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Then & Now: Alicia Silverstone

Sep. 28, 2012by: Salacious Crumb
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Time: The indefinite continued progress of existence and events in the past, present, and blah blah blah, yada yada yada. She's been a devil, an angel, a Batgirl, and now a vampire. Those of you who have seen the trailer for VAMPS already have a good idea of what this woman looks like now, but dammit, she was one of the first hotties I had in mind when I started this column, so I don't care. It's either now or never. Let's reflect on the history of blue-eyed adorableness in motion pictures brought to you by Alicia Silverstone.

It comes as no surprise that Alicia is a California girl. She grew up in the San Francisco suburb of Redwood City. Her father was from England, and her mother was born in Scotland. They got their little girl into acting and modeling at the age of 6, which everyone knows is the age you're mature enough to handle public recognition. By the time she finished kindergarden, she'd already done several commercials, the first of which being for Dominos Pizza (children's obesity didn't fall out of the sky, you know). Her first credited role on television was in 1992 in an episode of "The Wonder Years" called "Road Test", where she played Fred Savages high school dream girl. She grew up a lot over the next year, becoming the main focus of 3 consecutive Aroesmith music video singles ("Cryin'", "Amazing" and "Crazy"). Strangely, I actually remember all of this quite well. I had quite the school-boy crush on her myself back when I was hanging up my Creepy Crawlers and Mighty Max craze. She was one of the ones to catch my befuddled eye well before puberty made any sense of it. Speaking of crushes...

                  

Around the same time Aerosmith was making her an overnight celebrity, Alicia was bound to become more noticed anyway, with her role as the manipulative psychopath "Adrian" in THE CRUSH. She had been in a couple TV-movies that same year (TORCH SONG, SCATTERED DREAMS), but THE CRUSH brought her way more sudden attention than the average 17-year-old is used to, winning two MTV Movie Awards for Best Breakthrough Performance and Best Villain in 1993. That was back when MTV didn't have it's head up it's ass. In the film, Nick Eliot (Cary Elwes) moves into the guest house of a New York family, and Alicia plays Adrian Forrester, the young daughter looking to lure him into jailbait territory. In a fit of jealousy, she attacks Nick's girlfriend with wasps (yes, WASPS) because that's what a normal teenager would do in order to steal a man's heart. She survives, and Nick attempts to find a different place, before Adrian digs a used condom out of his trash and accuses him of sexual assault (another reason to avoid condoms... just kidding). I haven't seen it in a long time, but I do remember Alicia pulling off the role rather nicely. Hopefully, she wouldn't wind up being typecast as the blonde, conniving high school barbie doll with a hidden agenda...

... As if! Okay, so maybe Alicia wasn't sicking wasps on her enemies anymore, but she was still portraying a master of manipulation. In CLUELESS, a movie loosely based on the 1815 Jane Austin novel Emma, Alicia played Cher Horowitz, the character she is most commonly associated with. Cher is a popular Beverly Hills knockout, who thinks she can bullshit her way to success and good grades by fixing teachers up with each other, and it works like a charm. Then she turns a friendly pot-head played by Brittany Murphy into a mirror image of herself, in a completely expected twist. CLUELESS holds a respectable 81% fresh rating on Rotten Tomatoes, which I guess it deserves for being the first of many teen movies to be based on classic literature. It's extremely poppy and colorful, and contains some excruciatingly cheesy dialogue. It's '90's nostalgia at it's loudest, though.

If you're a fan of old movies with familiar actors before they were well-known, this is chock-full of them. You've got Paul Rudd, Brittany Murphy, Donald Faison (Turk from "Scrubs"), Breckin Meyer, and Jeremy Sisto ("Subrugatory"). This movie is a little tough for a male over 20 to watch, but it has it's moments. I like the scene where Cher's best friend Stacey accidentally merges onto the busy freeway and everyone in the car flips out TEXAS CHAINSAW style, reminding you of that feeling of terror as a first-time driver on the freeway. One thing I find odd about the story is the weird sexual tension between Cher and her step-brother Josh, played by Mr. Rudd.

                                                 "Cher and Josh, sittin' in a tree, keeping it in the FAM-I-LY!"

At the top of the movie, Cher says something to her father about Josh being the son of one of her daddy's ex-wives, whom he divorced after 6 months, so it's not all that gross, I guess. I don't know how that justifies Josh lingering around their house like a couch potato years after, though. The virgin Cher claims she's saving herself for marriage (or Luke Perry), which really isn't such a challenge if you get married in high school, which she does, to her step-brother. Luckily, from this point on, she would only play the role of the "superficial bubblegum princess" sporadically. Yes, sporadically.

