The Untold Truth Of Alicia Silverstone

With "Clueless," Alicia Silverstone cemented herself into pop culture so strongly that people are still asking for a sequel nearly 30 years later. In fact, demand for her character Cher Horowitz is so high that Silverstone was even tapped to play the character in a memorable Rakuten ad that ran during the 2023 Super Bowl. Though she is best known for playing Cher, Silverstone is no one trick pony. Her Hollywood career has spanned decades and included film, television, and even music videos. One of Silverstone's first big jobs was appearing in a few Aerosmith videos, starting with 1993's "Cryin'" followed by "Amazing," then "Crazy." These videos were what got her noticed by the "Clueless" creator and the rest is Hollywood history.

Silverstone's career has ebbed and flowed over the years, but one thing that has not is her devotion to nature. She's a staunch advocate for animals and for the environment, and her activism work is a central part of her life's mission. Beyond being an actor and activist, Silverstone has worn many other hats including producer, author, business owner, spokesperson, wife, mother, and muse to one notable fashion designer (more on that below). Rare is it to find a 1990s mega-celebrity who has continued to work steadily while maintaining a refreshingly normal and low-key personal life simultaneously. Silverstone is much more than the clueless California girl she so famously played, and if you don't believe us, just read on. Here is the untold truth of Alicia Silverstone.

She was emancipated at age 15 so she could work more

We hear a lot about child stars going wild, but those are generally people who have fame-hungry and/or distracted parental figures. Then there are people like Alicia Silverstone — young actors who emancipate themselves not because of family drama or a desire to make their own (terrible) decisions, but so they can work longer hours and head out on location without a guardian. "I'm always around adults," a teenage Silverstone told Star-News in 1995. "I think I'm benefiting from that because I got thrown into the real world real fast, and now I feel fine because I can still be a little kid with my friends." Silverstone became an emancipated minor at age 15, with the goal of being able to spend more time on set while filming her debut movie, "The Crush."

She began working at age 8 starting with a Domino's commercial, but "The Crush" was her first experience being treated like an adult actor. The role itself was rather mature in that she played an unhinged, obsessive teenager lusting after an older man, but Silverstone said she was drawn to the part. She celebrated her 16th birthday during the making of the thriller and lived in Vancouver without a chaperone during filming. "I think I probably missed some emotional steps that needed to happen in a normal situation of development," she told The Guardian. "But I also jumped light years ahead in other ways. It's sort of a combo platter. You gain some and you lose some."

She was very overwhelmed by the fame that Clueless brought her

Although no one involved with the movie could have predicted the legacy it would have, even at the time it was released in 1995, people realized "Clueless" was a special kind of film. It permeated culture in a way that few films do, making phrases like "As if" and "Whatever" a central part of teenage lingo. From the costumes to the "suck and blow" party game featured in the film, people were keen to emulate Silverstone and her fellow actors. According to Box Office Mojo, "Clueless" earned $56 million at the domestic box office — but again, much of its impact cannot be measured purely by filled theater seats. "Clueless" launched its cast to a level of fame an actor cannot prepare for, and as the film's pumping heart and leading lady, Silverstone was affected more than anyone else.

For Silverstone, the instant and overpowering attention was so overwhelming that it made her less interested in a Hollywood career. "It was really intense. I didn't expect any of the reaction that we got. It was a lot, and I think if anything it all pushed me away from doing this job for a while and got me so much more into my activism," she told Vogue in 2020. "I eventually found my love of acting again, but at the time I didn't know anything about what I was stepping into." Though "Clueless" was not her first movie, Silverstone said in a 2017 Variety interview that it led to her getting recognized everywhere she went.

She was at one time one of the youngest producers in Hollywood

While Silverstone rarely works as a producer today, she does still dabble in that area of the business. She executive produced two projects in recent years — the films "Sister of the Groom" and "Last Survivors," both of which also featured her in a starring role. Before that, Silverstone had only produced three projects since 1997 (and none since 2005), perhaps due to the negative reaction she got when she received her initial production deal. When Silverstone was offered a production deal post-"Clueless," many in the industry disparaged her rather instead of offering encouragement. In 1997, the Los Angeles Times even ran an offensive article entitled, "Silverstone, the Star ... but the Producer?" which questioned the actor's ability to take on the added responsibility.

