. I did it, but it was hard work. It wasn’t easy.

“I went to the gym every day. There is no trick to dieting, it just takes a lot of work. For me it took a lot of exercise. Sometimes I would see my personal trainer twice a day. I also did different diets and fasting, and eventually after a few months it was gone.”

In The Incredible Hulk, Liv plays Betty, the girlfriend of Ed Norton’s scientist Bruce Banner who turns into the green monster when angered.

She leapt at the chance of joining the film, and accepted the part before she’d even seen a script.

“I went to the Marvel office to meet everyone,” Liv explains, “and they offered me the part as I was in the car on my way home. They gave me 24 hours to decide, so I had to make a quick decision.

“I was nervous making a decision without seeing the script, but in a way it was a no brainer.”

While Liv was filming, she’d always look forward to getting home to Milo.

“He has his own activities so often he doesn’t come to the set,” she says.

“With The Hulk, if we were night shooting I’d get home at seven in the morning, so I could see him, watch cartoons and make pancakes. In a lot of ways, I spend more time with him than if I had a nine-to-five job.”

Liv lives in New York, but feels it might not be the ideal place to bring up her son.

“I can see the attraction of a house plus a yard,” she says.

“In England, all my friends have these houses with gardens, but in Manhattan it is all so built-up. I definitely want Milo to have nature around him. That was so important to me growing up – being in the woods, making up stories and playing around.

“I would love to have a yard. I’d like to get up in the morning and roll around on the grass with him.”