After CLUELESS, Alicia starred in two spicey straight-to-video movies. THE BABYSITTER followed Alicia as, you guessed it, a babysitter, looking after a boy, a little girl, and a baby while the rest of the whole family (including the preteen boy) has sexual fantasies about her. The other was TRUE CRIME, in which she was bookworm who loves crime novels, so she tries to do murder-scene detective work all on her own, which somehow ends up being a bad idea. Speaking of bad ideas...

                                           The only good thing to come out of this movie: those awesome, shiny bat boobies.

What can I say about Alicia Silverstone's turn as Barbara Wilson/Batgirl in BATMAN & ROBIN that hasn't been recycled by internet haters and movie critics a thousand times already? She "won" the Golden Raspberry Award for Worst Supporting Actress, but really, there's no reason to rip her performance to shreds as if it was the one thing that killed the movie. It's bad enough Coolio's in it, and they have that ridiculous skatepark fighting scene. It's bad enough Arnold Schwarzenegger ended his cool streak with his performance as Mr. Freeze ("Ice to see you!"). It's bad enough that George Clooney had a Bat-credit card, wherever the hell that came from. It's bad enough the Bat-suit had nipples (actually, that wasn't such a bad idea in Alicia's case). It's best to just leave this pile of dogshit to deteriorate, and make sure you don't step in it again.

Things didn't get much better for our blonde bombshell later that year when she starred in EXCESS BAGGAGE alongside Benicio del Toro and Christopher Walken. The plot goes as follows: Emily Hope (Silverstone) stages her own kidnapping to get the attention of her father. She puts herself into the trunk of her own car, tapes her legs and mouth, handcuffs her hands and calls the police so they can come "rescue" her. But then, unexpectedly, a car thief named Vincent Roche (Benicio del Toro) steals the car with her in it. Suddenly Emily finds herself actually kidnapped, only the kidnapper doesn’t know what to do with her. The idea doesn't sound too terrible, especially with Benicio and Christopher on board, but the film received mostly negative reviews and tanked at the box office.

Alicia's next cinematic venture was 1999's BLAST FROM THE PAST, where Brendan Fraser plays an odd character who, after being isolated from modern civilization his whole life, comes to the big city (not to be confused with GEORGE OF THE JUNGLE or ENCINO MAN). Alicia plays the love-interest in this one, and Christopher Walken's in it, too, as Brendan's father who keeps his family hidden away in an underground bomb-shelter for 30 years. While it isn't my particular cup of Jesus Juice, it got Alicia a Saturn Award nomination, and it didn't do too bad with ticket sales.

                                             "Psssst! Alicia! There's a leopard behind you! Try to blend in!"

I wouldn't say that Alicia disappeared after that by any means, but the "teen dream" image that made her famous was clearly behind her by the time the millennium was up. She played the princess of France in the low-budget LOVE'S LABOUR'S LOST in 2000, and then portrayed the bassist in a popular American rock group in GLOBAL HERESY. She gained some attention by playing Mrs. Robinson in the 2002 broadway theatre run of "The Graduate". In 2003, she starred alongside Rachel Leigh Cook in the poorly received, independent comedy SCORCHED, which was pulled from theaters after just one weekend. Then her onscreen roles began to atrophy slowly into smaller parts like those in Queen Latifah's BEAUTY SHOP and SCOOBY DOO 2: MONSTERS UNLEASHED (two classics). As I said earlier, I'm aware Alicia's still around kickin', so I tried to dig up the most recent, good-quality picture I could find. Scroll on down to unveil the modern-day Alicia Silverstone...

Well, she's obviously not a hefer. That's her at the Los Angeles premiere of "The Book of Mormon" just a couple of weeks ago. She's lucky to have been born with that timeless, gorgeous face to keep her looking young. She's kept herself nice and tidey, and is indeed breaking back into cinema, slowly but surely. Next week will see her in the release of the ensemble comedy BUTTER, which looks to have a pretty promising cast. It's no secret that she will also be starring in the upcoming bloodsucking comedy VAMPS, which reunites her with CLUELESS director Amy Heckerling. And on top of that, Alicia has three other movies in post-production, with three very strange titles: JESUS IN COWBOY BOOTS, GODS BEHAVING BADLY, and ASS BACKWARDS. Speaking of ass backwards...