It did not help matters that Silverstone's first production, "Excess Baggage," was a box office bomb. Then again, let's give credit where credit is due. While many male stars of that era had production companies, few women were given the opportunity to make their own content. Age was also an important factor and likely one reason why Silverstone was doubted. She was only 18 when Columbia Pictures signed her to a two-picture production deal worth $8 million, and was far younger than other producers of that time (nowadays, artists like Marsai Martin are being given producer roles as young as 14). "Not everybody who's 23 can say they produced a film, and really produced it, not just put their name on it," Silverstone refreshingly and proudly told Empire when asked about the movie.

Her mistreatment in the press around the time of Batman & Robin made her back away from acting for a while

If "Excess Baggage" didn't sour Silverstone on the industry, "Batman & Robin" — which came out that same year, in 1997 — sure did. Silverstone's experiences working on the film, and her treatment by the media at the time received renewed scrutiny in recent years as people have begun to think more critically about issues such as body shaming and sexual objectification. And, sure, the movie was by far the worst in the history of the "Batman" franchise, but there's no reason why it had to be such a devastating and scarring experience for Silverstone. "That definitely wasn't my favourite film-making experience," she told The Guardian in 2020, noting that paparazzi would come to set and mock her body to get a reaction.

Silverstone played "Batgirl" in the film, and though she was by no means overweight, the press criticized the way she looked in the character's skintight costume. They went so far as to brand her with the cruel nickname "Fat Girl," which is something that we think (and hope) would receive widespread outrage today. Though Silverstone did not take the comments to heart, they did make her pull back from acting — at least from big-budget films. "My response was, 'Hell no.' I had no interest in being famous or maintaining any kind of fame," she told Vanity Fair in 2018. "If you told me that acting meant I was going to be called fat and have to do things a certain way, then I was like, 'F off.'"

Theater helped her regain a love for acting

Though Silverstone never retired from acting, she pulled back in the years following "Batman & Robin," and only acted in two projects in four years — the underrated 1999 comedy "Blast from the Past," and the 2000 musical "Love's Labour's Lost." She instead focused most of her time on her activism and personal wellness during this period. "I went to Africa to help the elephants. I went to Peru to try to help the rainforest. I found my passion for writing books on healing and health. The Kind Diet books came a bit later but that was the start of the journey there," she told The Hollywood Reporter. Given that it was theater that first drew a young Silverstone to acting, it's only fitting that it was the theater that helped her regain her love of the craft.

Silverstone's love of theater began early and, according to an interview she did with Into the Gloss, was cultivated through summer visits to England (where her parents are from) and exposure to stage shows in London's West End. When the actor was cast in the David Mamet play "Boston Marriage" in 2007, it finally reignited the passion for acting that had gone missing. "There were so many amazing opportunities that I said no to because I didn't feel able. But after that play, I thought, geez, I'd really love to do that again," Silverstone said in that same The Hollywood Reporter interview. "I started to be able to do really interesting things in film too."

She is a strong advocate for sustainability and lives in an eco-friendly house

A lot of stars preach about saving the environment and climate change, but fewer of them actually live a life that promotes sustainability and being mindful of one's ecological footprint. Mark Ruffalo does it, as do Leonardo DiCaprio, Bryan Cranston, Lisa Ling, and more — and they are doing some amazing things. For example, Stella McCartney uses only eco-friendly products in her clothing, Woody Harrelson uses solar power for his trailers on film sets, and Jane Fonda has been seen at more environmental protests than we could possibly count. One trend amongst eco-friendly stars is living in a home that's as green as possible. Celebrities like Julia Roberts, Adele, and Julia Louis-Dreyfuss are all firmly onboard the eco-home train, but Alicia Silverstone was living a green life well before it was popular or cool.

Silverstone lives in the same Los Angeles house that she purchased at 19 (she's now 46) and the home has helped the actor to make sustainability a way of life for her family. The house has solar panels on the roof, a system that funnels safe waste from the home to the garden, and is built largely with reclaimed wood and netting. "I'm extremely conscious of the choices I make, so that my impact is as little as possible and I tread as lightly on the earth as I can. I take a lot of pride in that," Silverstone told People, right after gushing about her covetable edible garden.

She felt eating meat was wrong for over a decade before finally going vegan at 21

A large part of Silverstone's eco-friendly existence involves being a vegan, which has become central to her life both because of the environmental aspects as well as her feelings about animals. While she's now a poster child for veganism, Silverstone didn't grow up shunning meat and other animal products. She did, however, feel from an early age that eating meat was the wrong choice. "This one thing that you do three times a day — eating — is the most effective way to make change all across the board. The first time I realized that, I was eight years old and eating lamb, and my brother started making sheep noises," she told Into the Gloss. "I had never considered that that was what I was eating —you know, we don't think about it! That horrified me to my core."

