Alicia Silverstone is a name that anyone who grew up in the 1990s will know. She was a major player in the acting world during this Hollywood era, and she’s perhaps best known for playing fashionista Cher Horowitz in the teen flick Clueless. However, Alicia has taken a step back from the spotlight over the past two decades – and for a while, we had no idea why.
Although Alicia Silverstone had the ability to become the most successful actress of all time, she instead decided to retreat just as people started screaming her name. For years, fans have wondered why she wasted such a huge opportunity. Now, Alicia Silverstone has explained the reason she resents the movie that made her famous, why she’s refusing to conform to Hollywood’s narrative, and, most importantly, why she’s saying “no” to conventional parenting norms.
Although Alicia Silverstone Came From Humble Beginnings, She Started Modeling When She Was Six Years Old
Alicia Silverstone has made no secret of the fact that she has struggled to live her life in the spotlight, and perhaps that has something to do with the fact that she never wanted to be famous. She was born in San Francisco to her flight attendant mom and her real estate agent father and then spent her early years in Hillsborough, California. Her early life was humble, but then it started to change.
With her angelic face and her blonde hair, Alicia quickly caught the attention of casting agents. Before too long, she was starting to model professionally and landing roles in television commercials for the whole world to see. In 1992, when she was just 16 years old, she was offered the chance to star in a TV show. And while she had never intended to be an actress on the screen, she felt like she couldn’t say no.
Alicia Made Her Film Debut at 16 Years Old, but Had to Make a Major Personal Sacrifice to Star in This Movie
Alicia’s first official acting role came from the popular television show, The Wonder Years. She starred as Jessica Thomas in the 1992 episode “Road Test” – but this was just a stepping stone to something much bigger. That’s because, just a few months later, she was offered the lead in an erotic thriller called The Crush.
For this role, a 16-year-old Alicia Silverstone played a young girl who falls in love with an older man – played by Cary Elwes. But when he rejects her advances, she makes it her mission to ruin his life. Amazingly, this movie e was an instant success, and Alicia’s performance even won her an MTV Movie Award for Best Breakthrough Performance. However, what many people don’t realize is that this movie came at a great personal sacrifice.
In Order to Avoid Teenage Working Laws, 16-Year-Old Alicia Silverstone Had to Legally Emancipate Herself From Her Parents
The young actress was actually still 15 years old when she was offered the chance to play Adrian Forrester in The Crush, which posed a problem for the production crew. As a minor, they were tied by child labor laws – which meant that she couldn’t work as many hours as they had hoped. So, when she turned 16 years old on-set, Alicia decided to do something that would make things easier for everyone.
Alicia legally emancipated herself from her parents, which meant that she sued her parents to become an official adult who didn’t need parental guidance or approval. So, she moved into an apartment in Vancouver by herself and filmed the movie for countless hours of the day. She’s confessed, “I think I probably missed some emotional steps that needed to happen in a normal situation of development. But I also jumped light years ahead in other ways.”
The Crush and Her Appearance in Multiple Aerosmith Music Videos Made Alicia Famous, but She Wasn’t Happy in Herself
While Alicia’s role in The Crush was a controversial one due to her age and the nature of the movie, it certainly thrust her into the limelight. In fact, she caught the attention of director Marty Callner – who was on the lookout for a young woman to serve as the star of Aerosmith’s “Cryin'” music video.
Not only did Alicia land the music video gig, but she impressed Marty and the band so much that she was given the chance to star in two subsequent music videos. Her appearances in “Cryin'”, “Amazing” and “Crazy” thrust her even further into the spotlight. But Alicia soon realized that becoming a household name came with some major drawbacks.
Alicia Hated It When People Called Her ”The Aerosmith Chick” and Felt Like She Was Being Overly Sexualized
By this point in her career, Alicia Silverstone had already achieved so much – but it’s important to remember that she was still only 17 years old when she starred in these music videos. Because of this, she received a lot of unwanted attention, and much of it made the teenager extremely uncomfortable.
Alicia told Cinema Blend‘s podcast that “I do remember when I was in the Aerosmith videos and people would call me ‘The Aerosmith Chick’ and I was like 17 and I was very offended! Because I was like, ‘I’m a very serious actress. How could you? The Aerosmith chick? At the time, I was like, ‘That’s so rude.'” Unfortunately for Alicia, things were only going to get worse for her.
