tender, titillating presence in films and music videos,
Alicia Silverstone elicits tingles in adolescent boys
and dirty old men alike. Now, however, Silverstone has
blossomed beyond her testosterone-laden core audience.
In 1995, she put her naughty freshness to use in
director Amy Heckerling'sClueless; Silverstone's
performance as a good-hearted Beverly Hills teenager won
critical and box-office kudos. She very quickly became
Hollywood's next big thing and was signed to a $10
million deal with Columbia Pictures.
A San Francisco native, Silverstone launched her
career at the age of six in a series of swimsuit
snapshots taken by her father, a real estate investor.
Those photos begat a steady stream of modeling gigs
including a Domino's TV commercial and
casting agents soon noticed her nubile charisma. After a
guest shot on ABC's The Wonder Years, Silverstone
signed up for her cinematic debut as a man-obsessed
young woman in 1993's The Crush. Before filming
began, Silverstone legally became an emancipated minor
in order to evade child labor laws that would have
restricted her working hours.
The Crush bombed with critics, but the Beavis
and Butt-Head set found Silverstone's presence quite
compelling. She then further agitated the country's
hormone pool with a trio of wildly successful music
videos for a group of prehistoric rockers called
Aerosmith. Though she had captivated countless high
school students, Silverstone herself dropped out of
Beverly Hills High because of career demands. That's not
to impart on her some sort of airhead status, as
Silverstone has displayed considerable show-business
savvy: she doesn't do nude scenes ("As if!"); she
declined a role on post-Brenda Beverly Hills,
90210; she agreed to play Batgirl in Batman &
Robin; and, as part of her Columbia package, she
secured a three-year, non-exclusive first-look deal for
her First Kiss Productions. In her debut release as
producer, Excess Baggage, Silverstone played an
attention-seeking teen who fakes her own kidnapping.
More appealing was her turn opposite Brendan
Fraser in the 1999 fish-out-of-water romantic comedy
Blast From the Past.