Alicia Silverstone Career And Her Role In Clueless

Alicia Silverstone is an American actress who rose to fame in the 1990s with her breakthrough role in the film “Clueless”. She has since had a successful career in both film and television, as well as working as an activist and author.

Born in San Francisco in 1976, Silverstone began her career as a child model and appeared in several television commercials before making her film debut in “The Crush” in 1993. She received critical acclaim for her performance as a teenage girl who becomes obsessed with an older man, earning a Best Breakthrough Performance award at the MTV Movie Awards.

Silverstone’s big break came in 1995 when she starred as the fashion-conscious high school student Cher in the hit comedy “Clueless”. The film was a box office success and earned her a nomination for a Best Actress Golden Globe. She went on to appear in a number of successful films in the 1990s, including “Batman & Robin”, “Excess Baggage”, and “Blast from the Past”.

In the 2000s, Silverstone began to focus more on her work as an activist and author. She is a longtime animal rights advocate and has been a spokesperson for PETA. In 2009, she released a book titled “The Kind Diet”, which promotes a plant-based diet and lifestyle.

Despite taking a break from acting, Silverstone continued to appear in films and television throughout the 2000s and 2010s. She starred in the short-lived television series “Miss Match” and “The Singles Table”, and had guest roles on “Suburgatory” and “Childrens Hospital”. In 2018, she appeared in the film “Book Club” alongside Jane Fonda, Diane Keaton, and Candice Bergen.

Alicia Silverstone’s total net worth is around $28 Million and the last regular TV part that Alicia Silverstone played was in the Netflix comedy series The Baby-Sitters Club. She featured as Elizabeth Thomas-Brewer, the divorced mother of lead character Kristy Thomas. The role of Kristy was executed by teenage actress Sophie Grace, who previously starred in the Lifetime movie Terror in the Woods. The Baby-Sitters Club was adapted from the children’s novel series of the same name by Ann M. Martin.

Although the show received strong praise from critics and audiences, it failed to make it past the second season-mark — as most programs tend to do on Netflix. Still, it was yet another feather on Silverstone’s cap, whose career had at one point appeared to be all but over. In 1997, the actress played a starring role alongside George Clooney in the superhero film Batman & Robin.

Clooney was already an established screen star at that time, and was therefore better placed to recover from the failure. On the other hand, Silverstone had only been a professional actress for about five years.

Silverstone would later admit that Batman & Robin took away her love of acting, at least temporarily. Thankfully, that particular flop is not what she is most recognized for today.

Alicia Silverstone Got Her Big Break Thanks To The Movie Clueless

Alicia Silverstone began acting as a child in the mid-1980s. However, her very first official credited acting role was in the TV movie The Wonder Years in 1992. Her breakthrough role would come in the 1995 coming-of-age teen comedy film Clueless, where she played the lead character, Cher Horowitz.

Before that, Silverstone had also enjoyed a few supporting roles in movies such as The Crush (1993), where she played the lead role of Adrian / Darian Forrester, a young girl who develops a dangerous obsession with an older man. She also appeared in the comedy film Scattered Dreams (1993) and the thriller Hideaway (1995).

It was Clueless, all the same, that really catapulted her to the center of public consciousness. Her character Cher is described as a “beautiful, popular, and rich high school student who befriends a new student and decides to give her a makeover while playing a matchmaker for her teachers and examining her own existence.”

Silverstone was in her late teens when she played Cher, and was reportedly paid a figure between $4 million and $8 million for her work in Clueless.

Alicia Silverstone Was Given Freedom To Define Her Character In Clueless

The movie Clueless was written and directed by Amy Heckerling, who had previously worked on big screen productions like Fast Times at Ridgemont High, National Lampoon’s European Vacation and Look Who’s Talking. Alicia Silverstone revealed that Heckerling gave her very little direction. Instead, she encouraged her to mold the character Cher herself.

“Amy allowed me to do whatever. She was the type of director — and these are the best directors — who hire the person they think is right for the job and just let them fly,” Silverstone said.

“I would try to ask her lots of questions because I was taking it all very seriously, and she’d usually just say ‘Oh dawl, you got it, babe!’ She’d always call me ‘dawl’ in that thick, drawn-out New York accent. Lots of dawl’s but not a lot of specific instructions!”

Silverstone also revealed that she didn’t take to Cher immediately, having originally thought of her as “materialistic, unappealing and annoying.” It was only after she stopped judging the character that she managed to empathize, and therefore properly embody her.

How did she handle fame?

Alicia Silverstone struggled to cope with Clueless fame
The 46-year-old actress – who is best known for her leading role in 1995 movie- admitted she didn’t know what to do with all of attention the role brought and she soon decided to step back from Hollywood.

“Things started to happen right away. At the MTV Movie Awards, I won best newcomer and best villain. Then came the Aerosmith videos [‘Cryin, Amazing, Crazy’] and I was working a ton, I was working in France with Alain Corneau, I did films with James Gandolfini, with Jeff Goldblum and Christine Lahti, all these different movies. I was very young but I took my acting very seriously.”

“When ‘Clueless’ came out, it really shifted. I had been the girl from ‘Crush’, then I was the Aerosmith chick, and then, after that, I was Cher. It was very complicated and I don’t think I knew how to manage it: I didn’t have the foundation, the good tools to deal with it, I wasn’t prepared for it in any way, shape, or form. I really had no idea what was happening, and it didn’t feel comfortable.

“I wasn’t happy and what I did was really extract myself a bit from my acting career and went more into my activism. I went to Africa. to help the elephants, I went to Peru to try to help the rainforest. I found my passion for writing books on healing and health. The Kind Diet books came a bit later but that was the start of the journey there.”

However, Alicia is now enjoying a career resurgence with roles in Jennifer Reeder’s horror movie ‘Perpetrator’, Imran J. Khan’s family dramedy ‘Mustache’ and Grant Singer’s crime thriller ‘Reptile’ and is loving every minute of it.

She said: “In terms of my work, I’m having nothing but fun now. I had a ball in Amsterdam, making a film with these amazing interesting filmmakers. I’m really happy with my life. Just seeing Benicio Del Toro again on the set of ‘Reptiles’. We haven’t worked together for 27 years [since ‘Excess Baggage’ in 1997]. I thought: ‘it’s been an incredible journey’.”

How Did Alicia Silverstone Feel About The Little Direction In Clueless?

For a young actor working with a famous and experienced director, one would imagine it would have been a nerve wracking experience for Alicia Silverstone to be left to her own devices on the set of Clueless. She confirmed just as much in her interview with Vogue. “At first it made me really shy,” the actress recalled, before explaining how her mindset changed over time.

“I was so young and scared but now I really appreciate when a filmmaker just trusts you,” continued Silverstone. “I would ask her lots of questions and I wouldn’t get much of an answer, but eventually I just trusted her process. She had faith in me and my performance.”

This freedom of expression was perhaps best displayed when Silverstone mispronounced the name “Haitians” from the script, but director Amy Heckerling just allowed her to get on with it. “It [was] all in the page so there was no ad-libbing, although I did mess up some words that she found quite brilliant,” she added. “The famous one was “Haitians,” [but] there was another word I got wrong too [and] she corrected me on that one because it was so ridiculous.”

Overall, Alicia Silverstone has had a diverse career in entertainment, and has become known not only for her acting work, but also for her activism and advocacy. Her legacy is cemented as a cultural icon of the 1990s, and her career has inspired a generation of young actors and actresses.

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