Alicia Silverstone (pronounced /əˈliːsiə ˈsɪlvərstoʊn/; born October 4, 1976) is an American actress and former fashion model. She first came to widespread attention in music videos for Aerosmith, and is best known for her roles in Hollywood films such as Clueless (1995) and her portrayal of Batgirl in Batman & Robin (1997).
Silverstone was born in San Francisco, California, the daughter of Deirdre "Didi" (née Radford), a Scottish-born former Pan Am flight attendant, and Monty Silverstone, an English-born real-estate investor and part-time actor. 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 and then San Mateo High School, but did not complete her high school studies. When she was six-years-old, 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.
Silverstone has won several awards for her film performances including MTV Movie Awards, National Board of Review, and Young 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 and a role in Scream 3. She was also considered for roles in Scream 2, Bewitched, Little Women and Heartbreakers. She turned down the role of Valerie Malone on Beverly Hills, 90210 in 1994; Tiffani Thiessen was cast instead.
Silverstone won a leading part in the 1993 film The Crush, playing a teenaged girl who sets out to ruin an older man after he spurns her affections; she won two awards at the 1994 MTV Movie Awards for the role—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 Silverstone would be perfect for a role in a music video he was directing for the band Aerosmith, called "Cryin'"; she was subsequently cast in two more videos,"Amazing" and "Crazy". These were hugely successful for both the band and Silverstone, making her a household name (and also gaining her the nickname, "the Aerosmith chick"). They also got her noticed by filmmaker 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" at the 1996 MTV Movie Awards for her performance in the film. In the same year, Silverstone starred in the erotic thriller The Babysitter, film adaptation of the novel by Dean Koontz, Hideaway and the 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. Silverstone's turn as Batgirl was not well received, and won her a Razzie Award for Worst Supporting Actress, however, she was also loved by child audiences for her performance which caused her to win a Blimp Award at the Kid's Choice Awards as well. She suffered further bad press for allegedly striking a pedestrian with her vehicle in a crosswalk. In addition to Batman & Robin, Silverstone also starred alongside Benicio del Toro and Christopher Walken 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 successful as Clueless.
Silverstone 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. In 40 Hottest Hotties of the 90's she was ranked #5. Topsocialite.com listed her as the 3rd Sexiest woman of the 90s.
In 2000, Silverstone appeared in Kenneth Branagh's film adaptation of the Shakespeare play Love's Labour's Lost, 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 short-lived 2003 NBC television show Miss Match, which was cancelled after 11 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, Silverstone 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 discovered that the real world is nothing like high school. It was not picked up for production. In 2005, she co-starred with Queen Latifah in Beauty Shop, a spin-off of the BarberShop films, as 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 did well financially, and the direct-to-video film Silence Becomes You.
In 2006, Silverstone 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, Mickey Rourke 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 also filmed a pilot for ABC alongside Megan Mullally called Bad Mother's Handbook. She made a cameo appearance in 2008 comedy film Tropic Thunder.
Silverstone wrote a diet book entitled The Kind Diet; it "explores the connection between what we put in our bodies and what we’re doing to the planet, and how choosing the right foods in the kitchen can help you feeling lighter, sexier, and more alive." From February 10 to March 15 2009, she will star in the world premiere of Daniel Sullivan's Time Stands Still at the Geffern Playhouse LA, alongside Anna Gunn, Robin Thomas and David Harbour. The play focuses around a longtime couple and journalistic team who return to New York from an extended stint in the war-torn Middle East. Her performance was described as "a formidable stage presence who creates sparks whenever she performs" Silverstone will reprise her role for the New York premiere of the play on Broadway, alongside Laura Linney. It will premiere on January 28th 2010 and will be directed by Daniel Sullivan.
Silverstone is filming Elektra Luxx, along with Timothy Olyphant and Carla Gugino. The movie is a sequel to Women In Trouble, where Gugino plays a porn star whose life is turned upside down when she discovered she is pregnant. The film will be directed by Sebastian Gutierrez and a third installment is planned tentatively titled Women In Ecstasy. She also starred in Rob Thomas' 2009 music video for his single "Her Diamonds".