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What the Hell Happened to Alicia Silverstone?

Alicia Silverstone - 2013

Alicia Silverstone

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

Alicia Silverstone – The Wonder Years – 1992

Silverstone started working as a model at age six.  She went on to do TV commercials.  Silverstone recounted how she got into acting:

At family get-togethers, me and all the other little girls would make up dances and routines for our parents. And relatives would tell my dad, “You’ve got to get her started in the business.” Finally, he started me modeling. I hated it more that anything, but I thought it was an outlet for acting. Then I got my first commercial, for Domino’s Pizza, and I went insane. I was so happy!

Her 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?

Alicia Silverstone – The Crush – 1993

Silverstone’s film career began with 1993’s suspense flick The 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.  Borrowing from the 1992 movie, Poison Ivy, The Crush made the stalker jail bait.

The original choice to play the teenage stalker was Reese Witherspoon.  But she was in Africa filming A Far Off Place.  With their first choice unavailable, the casting directors started going through modeling portfolios which is how they came across Silverstone.  While filming, Silverstone became an “emancipated minor” at the age of 15.  This was done so that she could avoid the restrictions of child labor laws which would have restricted how many hours she could work on the movie.  According to Silverstone, it was no big deal:

My parents were a bit concerned.  They were afraid I would hold it under their nose and say, ‘You can’t tell me what to do, I’m emancipated.’ But nothing really changed.

In the original cut of The Crush, Silverstone’s character was named Darian.  But the name had to be changed for video and TV versions of the movie.  Screenwriter Alan Shapiro had based the screenplay on his own personal experiences.  The girl who inspired the script was actually named Darian and sued.  So the character’s name was changed to Adrian going forward.

Silverstone wasn’t happy with her first movie performance.  Just a couple years later, she wished she could do it all over again:

I think about her more now than I did then. I wish I could go back and do the movie again, because it isn’t often that a young girl can be really aggressive and take over the whole movie. I wish I’d had more experience at that time. Now I feel I’m more molded.

Critics didn’t crush on The Crush.  In fact, they hated it.  It opened in third place at the box office and ended up grossing around $13 million dollars.  But it has become a hit on home video.

While The Crush wasn’t a big hit, it brought Silverstone lots of attention.  TV producer Aaron Spelling pursued Silverstone to replace Shannen Doherty on Beverly Hills 90210.  But Silverstone wasn’t interested:

He already knew I wasn’t going to do it.  He said, ‘I really want you to be in my show.’ I think it would have been really detrimental because I want to do films. Also, I just don’t think that there’s a lot of acting going on in that show.

Katherine Heigl - My Father the Hero - 1994

Katherine Heigl – My Father the Hero – 1994

Silverstone lost out on the lead in My Father, The Hero to Katherine Heigl, but she later said she was glad she wasn’t cast:

On My Father, The Hero, I didn’t get it because I was a little bit heavy compared with the girl who did get it, but that was a blessing because the girl runs around in a bathing suit throughout the whole thing. It was the worst movie I’ve ever seen. And the girl was really bad.

Silverstone also appeared in two made-for TV movies; Torch Song and Scattered Dreams.  On the subject of Raquel Welch, Silverstone’s Torch Song co-star, Silverstone said:

Everybody warned me. ‘She’s going to be a tyrant because you’re young and beautiful and she’s just going to go crazy,’ She was nice to me, but it must be just horrible, you know. I mean, when the movie aired, people said it should have been about my character. So I sympathize with her.

Next: Rockin’ out with Aerosmith

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Posted on June 23, 2011, in Movies, What the Hell Happened?, WTHH Actress and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 505 Comments.

