What the Hell Happened to Alicia Silverstone?

Alicia Silverstone - 2013

If you ever read the comments section of these articles, you’ve probably seen some discussion of “the Batman curse”.  Despite the fact that most of the Batman films have been successful, there does seem to be a trend of Batman actors ending up in What the Hell Happened articles.

Alicia Silverstone had a relatively short career that peaked in 1995 and came crashing down 2 years later in Batman and Robin.  Just about everyone associated with the franchise-ending Batfilm suffered some kind of career setback.

But while Chris O’Donnell has finally gotten himself a steady gig on TV and Arnold Scharzenegger retreated to politics, Silverstone’s career has yet to bounce back.

silverstone - wonder years

Silverstone’s first acting gig was as a guest star on the TV show, The Wonder Years.

She played Fred Savage’s dream girl which was type casting in 1992.

What the Hell Happened to Alicia Silverstone?

Silverstone’s film career began with 1993’s suspense flickThe Crush.

The Crush was part of a trend in movies that became popular after 1987’s Fatal Attraction.  The general theme is that a normal guy (in this case, Cary Elwes) meets a seemingly normal person who turns out to be a homocidal lunatic/stalker.

In The Crush, Silverstone is a deranged teenager who takes her vengence on Elwes after he spurns her advances.  Movies like The Crush are a dime a dozen, but the role brought Silverstone a lot of attention.

Silverstone - mtv movie award the crush

The following year, Silverstone won 2 MTV Movie Awards for her performance (Best Villain and Best Breakthrough Performance).  She was actually nominated for Most Desirable Female, but lost to Janet Jackson.  Perhaps it was because Silverstone was underage or perhaps it was that her character was batshit crazy.

Shortly after the release of The Crush, Silverstone appeared in a trio of Aerosmith videos from the band’s Get a Grip album.  The first video released was for the song Cryin’

That’s Stephen Dorff as Silverstone’s boyfriend and future Lost castaway Josh Holloway who steals her purse.  The video became one of the movie requested on MTV that year and won three MTV Video Music Awards including Best Video.

The middle part of the trilogy was Amazing featuring Jason London as Silverstone’s cyber love interest:

And the final installment in the underage trilogy, Crazy

This one co-stars Aerosmith frontman’s, Steven Tyler’s daughter, Liv who was transitioning from modeling to acting at the time.  Silverstone and Tyler are… um… I’m not sure.  Are they actually supposed to be teenage, lesbian con artists?  We see them shop lift and enter into an amateur striptease.  Yes, this is an Aerosmith video in which the lead singer’s daughter works a stripper pole while imitating some of her dad’s signature stage moves.  Maybe Creepy would have been a better title.  But the song and the video were a hit.

Next: Clueless and Batman and Robin

Posted on June 23, 2011, in Movies, What the Hell Happened?, WTHH Actress and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 341 Comments.

  1. I don’t believe in curses myself; I believe in results.


  2. OBYTuary: Alicia Silverstone


    No “celebrities” were harmed in the writing of this column. Its purpose is to mourn the loss of their careers, status, and in all likelihood bank accounts. This is an homage to their life’s work, both well-received and utterly humiliating. I have the utmost respect for all of them, even if they no longer have respect for themselves.


    I recently stumbled across the episode of “The Wonder Years,” in which Alicia Silverstone played Kevin’s dream girl. What Would Winnie Cooper Do?

    “Are you busy Friday night? “Maybe. Maybe not.” I don’t even have that kind of cool. Mine would go something like this. “Are you busy Friday night?” “I’M OVULATING LET’S DO THIS.” Sure, Silverstone didn’t write that line but she delivered the hell out of it. It’s comforting to know that the weird way she moved her lips was always a thing. Almost as if she just had a mini-stroke…OF ACTING GENIUS. She’s out of the limelight today, but let’s revisit our favorite Alicia moments on the Silver(stone)screen.

