Alicia Silverstone Gets Real About Handling Fame After Clueless’ Release

Alicia Silverstone in Clueless.
(Image credit: Paramount Pictures)

Every once in a while a movie becomes a cultural phenomenon and catapults its stars into the kind of whirlwind fame that sounds impossible to process in real time. That certainly happened for Alicia Silverstone at the age of 18 when Clueless came out and blew teenage moviegoers' minds. For a short while, the actress was at the center of a huge pop culture moment, which may sound exciting to some. However, as Silverstone recently shared, it wasn’t an easy time in her life. 

Everything seemingly happened at once for Alicia Silverstone, between starring in Aerosmith music videos and working with the likes of James Gandolfini, Jeff Goldblum and Cary Elwes early in her career. She opened up to The Hollywood Reporter about how she tried to process all of that and, as she put it, it was "complicated," to say the least: 

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.

All of this, on its own sounds disorienting. But just a couple of years later, the actress played Batgirl in Batman & Robin, which famously flopped at the box office. The Vamps alum previously shared that working on that movie was "uncomfortable," especially because at the time, the press was making fun of her body and calling her “Fatgirl.” When recalling the early days of her career, the now-46-year-old star also said this: 

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.

Clueless (1995)

Alicia Silverstone as Cher Horowitz in Clueless, classroom monologue

(Image credit: Paramount Pictures)

Directed/Written By: Amy Heckerling
Starring: Alicia Silverstone, Stacey Dash, Brittany Murphy, Paul Rudd, Donald Faison, Breckin Meyer, Wallace Shawn
Where To Stream: Paramount+ subscription

Many definitely think fondly of Alicia Silverstone, due to her iconic Clueless lines and the other great roles she's had throughout her career. But one must be cognizant of the fact that she struggled with fame early on. Her experiences really nail down the fact that everything is not what it seems in Hollywood.

She may have had a tough time early on, but Alicia Silverstone says that she’s “having nothing but fun now” on movie sets. It’s been nearly 30 years since the teen comedy dropped, and Silverstone has clearly had time to learn some perspective. With that, she's been able to get adjusted to being a Hollywood actress. And she hasn't forgotten her roots, as the actress reprised the role of Cher for one of the funniest Super Bowl ads of 2023. Also, when she's not acting, she serves as an activist and even went nude for PETA as part of the organization's anti-leather campaign in December.

The star currently has numerous movies on the way. She’s part of two upcoming 2023 movies, including Mustache (which also stars Hasan Minhaj) and a crime thriller called Reptile, and that'll see her team up with Benicio del Toro and Justin Timberlake. She also recently worked on a comedy called Krazy House that stars Nick Frost and Kevin Connolly. On top of that, she's also joined the cast of a drama called Tunnels, adding herself to a cast that includes Anna Faris, Susan Sarandon and Patrick Wilson. 

Even though the Clueless days were not necessarily the best of times for Alicia Silverstone, it sounds like it’s been all uphill from there. Quite frankly, it's wonderful to see that she’s thriving! 

Sarah El-Mahmoud
Staff Writer

YA genre tribute. Horror May Queen. Word webslinger. All her writing should be read in Sarah Connor’s Terminator 2 voice over.