  1. Ask Alicia Silverstone a Question and Participate in a Live Interview with the Star!

    http://people.com/movies/alicia-silverstone-pen-mamarazzi/

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  2. Alicia Silverstone thinks there was enough women representation before ‘Wonder Woman’.

    http://ohnotheydidnt.livejournal.com/106699659.html

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    • Alicia Silverstone ‘Confused’ By ‘Wonder Woman’ Hype: ‘There Have Been Many Movies With Female Leads’

      http://etcanada.com/news/236270/alicia-silverstone-confused-by-wonder-woman-hype-there-have-been-many-movies-with-female-leads/

      By RACHEL WEST. 8 hours ago

      “Wonder Woman” may be winning high praise from fans and critics while breaking the box office, but “Clueless” star Alicia Silverstone is less-than-impressed with the hype surrounding the superhero movie.

      The 40-year-old actress doesn’t seem to get why the film has so many people talking, despite earning over $615 million at the worldwide box office, boasting a 92 per cent “fresh” rating on Rotten Tomatoes and having Patty Jenkins become the top-grossing female director in Hollywood history for a live-action movie. Even with those accolades, Silverstone seems to forget what the movie is even called during an interview with Variety.

      “Before ‘Wonder Woman’…’Wonder Woman?’” she asks, seemingly forgetting what the female-fronted superhero movie is called. “Before ‘Wonder Woman’, there have been many movies with female leads, so I get a little confused. We have made strides, of course.”

      Silverstone references the many female-led comedies that have been box office and critical hits, citing her 1995 comedy “Clueless”, directed by Amy Heckerling as an example.

      “I think about, what about all those wonderful comedians who are females who have had massive hits? There’s ‘Bridesmaids’. There’s a movie out right now…with tons of girls. I’m sure it’s killing it, right?” she says, referencing Scarlett Johansson and Kate McKinnon’s bachelorette comedy “Rough Night”. “I don’t know. I just feel like over the years…there was ‘Mean Girls’. There was ‘Clueless’.”

      The actress attempts to make a convoluted point, even bringing up the gender pay gap in Hollywood.

      “Over the time, we have had…there’s been so many movies that have been female-driven, but we have also always had these pay issues,” she adds, seemingly trying to get her point across. For the actress, the most confusing part seems to be that it took the massive success of “Wonder Woman” to get people talking about female-driven movies and directors, ignoring the smaller, non-superhero movies that women have been working in for years. The actress glosses over the achievements of the film and it’s success in a typically male-driven superhero genre.

      “It has to be ‘Wonder Woman’. It has to have tons of flash, right?” she asks. “Like when you’re looking at children’s films now, as a mom, I don’t want my kid to see all that. Loud effects, all the stuff that’s like stimulate, stimulate! But that’s what audiences want, so it’s a tricky thing. Sometimes it’s just the quieter more interesting things sometimes get seen because they touch someone enough,” she concludes.

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      • Alicia Silverstone Being Unimpressed by ‘Wonder Woman’ Is the Most Perplexing Thing You’ll See All Day

        http://www.marieclaire.com/celebrity/news/a27915/alicia-silverstone-wonder-woman/

        All valid (…maybe?), but the excitement over Wonder Woman isn’t just the fact that a woman is in a movie. It’s the fact that the male-dominated superhero genre has finally embraced a story of female strength and accomplishment, that said story was written by a woman, and that it’s KILLING IT at the box office.

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        • I’m not confused at all; for once, I’m totally on board with the mainstream in this case.

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        • Alicia is completely missing the point or context behind “Wonder Woman’s” success. First and foremost, while there have been numerous Batman and Superman live-action films, this is the first one (in its 70+ year history) that a live-action movie was made about the third member of DC Comics’ “Holy Trinity”. Not to mention, that Wonder Woman herself is thee female superhero.

          And while there have been of course female lead superhero movies prior to this (e.g. the 1984 “Supergirl” movie with Helen Slater, “Elektra” with Jennifer Garner, “Catwoman” with Halle Berry, etc.) “Wonder Woman” was the first blockbuster one to be written and directed by a woman (Patty Jenkins). Not even Marvel with its big cinematic universe has done that yet (Marvel Studio’s first female lead superhero movie will be “Captain Marvel” with Brie Larson).