    I didn’t even know about that little cameo on “The Wonder Years.” My earliest Silverstone memory is of her chilling performance in the 1993 film “The Crush,” starring alongside Cary Elwes of “The Princess Bride,” fame. Get stalked by an insane 15 year old girl? As you wish. She was disturbing beyond belief and I vividly remember feeling very uncomfortable during all of her weirdly sexy scenes. This performance garnered her an MTV Movie Award for Breakthrough Performance but she should have won Best Fatal Attraction Performance Without a Rabbit. By the way do not Google Image today’s Cary Elwes. Tuck away the memory you have from “The Princess Bride.” This fan video is creepy and reminds us of how inappropriate this George Michael song is.

    Then Silverstone flipped roles by playing the victim in what feels like a prequel to “Fear,” in the movie “Hideaway” which also contained the statuesque beauty that is Jeff Goldblum. Let’s take a minute to appreciate Jeff.

    This movie is like a weird sci-fi fantasy/horror film about a man (Goldblum) who almost dies in a car accident, when revived he discovers he has visions of a serial killer whose eyes he can now see through. But guess what? The killer can see through his eyes too and he wants to kill/love a very adorable Alicia Silverstone, who plays Goldblum’s daughter. Watch this if you’re hungover and you come across it on OnDemand.

    And now the crown jewel in the Silverstone cinematic dynasty….1995’s “Clueless,” written/directed by Amy Heckerling and somewhat in the neighborhood of Jane Austen’s “Emma.” This movie was perfect and despite all the 90’s glory that comes with it, still holds up today. It also starred Paul Rudd (Josh) as Silverstone’s (Cher) stepbrother turned boyfriend in the film (we were all slightly horrified by this and the last scene which involved so much tongue during the kiss). It also stars Brittany Murphy (RIP), Stacey Dash and a young mostly stoned Breckin Meyer. I spent the majority of this film coveting Silverstone’s wardrobe and hair. To this day it remains one of the most quotable films of all-time. I stand by that. Observe:
    •Josh: We might get Marky Mark to plant a celebrity tree.
    •Cher: Oh how fabulous. Getting Marky Mark to take time from his busy pants dropping schedule to plant trees. Why don’t you just hire a gardener?
    •Josh: You know, maybe Marky Mark wants to use his popularity for a good cause – make a contribution. In case you’ve never heard of that, a contribution is…
    •Cher: Excuse me, but I have donated many expensive Italian outfits to Lucy, and as soon I get my license, I fully intend to brake for animals, and I have contributed many hours to helping two lonely teachers find romance.
    •Josh: Which I’ll bet serves your interests more than theirs. You know, If I ever saw you do anything that wasn’t ninety percent selfish, I’d die of shock.
    •Cher: Oh, that’d be reason enough for me.

    And of course…

    Take a look at everything Brittany is wearing in that scene. Plaid flannel, dyed cranberry hair, taken from the “My So-Called Life,” collection. Searching for a problem with this film is as “useless as searching for meaning in a Pauly Shore movie.”

    Two years later she mistakenly joined the spotty Batman franchise by playing the role of Batgirl. God that was awful. I wanted to eat my own face. Never again. That same year she starred alongside Benicio Del Toro in the movie “Excess Baggage.” What’s that you ask? Who else was in it? Why Christopher Walken. It must have been a slow year for everybody but I love it because I mostly love bad films, exclusively. Also I’m a girl so I kept thinking “Did Alicia Silverstone gain weight?” the entire time. Years later, while at a party in Los Angeles; I met Benicio Del Toro. It was there that I told him that “Excess Baggage,” was my favorite film of his. I was 20. We madeout. So if you ever meet him, there’s your in.

    Oh God, then she did “Blast from the Past” with Brendan Frazier (sadly this was not a sequel to “Encino Man.”) and “Beauty Shop” with Queen Latifah. These are the only 2 terrible films in the world I do not like.

