MOTW: Alicia Silverstone - A Film Biography of America's Sweetheart

Photo Credit: Paramount Pictures
September 12th, 2013

MOTW: Alicia Silverstone - A Film Biography of America's Sweetheart

Alicia Silverstone is an American actress known for her iconic roles in movies such as "Clueless" and "Batman & Robin." She was born to a Scottish flight attendant and an English real estate agent, although she grew up in the United States. Alicia began acting at the age of six, when she landed her first role in a Domino's commercial. She went on to receive minor modeling and acting jobs as she got older, including a major role in an episode of the '90s sitcom, "The Wonder Years." While she had a relatively successful career for a child actor, her big break came when she landed the leading role in "The Crush."

"The Crush" was a 1993 film that focused on Alicia's character, a schoolgirl who became obsessed with a much older married man. The dramatic role marked a turning point in her career, and she went on to star in various television shows and films. Before becoming one of the top actresses of the early 2000s, Alicia became known for her appearances in three popular Aerosmith music videos. Her work with the iconic rock band launched the young actress into stardom, and she was almost immediately chosen as the leading actress in "Clueless."

"Clueless," a cult classic that premiered in 1995, followed the lives of spoiled rich teenagers in suburban Beverly Hills. Alicia played Cher Horowitz, a beautiful and popular high school girl who had everything she wanted, from boys to the latest fashion trends. Cher and her best friends ruled their high school with well-manicured iron fists, speaking a thick valley girl dialect and strutting down the halls in stiletto heels. Cher was a sweet and bubbly, if airheaded, character who was eventually made to question her values when she fell for a new transfer student from the wrong side of the tracks. "Clueless" is still a popular comedy, grossing millions in residual sales.

After her "Clueless" success, Alicia Silverstone could be found on the cover of every teen fashion magazine at the checkout counter. Unlike her onscreen character, Silverstone proved herself to be a shrewd businesswoman, managing her acting career without getting sucked into the drama of Hollywood life, as so many other child stars did. Her fans and management largely credit her gradual rise to fame with her levelheadedness, and the actress quickly gained a reputation for her girl-next-door charms.

Although Silverstone was originally considered for the leading role in MTV's widely popular "My So-Called Life," the show's casting director later admitted that she was not chosen because she was too beautiful for the role. That decision appears not to have had a significant effect on the actress's career because she is still one of the most well-known actresses on the Hollywood scene almost two decades later. Being passed over for the MTV role turned out to be a blessing in disguise because it freed Silverstone up to take on the role of Batgirl in "Batman & Robin." The sequel to "Batman Forever" turned out to be a cult classic in the comic-movie genre, earning Alicia Silverstone a space in the geeky fandom hall of fame. Since then, the actress has worked on films across a variety of genres, from science fiction to comedic drama.

In 2005, Silverstone returned to comedy with a supporting role in "Beauty Shop," a popular comedy starring the legendary Queen Latifah. More recently, she has taken on dramatic roles in films such as "The Art of Getting By" and comedic horrors like "Vamps." In "Vamps," she stars as Goody, a seductive vampire who lives in New York City with her best friend, Stacy. Both vamps lead active social and scholastic lives while refusing to drink human blood. Surviving off the blood of rodents, homage to a popular scene in "Interview With the Vampire," Stacy and Goody try to make the most of their supernatural affliction. Meanwhile, Stacy begins to fall for a human classmate whom she later realizes is a direct descendant of none other than the most legendary vampire hunter on Earth. Hijinks ensue as the immortal duo attempt to navigate social life, the afterlife, and romance in New York City.

It's easy to see why Alicia Silverstone is known as one of America's sweethearts. With her down-to-earth charms and her diverse resume, she is easily one of the most versatile actresses in Hollywood. From 1990s cult classics to modern vampire tales, Silverstone proves that she has what it takes to stay current and keep her fans guessing.