          Normally, women in superhero movies have either been sidekicks (such as in Alicia Silverstone’s case in “Batman & Robin”), love interests, or part of a greater team (e.g. the Invisible Woman in the “Fantastic Four”, Black Widow in the “Avengers” movies, Harley Quinn in “Suicide Squad”, etc.).

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        • Yeah, it wasn’t about females leads in general, but a female SUPERHERO lead specifically. I have to say though, if there was an opportunity to make a strong, capable, and popular female character-driven superhero film, Wonder Woman would’ve been a great place to start, and I’m so happy that it was done right.

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        • I may be reaching a tab bit but I wonder if Alicia is somewhat bitter over the praise that “Wonder Woman” is receiving because 20 years ago, when she appeared as a female superhero in “Batman & Robin”, she and the movie itself, got ripped to shreds. Whereas “Wonder Woman” has all but made Gal Gadot a household name, “Batman & Robin” was the beginning of the end so to speak of Alicia Silverstone’s stardom.

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        • Maybe that’s what it is about for her, and I wouldn’t rule that possibility out. I watched that linked interview she did, and I felt she was either in denial about woman in superhero roles, or decided to sidestep the topic for naming films outside the superhero genre that had strong female characters. Honestly, Alicia Silverstone kind of puzzles me in general; I don’t know if she’s pretty deep or rather incomplete, for starters.

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  3. Good Bad Flicks: The Crush (1993)

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    • I think the film’s okay; forget Alicia Silverstone though, what about Jennifer Rubin (somebody’s crying, because she hasn’t returned the love she took from me)?

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  4. FUTURE OF MOVIE STARS: WHO WILL SHINE? WHO WILL FADE AWAY?

    http://forums.previously.tv/topic/7750-future-of-movie-stars-who-will-shine-who-will-fade-away/?do=findComment&comment=3494778

    My mom was watching the random movie “Butter” the other day, and I thought “I wonder why Alicia Silverstone never made it big?!!” It surprised me the biggest stars from Clueless are Donald Faison and Paul Rudd. Alicia had all American white girl good looks, blonde and wholesome but not intimadiatingly sexy, great comedic timing, no problems with addiction…..what happened?!

    WEDNESDAY 08:20 PM

    She got into a weird mommy blogger phase (not as bad as Jenny McCarthy or anything but still weird) but I don’t think that derailed her career. Actually, I’m not surprised Faison and Rudd have come out the best since the entertainment industry often disposes of actresses after a certain age (with some excepts like Streep and Mirren) while guys like Faison and Rudd who are versatile enough to slot in wherever needed can do better for themselves. Though Rudd has managed to nab himself a surprising number of starring roles.

    WEDNESDAY 09:11 PM

    After Clueless she ended up in the George Clooney Batman movie as Batgirl, around that time she gained a bit of weight and the tabloids saddled her with a rather cruel nickname about it. Then her star vehicle Excess Baggage flopped, too. If she’d been a guy, she would have gotten a few more chances before having to go to TV, which wasn’t in the golden age it is now. She still acts, but her career was well in the doldrums long before she was posting videos of herself feeding her kid from her mouth like a bird.

    THURSDAY 11:34 AM

    I actually loved Excess Baggage – I thought she and Benicio had hot chemistry.

    FRIDAY 01:26 PM

    My god, that article…

    From Batgirl to Fatgirl (New York Daily News March 1996)

    She did lose the weight by the time Blast from the Past came out, but by that time, her career was basically over and all the new teen stars (Sarah Michelle Gellar, Julia Stiles, Katie Holmes, Jennifer Love Hewitt) were being fawned over instead.

