Alicia Silverstone (born October 4, 1976) is an American film and stage actress and former fashion model. She first came to widespread attention in music videos for Aerosmith, and is best recalled for her roles in Hollywood films such as Clueless (1995) and Batman & Robin (1997).
Silverstone was born in San Francisco, California, the daughter of Deirdre "Didi" (née Radford), a Scottish-born former flight attendant who worked for Pan Am, and Monty Silverstone, an English-born real-estate investor. Silverstone was raised in a "traditional Jewish household"; her father, a native of East London, is Jewish, and her mother converted to Conservative Judaism before marriage. Silverstone is the youngest of three children and also has a half-sister, London-based rock singer Kezi Silverstone, and a half-brother, David Silverstone, both from her father's previous marriage. Silverstone attended Crocker Middle School, then San Mateo High School but did not complete her high school studies. When she was six, she began modeling and was subsequently cast in television commercials, the first being for Domino's Pizza. She acquired some early modeling and advertising work and was eventually cast as, "dream girl," "Jessica," on the episode Road Test of The Wonder Years.
Alicia has won several awards for her film performances including MTV Movie Awards, National Board of Review, andYoung Artist Awards. She has been nominated for an Emmy award and a Golden Globe Award. During her career, she turned down several key roles in films, including Dede Truitt in The Opposite of Sex, Nicole in My Father the Hero, a role in Scream 3, Valerie Malone in Beverly Hills, 90210, and Juliet Capulet in Romeo + Juliet. She was also considered for the roles in Scream 2, Bewitched, Little Women and Heartbreakers.
Silverstone won a leading part in the 1993 film The Crush, playing a teenaged girl who sets out to ruin an older man after her affections are spurned; she won two awards at the 1994 MTV Movie Awards for the role for Best Breakthrough Performance and Best Villain. Silverstone became legally emancipated at the age of 15 in order to work the hours required for the shooting schedule of the film. Also in 1993, Silverstone auditioned for the lead role of Angela Chase in the ABC TV series My So-Called Life, but Claire Danes was chosen for the role instead. Alicia made some television movies in her early career including Torch Song, Cool and the Crazy and Scattered Dreams.
After seeing her in The Crush, Marty Callner decided she'd be perfect for a role in a music video he was directing for the band Aerosmith, called "Cryin'", and then the following two videos "Amazing" and "Crazy". These were hugely successful both for the band and Silverstone, making her a household name (and also gaining her the nickname, "the Aerosmith chick"). They also got her noticed by film maker Amy Heckerling, who after seeing them decided to cast her in Clueless.
Clueless became a sleeper hit and critical darling during the summer of 1995. Silverstone's performance was well received, and she was branded the spokeswoman for an emerging young generation. As a result, she signed a deal with Columbia-TriStar worth $10 million. As part of the package, she got a three-year first-look deal for her own production company, First Kiss Productions. Silverstone also won "Best Female Performance" and "Most Desirable Female" by the MTV Movie Awards in 1996 for her performance in the film. In the same year, Silverstone starred in other films including erotic thriller The Babysitter, film adaptation of the novel by Dean Koontz, Hideaway and French drama about Americans New World.
Silverstone's next role was as Batgirl in Batman & Robin, and while it was not a critical success, the film grossed $238,207,122 worldwide, and was thus a moderate financial success. Silverstone's turn as Batgirl was not well received either, and won her a Razzie Award for Worst Supporting Actress. She suffered further bad press for allegedly striking a pedestrian with her vehicle in a crosswalk. In addition to Batman & Robin, Silverstone also starred in 1997's dark comedy Excess Baggage, which was the first movie to be released by her production company. In the film, Silverstone played a rich brat who fakes her own kidnapping in order to get her father's attention. While not as reviled as Batman & Robin, the film was not as critically or commercially embraced as Clueless. The film also stars Benicio del Toro and Christopher Walken.
Alicia ended the 1990s with the Saturn Award-nominated romance/comedy film Blast from the Past which also stars Brendan Fraser, Christopher Walken and Sissy Spacek.