    Today she is best known for two things. The first is her extensive involvement with PETA. This makes her annoying by proxy. Right now she’s probably throwing red paint all over someone’s leather gloves. What she does best, however, is feed her goddamn kid like she’s a mother bird and it’s a tiny helpless baby in a nest. That’s right, she chews up the kid’s food then feeds it to him FROM HER MOUTH. I am very excited about his therapy bills. Also she named her kid Bear. Now that’s just the PETA talking.

    I just threw up in my mouth. If only I had a hungry kid to whom I could feed it.

    Oh well, it seems we’ve lost sweet Cher Horowitz forever. We’ll have to settle for our “Clueless” DVD’s and every subsequent Paul Rudd film. It’s enough to make you cry, then maybe bathe your kid with the tears or whatever.


  3. If Reese can bounce back after going through a few potholes with Wild,wonder could some
    edgy or more offbeat project similar to that could help Alicia’s,perhaps????


    • I think it’s unlikely for Alicia Silverstone, as her popularity was more condensed into one period, while Reese Witherspoon had sustained success in her career before slumping.


    • I don’t believe or think that Alicia can “bounce back” per se like Reese Witherspoon, who has often been accused of “stealing” Alicia’s career. First and foremost, Reese has the caveat of being an Academy Award winner (Alicia on the other hand, was arguably never really that great of an actress to begin with, and just got lucky w/ “Clueless”) and a genuine box office draw (when Alicia had her chance to open a movie on her name post-“Clueless”, we got “Batman & Robin”, “Excess Baggage”, and “Blast from the Past”, which all bombed critically and commercially) at the peak of her success. Alicia simply made too many poor decisions (more than likely, burned a few bridges along the way) and Hollywood pretty much stopped given her chances (even though, “Batman & Robin” wasn’t entirely her fault).

      Secondly, Alicia at this phase in her life or career would be rather hard to market. Why would you pay money to see an actress, whose best movie and career peak was 20 years ago? More to the point, an actress who as of late, is in the news more for literally bird feeding her son and preaching to fellow parents (via a book full of “quack medicine”.) about the “evils of vaccination” in? Reese Witherspoon has simply enjoyed a more sustained success than Alicia Silverstone. Thus, only you grew up during the early-mid ’90s when Alicia was in her prime, who would really give a damn about her anymore?


    • I think Silverstone is too far gone. Witherspoon had a relatively long and successful career that went through a rough patch. Now she’s taking a very active role behind the scenes which has facilitated her acting career. I think her future rests with the success of her production company more than anything else.

      Silverstone, on the other hand, was popular for a relatively short time and it was a long time ago. She’s going to continue doing her thing with her causes. She’s had some success with her healthy living initiative and her diet book. I think acting has taken a backseat to other things.


      • I think what’s also in the way for Alicia is that she doesn’t seem to have enough of ambition to want to improve her acting career prospects. Alicia herself, even said that she “lost focus” (or something along does lines) of her career. I would think that after “Batman & Robin” she would’ve done what for example, Natalie Portman claims to have done after the “Star Wars” prequels made people think that she was a bad actress. That is work hard (whatever that may be) to prove people wrong. What further complicates matters is that Alicia is pushing 40, which is of course, kind of a “death sentence” for most actresses.

        I just think that Alicia perhaps isn’t versatile enough of an actress to really transition into character parts or more mature roles once it became apparent that her time as a leading lady was over and/or was too old to be an “ingenue”. I’m sure that I’m wrong because I haven’t seen all of Alicia Silverstone’s acting work, but she just more than often strikes me as somebody who is incapable of playing anybody besides herself or something that isn’t natural to her.

        I think I’ve already said that I strongly believe that this is why a role like her’s in “Clueless” was just about perfect (Amy Heckerling was really I believe able to play up her strengths and hid her weaknesses as an actress if that makes sense). Hell, her guest appearances on “Suburgatory” might as well had her playing “Alicia Silverstone” instead of “Eden”, but perhaps w/o the slightest hint of irony or self-awareness on either counts.