    Honestly, Alicia had a lot of charm and charisma, but she was never really able to grow that much as an actress. I’ve seen her later stuff and there just isn’t some Kate Winslet level of talent hiding there. She probably could have been a Hallmark Channel movie heroine (she did do one with them) but she’s just a little too political for Hallmark to want her as their brand ambassador. She did do a wonderful job as Braceface, a cartoon about a 13-year old girl with braces. She definitely should do more voice work.

    FRIDAY 07:09 PM

    Alicia had tons of competition that she was seriously outclassed by including the actresses listed in your post. There was also Michelle Williams, Kristen Dunst, Mena Suvari, Amy Adams, and Rachel McAdams. She couldn’t compete with Angelina Jolie or Charlize Theron who were the sex pots of her cohorts. On the younger end, there is Anne Hathaway, Mandy Moore, and Katherine McPhee have similar characteristics as Silverstone, but younger and multitalented. She’s starring in Kyle Richards’ semi-autobiographical American Woman originally greenlit by TV Land.

    FRIDAY 10:59 PM

    Don’t forget Reese Witherspoon. She was able to do the same kind of thing (breezy, charming blonde with a secret heart of gold) but she was also able to convincingly play some dark, gritty stuff. I’d say Reese is probably the most comparable to her, but she was able to break out beyond the ingenue while Alicia couldn’t. And again, Reese also had a slew of gritty indies as her training ground before Cruel Intentions and Legally Blonde made her a household name.

    Alicia was a case of too much, too soon. I think giving her that development deal in hindsight hurt her career in the long-run. When she couldn’t deliver after two chances (3 if you’re counting her last major release lead role in Blast From The Past) she was pretty much declared over and people moved on. She might have had a chance if Miss Match had taken off (it was pretty much tailor made for her) but NBC cancelled it after one season.

    Kind of a shame that she and Molly Ringwald didn’t share any scenes in King Cobra. In my imagination, I like to picture them commiserating over the fact that their acting careers peaked when they were 18. (Although even Molly had 3 solid movies. Alicia just has Clueless and her Aerosmith videos. I mean, the Crush was fun but it’s not anything that people still care about as opposed to Clueless.)

    As for Charlize Theron, I am so fucking impressed with her and the fact that she refuses to let Hollywood discard her as an old hag now that she’s over 40. She’s forged a pretty interesting path for herself…Young Adult was a great turning point for her after her post-Oscar funk and I love that she has refused to let herself become the “Mom” in movies like most middle-aged women when they age out of being the ingenue sexpot. Margot Robbie should definitely take some notes from her.

    FRIDAY 11:33 PM

    I had forgotten about Reese. As you said, it was a case of too much, too soon for Alicia. She was a baby with a development deal. Who gives a 19 or 20 year old something like that? Even Miss Match was too early. It was 2003. Kyra Sedgwick began starring in The Closer in 2005. Damages wouldn’t be on the air until 2007. It was really unusual that a star of Glenn Close’s caliber was doing tv. She wasn’t working like she used to, but still. Damages was really well regarded. It would be another 5 or so years before more film stars would be regularly doing tv. And now we have Kristen Dunst on the second season of Fargo, Rachel McAdams on season 2 of True Detective, Mandy Moore on This is Us, Katherine McPhee on Scorpion, and Reese and Nicole in Big Little Lies on HBO.

    FRIDAY 11:44 PM

    I’m wracking my brain and I can’t think of any more recent teen/early 20’s starlet that got a deal like that after just one hit film. I mean, Hollywood does seem like they’re determined to make Chloe Grace Moretz and Cara Delevigne happen, but even they aren’t getting the kind of power backing that Alicia got.

    Jennifer Lawrence maybe…but she also had an Oscar nom and The Hunger Games was massive, as opposed to Clueless, which did great for a teen romance comedy but it wasn’t something everybody in the whole world watched.

    The game in Hollywood has changed a lot since 1995-1996 and I can’t picture studio execs doing that kind of deal now.