At Just 18 Years Old, Alicia Landed the Leading Role in Clueless and Become an International Icon…
After working her magic in the Aerosmith music videos, Alicia once again impressed a high-flying member of the Hollywood elite. This time, she caught the attention of filmmaker Amy Heckerling, who was looking for the lead in her 1995 Jane-Austen-inspired movie, Clueless. Although Sarah Michelle Gellar had originally been pipped to play Cher Horowitz, scheduling conflicts meant that Alicia ultimately landed the part.
For this role, Alicia stepped into the shoes of a spoilt socialite who learns that helping can come in various different forms – and the young actress took to the role like a duck to water. Not only was the movie an instant hit, but Alicia’s portrayal was celebrated by fans and critics across the globe. Alicia was still only 18 years old when she was hit with this newfound fame, and she began to struggle.
However, She Felt Uncomfortable With This Newfound Fame and How People Were Talking About Her
As someone who had never intended to become famous, but fell into the business naturally, the fame that Alicia experienced after Clueless was one that she had not prepared herself for. All of a sudden, everyone knew her name, everyone knew what she looked like, and they all had their own opinions of her.
Alicia struggled with this constant barrage of attention. She has noted that “It was really just extreme how I was being talked to and talked about. I think I just got really turned off by it… At the time, I was so young, and it really was overwhelming.”Sadly, this was nothing compared to how she was treated later on when she starred in Batman & Robin.
Alicia Believes That She Would Have Benefitted From Having a Therapist During This Time, but She Didn’t Have One
Alicia has noted that she felt overwhelmed from the moment she became a professional actress and believes that she was too young to deal with such a lifestyle change at such a young age. Despite the fact that her early career was full of success, she wasn’t prepared to deal with it – and she believes she should have seen a therapist to help her through it.
She confessed that “It was overwhelming when I was in The Crush, and The Crush, did [so well]. That was first, and that was a lot. And then I did a bunch of movies. And there was the Aerosmith videos. And then I did bunch more movies. So, at each turn, I was getting more and more well-known, and it was more and more uncomfortable. And when Clueless came out, it was so uncomfortable how… I was a teenager. I was 18! And there was just a lot. So, I needed a good therapist and I didn’t have one.”
Alicia Had Never Wanted to Be an Actress, but After the Success of Clueless People Wanted More From Her
While the fame and fortune she garnered from Clueless would have been a dream come true for many aspiring actors, Alicia wasn’t excited by this new development in her life. Although she had always loved acting, she had never wanted to be a screen actress. In her eyes, “I was just a theater kid.”
She furthered this point by saying, “I never wanted to be in movies or TV. There’s no support or schooling on what do you do when you suddenly found yourself famous as a young woman. It was just too much for me.” However, the world wanted more from her after this success – and she felt like she had no choice but to give the people what they wanted. So, she decided to continue her acting career… a decision she would later come to regret.
Alicia Was Offered a Once-In-A-Lifetime Three-Movie Deal With Columbia Tristar, and She Knew She Couldn’t Say No
As Clueless continued to make money in the box office, and as people continued to talk about the one and only Alicia Silverstone, she was given an opportunity that young actresses are rarely given. At the age of just 19 years old she was offered a $10 million acting and producing deal by Columbia Tristar.
Although Alicia didn’t want to be the most famous woman in Hollywood, she was intrigued by the chance to produce her own work and show off her creative side. So, she accepted the offer, set up her own production company by the name of First Kiss, and produced movies like the 1997 smash hit Excess Baggage. She was raking in money and seemed to be on the right creative track, but her next movie would hit her right where it hurt.
When Alicia Scored a Leading Role in Batman & Robin, She Was Fat-Shamed by People Who Didn’t Even Know Her
One thing Alicia loved above all was acting. Being creative came naturally to her during the late 1990s, which is why she knew that turning down the three-movie offer would be a bad decision. This move landed her even more movie roles, and in 1997 she was even given the chance to star as Batgirl in the Batman & Robin movie. Unfortunately, this project left a sour taste in her mouth.
Not only was the movie an instant flop with superhero fans around the world, but many of them also took an instant disliking to Alicia and her character. Dressed in her PVC superhero outfit, the young actress was fat-shamed relentlessly by fans and critics alike. In fact, some critics even went as far as to call her “Fatgirl.” Alicia was used to people having opinions about her, but this was a new low…
The Actress Was Heckled About Her Weight on a Daily Basis, and People Regularly Shouted ”Fatgirl” at Her
Although to most people Alicia Silverstone was a healthy individual, haters and critics decided to pick on her looks and suggested that she was overweight. The actress knew that people were always going to scrutinize what she looked like, but she started to feel upset. Especially when the digs and the heckling kept coming.
