Liv Tyler couldn’t turn down the chance to join Hulu’s Harlots for the show’s second season.
“It was just sort of irresistible in a way,” the actress says. “The more I heard about the world and the complexities and the history — things I didn’t really know — I was just drawn to it.”
Tyler, most famous for her roles in The Leftovers and The Lord of the Rings trilogy, portrays Lady Isabella Fitzwilliam, a woman of class and status higher than previously seen on the show about Georgian brothel workers. “She’s kind of one of the most amazing characters I’ve ever gotten to play before. She’s a lady, so it’s a different side from the women we see in season 1,” Tyler explains, “but she’s got all of the same issues going on as all of the other ladies we’ve seen, even though she’s portrayed in a different world.”
Although exact details have yet to be divulged as to how Lady “Fitz” fits into the lives of the Wells family or Lydia Quigley (Lesley Manville), Tyler revealed that her costume — a retrictive corset and giant hip cages — actually provides hidden insights into her character: “She’s kind of a bit of a bird in a cage; she’s really trapped and oppressed by her brother and the nature of society at that time — their father had passed away and left money to both of them but I have no rights to any of my fortune. And her brother is very manipulative and controlling with her. The corset, and the costume just sort of adds to that.”
And the massive attire also proved to be its own challenge. “The first day we were filming, I had to shoot a big scene outside in the wind. And I literally could hardly get out of a van — I had to wait for an extra big car to come — but as soon as I was out it was like the Leaning Tower of Pisa because the wind was blowing so much and my hair was taking me off. It was definitely hard to balance, and I would always get stuck in doorways.”
You can see Liv Tyler as Lady Fitz in season 2 of Harlots streaming July 11 on Hulu.