Tyler began a career in modeling at age 14. She later decided to focus on acting, and made her film debut in Silent Fall (1994). She went on to achieve critical recognition with roles in Heavy, Empire Records (both 1995), That Thing You Do!, and Stealing Beauty (both 1996). She then appeared in films such as Inventing the Abbotts (1997), Armageddon (1998), Cookie's Fortune, Onegin (both 1999), Dr. T & the Women (2000), and One Night at McCool's (2001).
Following the success of Lord of the Rings, Tyler has appeared in a variety of roles, including the films Jersey Girl (2004), Lonesome Jim (2005), Reign Over Me (2007), The Strangers, The Incredible Hulk (both 2008), Super (2010), Space Station 76 (2014), and Wildling (2018). Outside of film, she played the part of Meg Abbott on HBO's The Leftovers (2014–2017), and has since starred in the BBC series Gunpowder (2017), and the ITV/Hulu series Harlots (2018).
Tyler has served as a United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) Goodwill Ambassador for the United States since 2003, and as a spokesperson for Givenchy's line of perfume and cosmetics. She is the daughter of Steven Tyler and Bebe Buell. She has three children.