Silverstone tried going vegetarian right away, but it didn't work out to be a realistic choice for a young child from a family of non-vegetarians. She couldn't shake the idea and at age 21, after watching a film on factory farming, went vegan for good. In an interview with The New York Times, Silverstone admitted that her own dog also played a role in her choice. "I realized that when I was petting his leg, that leg felt the same as the sort of chicken breasts I might be eating, or whatever animal I was eating," she said. "And I started to wonder what my leg might taste like if somebody ate it."

Her brand The Kind Life has spawned two books, a thriving website, and a line of vitamins

Silverstone's commitment to veganism cannot be understated, and in case there's any doubt in your mind, let us present to you her brand: The Kind Life. In 2009, Silverstone released her first book, entitled "The Kind Diet: A Simple Guide to Feeling Great, Losing Weight, and Saving the Planet." Part vegan instructional manual and part cookbook, "The Kind Diet" became a #1 New York Times bestseller and inspired Silverstone to make "kind living" her brand. Her second book, "The Kind Mama: A Simple Guide to Supercharged Fertility, a Radiant Pregnancy, a Sweeter Birth, and a Healthier, More Beautiful Beginning," helped Silverstone cement herself in the health and wellness space. "It took me years to write both books because I had to hone in on all the information I gathered over the years," she told As If Magazine. "What was missing was the sexiness of the vegan diet, the deliciousness of it."

Silverstone has taken the "Kind" idea and run with it in the years since that first book. She now has an active website, "The Kind Life," which features blogs focused on topics like parenting, sustainable living, style and beauty, food, and animals. The environmentalist also had a podcast called "The Real Heal with Alicia Silverstone," although nothing has been uploaded since May 2022 and it is unclear if more episodes will be produced. Another extension of Silverstone's wellness brand is myKind Organics, a vitamin company she co-founded in 2014 in partnership with the supplement company, Garden of Life.

She identifies as an activist just as much as an actor

For Silverstone, veganism and sustainability are not just lifestyle choices, nor are they simply a means to make money. For years, the star has said that she identifies as an activist just as much as she identifies as an actor, and she has volunteered a substantial amount of time and effort to the causes she cares about. Though she was not always supported by those around her — "There were people in my life at one time that really did say you couldn't really do the activism thing if you wanted to be an actor," she admitted to The New York Times in 2020 — Silverstone has often stepped up to be the face of a movement. For instance, she has posed for PETA campaigns more than once, and helped bring awareness to the brutality of factory farming through her work with the non-profit Farm Sanctuary.

Those are certainly not the only examples of Silverstone's activism, as she has been speaking up about causes ever since "Clueless" gave her the platform to do so. She has lobbied Starbucks to get rid of surcharges for non-dairy milk, hosted events for the natural and cruelty-free deodorant brand CRYSTAL, advocated alongside the organization, charity: water, to bring clean water to people around the globe, and helped Million Dollar Vegan hand out meals and books to kids in need. "My brain is always spinning with questions and ideas regarding health, ethics, and the sustainability behind everything from food to beauty goods to household products," she told Authority Magazine in 2019.

She feels very strongly connected to the gay community and knows she is a queer icon

"Clueless" catapulted Alicia Silverstone to overnight success, but nowhere is she more famous than in the queer community. This is something of which Silverstone is acutely aware, and something she fully embraces. "I was really well-received by the gay community after Clueless came out. They've always been my people," she told Vogue in a 2020 interview to celebrate the film's 25th anniversary. "I don't know if it's just this film or my vibe that's endeared me to them, but that has always been my favorite aspect of the film. Particularly what it means to gay boys." The actor's love of gay men is perhaps why she took on a role in the 2016 film "King Cobra," where she played the mother of a gay porn actor Brent Corrigan, who got caught up in a murder investigation early in his career.

As a film, "Clueless" was also ahead of its time including a gay character — Cher's love interest Christian (Justin Walker), who she is hilariously unaware has no interest in her or any other girl. "After discovering the truth of his sexuality, Cher and Christian go on to remain good friends," read a 2020 article from LGBTQ+ media site Watermark, celebrating the film's "queer visibility." "This nonhostile portrayal of an LGBTQ character was a departure from film's depiction of queer people in previous eras." The campy nature of the movie and the way it put female characters at the forefront also ensured "Clueless" would become a big hit with gay men around the world.