Dayumn! More like Alicia SilverBONE if you ask me. She just released a whole slew of cheeky, sexy photos this month for Bullett magazine, and they've got my adrenaline rushing over her more than ever. Sure, they may be significantly touched up, but regardless, go check 'em out and tell me you wouldn't be interested in "touching her up" yourself. It's pretty impressive to see her sexy appeal is still well intact. I should mention, it's no shock she would be checking out the Tony Award-winning Book of Mormon, since she's had a pretty stable career in theatre herself, lately. Since 2006, she's appeared in "Boston Marriage", "Speed-the-Plow", "Time Stands Still", and currently, "The Performers". In television, Alicia's most recent activity includes one episode of Adult Swim's "Children's Hospital" and a recurring role on "Suburgatory" with her CLUELESS co-star Jeremy Sisto.

Silverstone is also known to be an animal rights and environmental activist, not unlike her character Cher at the end of CLUELESS. For example, in 2009 she released a guide to vegan nutrition called The Kind Diet. I'm pleased that she would carry on with the ideals of one of her more level-headed characters instead of, you know, ATTACKING PEOPLE WITH F*CKING WASPS! You should all be glad, too. If PETA has changed my life for the better in any way, it's thanks to ads like this...

                                         You are also naked... Thank you for being naked, Alicia Silverstone.

To be honest, I wasn't expecting to be doing this much research on this woman. She even recieved a Golden Globe nomination a few years ago for "Miss Match" on NBC, a show I completely missed. Looks like I really underestimated Ms. Silverstone. Or I guess it's Mrs. Jarecki now, as in "Christopher Jarecki" from the rock band S.T.U.N., whom she married at Lake Tahoe on June 11, 2005. They now have a 1-year-old together named Bear Blu Jarecki. I'm pretty amazed at how little I knew about Alicia's past 20 or so years, I couldn't even fit it all here. Alicia will turn 36-years-old next week, on October 4th, which ain't that old. She still has a decent amount of time before she needs to worry about losing her looks or our interest. It's too bad her stardom sort of faded away in the middle of the last decade, but at least she's making a comeback, which although long overdue, is completely welcome. Happy Early Birthday, Alicia Silverbone!

Extra Tidbit: How do you think this rockin' hottie has turned out?

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6:58PM on 09/28/2012

Thank you for this

My first major Hollywood crush. So glad to see she's still looking amazing.
My first major Hollywood crush. So glad to see she's still looking amazing.
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11:26PM on 09/28/2012
hotter now
hotter now
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4:48PM on 09/28/2012

Very nice

Love her, she's gorgeous! I will correct you, she was in The Graduate on Broadway, which I saw, but she didn't play Mrs. Robinson. She's way too young to play Mrs. Robinson. She played Mrs. Robinson's daughter...Katherine I believe....Kathleen Turner played Mrs. Robinson
Love her, she's gorgeous! I will correct you, she was in The Graduate on Broadway, which I saw, but she didn't play Mrs. Robinson. She's way too young to play Mrs. Robinson. She played Mrs. Robinson's daughter...Katherine I believe....Kathleen Turner played Mrs. Robinson
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11:52AM on 09/28/2012

Woah

All day, all night!
All day, all night!
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+2
8:04PM on 09/28/2012

Still a fox.

She aged really well, and, despite the fact that she pretty killed her career with Batman and Robin, she's still one of my favorite 90's hotties. Clueless has got to be the quintessential 90's film, and I'm sad to say a guilty pleasure of mine. She's always held a very special place in my pants, and from the look of her lately, she will not be leaving there anytime soon.
She aged really well, and, despite the fact that she pretty killed her career with Batman and Robin, she's still one of my favorite 90's hotties. Clueless has got to be the quintessential 90's film, and I'm sad to say a guilty pleasure of mine. She's always held a very special place in my pants, and from the look of her lately, she will not be leaving there anytime soon.
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12:27PM on 10/01/2012
I'd let her spit food into my mouth. As long as I can spit something into her mouth.

I'd let her spit food into my mouth. As long as I can spit something into her mouth.

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5:00AM on 09/29/2012
Eh, when I was in high school with those Aerosmith videos, yeah, but now...don't really care too much.

She still looks great though for her age.
Eh, when I was in high school with those Aerosmith videos, yeah, but now...don't really care too much.

She still looks great though for her age.
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10:50AM on 09/30/2012
Not a bad lookin lady....Looks really good for her age...but she's never been my cup of tea
Not a bad lookin lady....Looks really good for her age...but she's never been my cup of tea
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