Alicia confessed that “The worst moment was when I was walking through LA airport and saw a group of photographers. They suddenly gave chase, screaming, ‘Hey, Fatgirl!’. and I just had to escape. I ended up hiding in a box. Weird stuff happens a lot in Hollywood. There are so many young girls who are bulimic or anorexic because of all this nonsense about weight. It just seems ridiculous that society judges people by their weight. To me, the only thing that makes someone attractive is if they’re a good person.”
Alicia Has Confessed That the Scrutiny She Felt After Batman & Robin Made Her Question Her Career and Her Place in Hollywood
The body-shaming that Alicia Silverstone experienced after this movie truly knocked her confidence, and she began to question her place in Hollywood society. Could she really take another few decades of this constant barrage of negative comments? To make matters worse, her acting in this movie was also called into question.
The whole Batman & Robin movie was a bomb, and Alicia’s role in the film even earned her a Razzie Award for “Worst Supporting Actress.” While she knew that there were always going to be people who didn’t like her or the work that she produced, it was still a knock-back. In fact, she told TODAY that, after that movie, “I stopped loving acting for a very long time.” So, she decided to do something else instead.
In the Late ’90s, Alicia Retreated to the Amazon Rainforest to Save the Jungle With Woody Harrelson
As Alicia reeled from the backlash of the movie and the scrutiny from people she didn’t even know, she decided that she needed to take time away from Hollywood to really think about her life. She had only really known life in the limelight, and she wanted to experience life away from the bright lights and judgmental people.
In the end, “I went to the Amazon river with Woody Harrelson and tried to help save the rainforest. I really got so into the world.” It was this experience that opened Alicia’s eyes to the fact that the world was much bigger than Hollywood – and she didn’t have to conform to Hollywood’s standards if she didn’t want to. So, she decided to live her life her own way.
This Experience Inspired Her Love of the Planet and Nature, and So She Decided to Become an Activist
After seeing the destruction in the rainforest and seeing wild animals up close and personal, Alicia decided that from that moment on she wouldn’t eat meat or any other animal product ever again. She became a vegan and started researching more about sustainability, the planet, and mother nature as a whole.
And while she did return to Hollywood, she realized that she could morph herself into a new kind of celebrity. Sure, she would still act and give her fans what they wanted, but she could also use her fame and fortune to make a difference. She got involved with PETA, she started making eco-friendly changes in her life, and she would eventually go on to make sustainably – but hugely controversial – decisions about her parenting style.
Alicia Also Began to Hate Fame, Which Is Why She Decided to Get Married in Private Without Telling Anyone
Alicia’s newfound love and respect for the planet opened her eyes to what Hollywood was really like. As she had grown up in the spotlight and sacrificed her teenage years for her acting, she thought that she had to put her whole life on for show. However, she eventually decided that she needed to do something for herself.
That’s why she opted to keep her 2005 wedding to her rockstar ex-husband a secret. Alicia married Christopher Jarecki on a private estate in Lake Tahoe and only told their closest friends and family about their big day. The actress confessed that “I like to keep my private life locked away, which is almost impossible in Hollywood. Fame is not anything I wish on anyone. You start acting because you love it. Then success arrives, and suddenly you’re on show.”
Alicia’s Priorities Changed Even More When She Welcomed Her Son, Bear Blu Jarecki, into the World in 2011
As a private man himself, Alicia’s marriage to Jarecki seemed to work perfectly for them. They bought an eco-friendly house complete with solar panels and rescue dogs, and after six years as husband and wife, they welcomed their son Bear Blu Jarecki into the world. Once again, Alicia’s priorities changed – and acting was pushed even further to the back of her mind.
After growing up in Hollywood for so long, Alicia had seen how other celebrity parents raised their children. She knew the harsh realities of Hollywood, so she decided that she wasn’t going to conform to its parenting conventions. Not only did she decide that she was going to keep her son away from the limelight, but she also decided that she was going to parent in her own, unique way.
She Decided That She Was Going to Parent Her Own Way, but Her Controversial Techniques Have Raised Eyebrows
Alicia did her research while pregnant, and decided that she wanted to raise her son as naturally as possible. Because of this, she became a huge advocate for the Attachment Parenting style. Not only did she avoid strollers in favor of baby-wearing, but she also breastfed her son before moving on to solids. However, she raised eyebrows when she shared a video of herself chewing her food and then regurgitating it into her son’s mouth like a baby bird.