She's besties with designer Christian Siriano, who calls her his muse

Alicia Silverstone doesn't just love gay men in general, but she also loves the individual gay men in her own life. Chief among them is fashion designer Christian Siriano, who is one of Silverstone's closest friends. Her Instagram is filled with photos of the pair on red carpets, on vacations, and out on the town. "Christian Siriano is like my real-life Christian," Silverstone told Vogue, referring to the gay character who befriends her character in "Clueless." "Whenever we hang out he's basically like my boyfriend. We love each other so much and I'm sure some of that stems from him really admiring Clueless and what Cher meant to him and all of his friends growing up."

This is no one-way love story either, because Siriano is equally as into his bestie as she is into him. He styled the star for her big "Clueless" Super Bowl commercial in 2023, and has admitted that he idolized the film and its star as a young designer. In an interview with "Entertainment Tonight." Siriano not only called Silverstone his "best friend," but also his "muse." He wasn't kidding about the muse part either, as Silverstone frequently wears the designer's fashions to events and in photoshoots. For instance, she showed up at the 2023 Vanity Fair Oscars party in a shimmery green Siriano dress (and holding hands with the designer). She was also featured on Siriano's Instagram in June 2023, modeling a gorgeous pink tulle grown in photos from their joint trip to Italy.

She still talks to Clueless writer and director Amy Heckerling

Alicia Silverstone may very well have become a big star without "Clueless," but we will never know for certain. As it is, she has the film to thank for changing her life in a multitude of ways, so it's not surprising that she has fond memories of the experience of making the movie and the people involved. "It's a strange thing to have this [movie] that so many people love and that you get to share with the world," she told The Hollywood Reporter. "People who have made something that has its own essence [and impact]. It's impossible to explain but it creates this bond that you can't undo." She named co-stars Stacey Dash and Elisa Donovan as people she is always excited to see.

Silverstone also has a big space in her heart for "Clueless" writer and director Amy Heckerling, who tapped her to play Cher after seeing her in one of the Aerosmith videos she made. In 2020, Heckerling told People that Silverstone was the person from the cast that she most kept in touch with, primarily through text messages. And though Heckerling was not involved with Silverstone's big Rakuten ad, the actor did give her old pal a heads-up. "She and I are in communication [a lot]. She's been a big part of my life over the last, I'd say 16 years," Silverstone said in The Hollywood Reporter piece. "We'll always have so much love, admiration, and respect for each other. She's a genius, and we share something so deep."

She has a very close relationship with her son, but some of her parenting methods have been controversial

Alicia Silverstone has situated herself within the health and wellness space, but her beliefs and practices have not been without controversy. In particular, a lot of her parenting methods have come under attack, both by TV commentators and the public. One of the biggest controversies the star has had occurred after a video of her pre-chewing food for her son went viral. People had a lot to say about Silverstone chewing the food and then feeding her son Bear, then 10 months old, straight from her mouth (visualize a bird feeding its offspring). Silverstone acknowledged that people might find it weird but refused to apologize, noting instead how this method of feeding had been around for millennia.

This is not the only time Silverstone's parenting has made headlines, as people have had things to say about everything from her practicing elimination communication to natural toilet learning to her stance on discipline, which in her home simply involves saying "no thank you" as a reprimand (per People). And some folks dang near lost their minds when Silverstone divulged in May 2023 that she and Bear, aged 12, still sleep in the same bed. It became a trending topic and was even debated on "Good Morning America," where experts came down on Silverstone's side. "In many cultures, it's quite common for there to be a family bed in certain parts of the world, either by necessity or because just culturally that's how families sleep," noted pediatric sleep expert, Dr. Craig Canapari.

She's had trouble with dating apps thinking she's an impersonator

Some celebrities have opted to keep their online dating experiences close to their chests, especially those who have used the super exclusive app, Raya. Though stars like Demi Lovato and Joe Jonas have confessed to using the app, a lot of other celebrity users — Channing Tatum, John Mayer, Niall Horan, and more — have been exposed by others who have spotted their profiles. Those celebs who opt for Tinder or Bumble are typically less shy about admitting they're searching for fish in the Internet sea. Alicia Silverstone, for instance, has been willing to discuss how she turned to online dating after her 2018 divorce from Christopher Jarecki, her husband of 13 years.

Silverstone's time on the unnamed app was short, and not because she didn't like online dating, or even because she found her perfect match. "A few years ago I tried to get on one of the dating apps and I put a fake profile because I wasn't comfortable yet being me," Silverstone told Drew Barrymore on her talk show [4:32]. "'And then I got kicked off, I got banned. And then I tried again, I got the courage up because I heard that you were on, and I heard that Sharon Stone was on." Though Silverstone joined as herself the second time, she once again got accused of impersonation and kicked off the app. She now has an in at Bumble, though, considering that she filmed a "Question Game" video for the dating app in September 2021.