        Had her career not “crashed and burned” so quickly after “Clueless”, I would figure that Alicia would be perfect for female-centric romantic comedies (I’ve said elsewhere that Alicia Silverstone perhaps had the potential of being the “next” Meg Ryan or Goldie Hawn if she played her cards right). Unfortunately, Alicia I feel, didn’t entirely understand her appeal (I have no clue why she chose “Excess Baggage” as her big post-“Clueless” vehicle) during her prime years. What doesn’t help matters is that “light” teen movies like “Clueless” don’t seem to be in vogue anymore as well as the romantic comedies that I’ve mentioned prior.

        I would suggest that Alicia try to go to TV (and try starring in a sitcom) but as far as I can tell, her attempts in that realm haven’t been so successful.


        • NBC had high hopes for Miss Match,but was a victim of its Friday time slot alongside
          George Lopez on ABC,The WB’s Reba & CBS’ Joan of Arcadia among others…..wonder
          a stint on a show like Girls,Transparent or Orange is the New Black would raise her
          spirits career-wise,perhaps?????


          • Those would all be good career moves. I’m sure there’s a show like that out there that would hire her if she was inclined to do so.


            • I think I’ve said previously that Alicia more than likely didn’t do herself any favors (from a television standpoint at least) by abruptly walking out of a planned arc for “How I Met Your Mother” simply because she didn’t want to share the spotlight w/ Britney Spears (ironic considering that Alicia herself, was basically, a glorified music video vixen in the early part of her career). It almost reminds me of Debra Winger walking out of “A League of Their Own” (she was supposed to play Geena Davis’ part) because she didn’t want to work w/ a “non-actress” like Madonna. Why would TV producers logically want Alicia for another TV show if she has proven to be unreliable (at least over extremely petty matters like whom you have to work with and the exact merits of such a thing)?


  4. Well,what’s really next for her…….Dancing with the Stars,perhaps?????


    • Looking over Alicia Silverstone’s filmography, I’m very surprised at how little her films have received a wide theatrical release much less those that involve her playing a predominate role (“Blast from the Past” seemed to be Alicia’s last shot at being a proper leading lady). To add insult to injury, she has had numerous failed TV pilots to go w/ the single season run of “Miss Match”. It does make be believe somewhat that Alicia may have been blackballed of sorts as “payback” for her ill-fated $10 million w/ Columbia. Had Alicia not made such a landmark, classic teen movie like “Clueless” and not taken part in arguably, the most notorious superhero movie ever made in “Batman & Robin”, it would be a miracle that any of us would actually know who Alicia Silverstone is in the first place.


      • Top 10 Acting One-Hit Wonders:

        Sometimes actors have a breakthrough but are never able to reach that zenith again. Join http://www.WatchMojo.com as we count down our picks for the Top 10 Acting
        One-hit Wonders.


      • Clueless is 20 years old: Where are the stars now?


        Previously best-known for her appearances alongside Liv Tyler in several Aerosmith videos, Alicia Silverstone was expected to become one of Hollywood’s ultimate leading ladies following her charming lead performance as the ditzy-but-sweet natured Cher Horowitz.

        Sadly, she struggled to shake off her Valley Girl persona, and after a string of flops both on the big screen (Batman & Robin, Excess Baggage, Blast From The Past) and small-screen (Miss Match), she largely disappeared off the radar.

        A reunion with Heckerling on 2012 horror comedy Vamps failed to reignite her film career, although she has received acclaim for her performances in several Broadway productions.


        • 9 franchise-starting young adult films that struggled:


          Admittedly, this one is more skewed towards younger children and there’s a debate to be had over whether Stormbreaker is technically young adult, but the film is a lot more mature. Directed by Geoffrey Sax (of the Doctor Who TV Movie fame), Stormbreaker adheres strictly to Anthony Horowitz’s original plot (the author himself penned the script) and while it is considerably more enjoyable than a lot of the other films on this list, it’s easy to see why it was never followed up.