Silverstone appeared in Kenneth Branagh's film adaptation of the Shakespeare play Love's Labour's Lost in 2000, in which she was required to sing and dance. In 2001, Silverstone provided the voice of Sharon Spitz, the lead character in the Canadian animated television Braceface. During this time she also made the films Global Heresy and Scorched. After removing herself from the public eye for a few years, she resurfaced in the shortlived 2003 NBC television show Miss Match, which was cancelled after 18 episodes. Silverstone later acknowledged that she hates the trappings of fame, stating that "Fame is not anything I wish on anyone. You start acting because you love it. Then success arrives, and suddenly you're on show".
After the cancellation of Miss Match in 2003, she did a pilot with FOX called Queen B, in which she would have played a former high school prom queen named Beatrice (Bea), who has found out that the real world is nothing like high school. Unfortunately, it was not picked up for syndication. In 2005, she co-starred with Queen Latifah in Beauty Shop, a spin-off of the BarberShop films, in which she played one of the stylists in the beauty shop. In the same year, she played a reporter alongside Sarah Michelle Gellar and Freddie Prinze Jr. in Scooby Doo 2: Monsters Unleashed, which was successful at box office. In the same year she starred in thedirect-to-video film Silence Becomes You. In 2006, she starred in another pilot for ABC called Pink Collar, in which she would have worked in a law firm. Like Queen B, this pilot was not picked up for syndication. That year she also starred alongside Ewan McGregor and Sophie Okonedo in the film, Stormbreaker, and starred in the Hallmark Hall of Fame made-for-TV movie Candles on Bay Street based on the book by Cathie Pelletier. She is currently filming a pilot for ABC alongside Megan Mullally called Bad Mother's Handbook. She made cameo appearance in 2008 comedy film Tropic Thunder.
She has dated famous people including Benicio del Toro, Stephen Dorff, Leonardo DiCaprio, Bryan Mashard, Mozie Chabbouth and Adam Sandler. In a January 2000 interview with FHM, she denied that she dated Kenneth Branagh.
Silverstone married longtime boyfriend, rock musician Christopher Jarecki (lead singer of group S.T.U.N.), in a beachfront ceremony at Lake Tahoe, on June 11, 2005. The couple had dated for eight years prior to being married, after meeting outside a movie theater in 1997. They got engaged about a year before their marriage and Silverstone's engagement ring belonged to Jarecki's grandmother. They live in an eco-friendly Los Angeles house complete with solar panels and an organic vegetable garden. She bought the house, shared with a "menagerie of rescued dogs," in 1996. Silverstone drives a Mercedes Benz. She is often seen around with gal pal socialite K.J. Stevens.
Silverstone is noted for being an animal welfare and environmental activist. She became a vegan in 1998 after attending an animal rights meeting. "I realized that I was the problem," she told InStyle Home, in spring 2007. "I was an animal lover who was eating animals." In 2004, Silverstone was voted, "Sexiest Female Vegetarian," by PETA. In 2007, Silverstone appeared nude in a print advertisement and 30-second commercial for PETA championing vegetarianism, and the TV spot was subsequently pulled from the Houston, Texas, market by Comcast Cable. Silverstone has set up a sanctuary for rescued pets in Los Angeles.
Federal campaign contribution records also reveal that Silverstone contributed US$500 to Dennis Kucinich's 2004 Presidential campaign.
On May 23, 2007, Silverstone was a guest on ABC's The View. Moments before she entered, hosts Rosie O'Donnell and Elisabeth Hasselbeck had a heated argument regarding the Iraq war. The video segment shows Silverstone entering and walking past Hasselbeck to greet the other hosts. Though the interview continued normally and featured easy conversation between Silverstone and Hasselbeck, Access Hollywood deemed the act a deliberate snub. Hasselbeck later revealed, on an episode of The View which aired September 19, 2007, that Silverstone called and apologized for the incident. Hasselbeck said that Silverstone never meant to be rude, but was simply nervous when she walked on the stage and believed that incident was wrongly perceived by the media.