Critics became even more incensed when Alicia noted that she was raising Bear vegan. Her experiences as a vegan mama inspired her to write her parenting book The Kind Mama, and in this book, she cited that her son’s vegan diet had made him into a hugely healthy and happy boy, who wasn’t deficient in any nutrients or minerals. Of course, critics had a lot to say about this.
Alicia Claims That Her Son Is the Healthiest He Could Possibly Be Thanks to Her Alternative Parenting Techniques…
Alicia is all about spending as much time with her son as possible, even if that means she has to sacrifice her career. She believes that it’s this attention and bond that helps a child grow into a healthy and happy individual, and this, coupled with her belief that children should be vegan, is something Alicia could talk about for hours.
In 2018, Alicia told Good Housekeeping that her son has “never had to take medicine in his life. He can get sniffles and a runny nose but he’s not down, he still goes to school. Two times in his life has he been like ‘Mummy I don’t feel good,’ and it was only for a few hours and he was back running around.” However, fans have criticized Alicia for even more than this.
Fans Don’t Quite Understand Her Techniques, Especially When It Comes to Potty Training Children
Thanks to her appreciation for the environment and her decision to research more about the world and human impact, Alicia has come to some unique conclusions about parenting. One thing she’s particularly passionate about is disposable diapers – and how they are “fuelled by corporate-backed pseudoscience.”
That’s why Alicia didn’t use disposable or reusable diapers when Bear was younger. Instead, she focused on training Bear using the “elimination method.” This is when parents pick up on cues from their babies and allow them to go in a more natural sense. She believes that babies are “much more content leaving their business in the grass than having to sleep and eat accompanied by their own pee and poo.”
Alicia Knows That People Think She’s a ”Freak” for the Way She Parents, but She Doesn’t Care What They Think
After years of listening to what other people thought of her, Alicia has now come to a point where she doesn’t care what other people have to say – especially about her parenting techniques. She believes they work for her family and for her son, and knows that people won’t always agree with her.
She’s noted that “People said lots of different things, and I was sort of ‘the freak,’ and I guess I’ll take pride in that because it is hard to be the person that’s speaking out, and it is hard to be the person that is saying the thing that isn’t what everybody else wants to hear… I’m really a grandma at my house who’s going to help climate change and raise my son.”
The Actress Has Bad Memories of Her Past Hollywood Experiences, but Is Now Trying to Move On
Raising her son in her own personal way is a way for Alicia to take back control of her life, and she wouldn’t have it any other way. While she knows that people will always criticize her, she’s happy for them to do so now – but now she doesn’t let their negative comments get to her the way that they used to. After all, they’re strangers.
She wasn’t always like this though. During the height of her career, Alicia let the negative comments and body-shaming get to her on a personal level, and this has left her with bad memories of her teenage years. Thankfully, she’s now found a balance that works for her, on both a personal and a professional level.
Alicia Hasn’t Retired, but She Is Now Being More Selective About What She Chooses to Work On
There was once a time when Alicia Silverstone was the “it” actress of the time. She was in movie after movie, and she even made her mark on television. So, some would come to the conclusion that, after her bad experiences, Alicia decided to retire for good. However, that just isn’t the case. She’s still working, but she’s being extremely selective about what she chooses to work on.
The actress noted that, “I stopped loving acting for a very long time” but that after a while “My body was just like, this is what I’m meant to do, I love it so much, I need to find a way to do both, to be able to be an actress and an activist at the same time so that’s what I did.” Today, Alicia is choosing to work on more independent projects.
Alicia Doesn’t Care to Work on Big Blockbusters Any More, as She Prefers the Creativity to the Fame
Just as Alicia had loved being an actress but hated being famous when she was younger, it seems as though she’s now found a balance that works for her. Instead of dealing with the negativity of Hollywood, she’s been able to continue her craft while staying somewhat out of the limelight.
She’s confessed that “The things that move me and excite me aren’t necessarily going to be the box-office hits all the time. My favorite film I’ve ever done was Love’s Labour’s Lost and I think, in box-office terms, barely one person saw it. But I still think it’s the greatest movie, and I don’t care if anybody doesn’t like it. I saw it in seven different countries and the audience would leave the theater dancing. I think that’s a pretty incredible thing.”