          Alex Pettyfer brims with charm and likeability as the slightly reserved but savvy schoolboy Alex Rider who discovers that his only relative (played fleetingly by Ian McGregor) was, in fact, an operative for MI6. Unusually for this kind of film, Alex takes his time before deciding to follow in his uncle’s footsteps, and is instructed by MI6’s frosty head to investigate an American businessman with a too-good-to-be-true plan to donate one of his brand new computer systems to every school in Britain. It’s a generic set-up for what The Weinstein Company evidently expected to be a runaway success (around the time of its release Stormbreaker was mooted as the next Harry Potter franchise) but there’s definite fun to be had, namely with Mickey Rourke’s moustache-twirlingly evil turn as the villain, and Clueless’ Alicia Silverstone as Alex’s nanny who gets a terrific fight sequence with Missi Pyle’s campy henchwoman.

          Does it have a future? Despite the hoopla fostered around its release in 2006, Stormbreaker simply didn’t garner enough capital to satisfy The Weinstein Company so a sequel was a no-go. Anthony Horowitz said in 2009 that the books “do not translate well to the big screen” and he last mentioned it in a 2014 interview with The Guardian’s children’s books site, stating, “Stormbreaker was not 100% successful and coming to terms with that was a bit sad.” More’s the pity.


  5. I was just on the IMDB.com site (I kinda vacation there) after seeing the bracket matchup, and more recent post was “What happened to Alicia Silverstone”? I weighed in with my take, then recommended this site. Hey, I discovered this site through IMDB, so why shouldn’t others (I’m sure they have, I’m just being dramatic)?


    • Yeah TMC posts a lot of links on IMDB. There seems to be a lot of interest in Silverstone over there. Thanks for the promotion. Links and recommendations can drive a lot of traffic to the site. The busiest day the site has ever seen was the result of someone posting a link in a forum.


    • http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0112697/board/thread/209852280?d=239849155#239849155

      The success of Clueless was ironically the worst thing that happened to her it is because she signed 10 million contract with studio to make 3 movies with them and it went BAD. If she didn’t do that in parallel universe she could be so much better in movies like:
      Overnight Delivery (1998) instead of Reese Witherspoon
      10 Things I Hate About You (1999) instead of Julia Stiles
      Wild Things (1998) instead of Neve Campbell
      Cruel Intentions (1999) instead of Sarah Michelle Gellar or Reese Witherspoon
      Urban Legend (1998) instead of Alicia Witt
      Down to You (2000) instead of Julia Stiles
      Van Wilder (2002) instead of Tara Reid
      I’d much rather see her in those roles but…


  6. A Film Career Derailed: The Dark & Light of Cary Elwes:

    With his blonde good looks and spot-on comedic timing, it’s not hard to imagine that Cary Elwes would be at home during any era of Hollywood. The British actor has proven himself adept at a number of genres, and really one of the questions has always been why he isn’t used more by directors. With a thriller (Indiscretion) and a dark comedy (Sugar Mountain) set to come out this year, Elwes is still working steadily. But we remember when the actor first made us swoon.

    The Crush

    Between being an Aerosmith video vixen and having her own pop culture moment in Clueless, Alicia Silverstone played a teenager with a dangerous attraction to her much older neighbor in The Crush. In what is really a pretty trashy story, Elwes plays handsome writer Nick Eliot without giving any hint he’s invited what’s happening to him. Of course, that also means that the memorable moments of the film belong to Silverstone’s obsessive crazy teen.



  7. From now on, I’ll keep that in mind when I think of Alicia Silverstone; It will be my “Excess Baggage” of her.


  8. Silverstone in Top 10 Dumb Things Said by Celebrities



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