    @METHODWRITER85 RESSE!! The thing with Resse is that she is a better actress than Alicia was. And yes she did the Indie stuff to show her range and hone her craft- people believed she could be more than just a blond girl next door after seeing her in election. Had Alicia been given different venues after Clueless, or if TV had been the star it is now her career would’ve gone a different way.

    SATURDAY 01:32 PM

    That’s kind of my point. Margot is the resident sexpot of her cohorts. (Jennifer Lawrence, Emma Watson, Emma Stone, Brie Larson, etc etc.) Sex pots tend to get discarded once they’ve hit their 40’s. Charlize has totally blazed a pretty path beyond that.

    Cameron Diaz has also managed to keep getting work, although she’s not Oscar-worthy like Charlize is. Her on-screen persona has basically evolved from her Something About Mary persona to her Bad Teacher one- the still-hot 40-something who’s funny in an edgy way. The Cool Girl, but in her 40’s now.

    SUNDAY 09:49 AM

    No kidding! Imagine being 19 and having a successful movie and basically everybody eager to see you fail. Poor kid. It’s a shame because nowadays she might have been applauded for a fuller figure…

    I don’t remember any guys drooling over her back in the day though. I got the sense the film was popular.

    Playing Batgirl was the end though. The part was thinly-written and in a terrible movie, and comic nerds didn’t want to see anyone but redheaded Barbara Gordon in the cowl. Plus she was That Girl From Clueless.

    2 HOURS AGO

    Going back to Alicia, she did unfortunately come of age in the decade (the mid-90’s to the mid-2000’s) where it seems like actresses were just expected whittle themselves down to nothing. See: Reese Witherspoon, Teri Hatcher, the Friends girls, Rachel Bilson, Lindsay Lohan, Renee Zellweger, Jennifer Connelly, etc etc. We still see some of that (Emma Stone) but it seems like more actresses are saying no to that, like Jennifer Lawrence, Amy Schumer, Chloe Grace Moretz, Abigail Breslin, etc etc. Jennifer Lopez does annoy me but it’s nice she didn’t force herself down to a size 0 like so many others did during that time period.

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    • http://forums.previously.tv/topic/7750-future-of-movie-stars-who-will-shine-who-will-fade-away/?do=findComment&comment=3522204

      In a way, Alicia Silverstone seems to have moved past whatever career disappointment she may have had earlier on to being perfectly fine with being one of the most high-profile celebrity vegans*/PETA supporters in Hollywood, which of course could have worked against her even after her weight loss. (OTOH, it certainly never hurt Pamela Anderson**, but with Pam–rightly or wrongly–being most associated with Playboy and Baywatch, it probably was nowhere near the same risk. And Pam seems fine with her career, and poking fun at her image with things like VIP, which I heard was very funny.) FWIW, though, Alicia has been quoted as saying that she wouldn’t wish fame on anyone, so maybe she’s happier overall with lower profile roles, as long as she can continue raising her son and her activism.

      *Alicia, I think, has largely credited becoming a vegan with her weight loss.

      DisneyBoy
      SATURDAY 09:08 PM

      Alicia earned my eternal respect on the day that Rosie O’Donnell and Elisabeth Hasselbeck got into their big on-air fight on The View. Alicia was the next guest out after vthe commercial break following the spat and she walked straight past Elizabeth to give her her hello’s to the rest of the group. Elizabeth kind of shrugged and smiled and sat there with this look of disapproval on her face and then eagerly threw in a question when she had the chance, almost as if to say “Yeah!!! I’m here!!! Don’t you see me?”

      I find that entire fight fascinating for a variety of reasons and I’m not trying to say Rosie was 100% in the right, but I loved that Alicia was completely over Elisabeth Hasselbeck to the point that she was willing to go out onto the stage of her show and snub her in front of a live television audience.

      To get back on topic, Alicia also did some theater in the last few years. She was in a Broadway play called The Performers about a couple who go to the Las Vegas porn Awards and meet a bunch of porn actors.

      Like

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