Alicia Silverstone on being a teen idol: ‘It didn’t feel comfortable’

Alicia Silverstone
Photo credit Bryan Bedder/Getty Images

Being catapulted into fame before she was old enough to vote left Alicia Silverstone, in the words of her most iconic role, totally buggin’.

But before you think that means she’s saying “as if” to her film career, the actress recently told Variety that “in terms of my work, I’m having nothing but fun now,” noting that “it’s been an incredible journey.”

Silverstone, 46, made her film debut in 1993’s “The Crush,” where she played a 14-year girl who tried to stalk and seduce a 30-year old man, portrayed by Cary Elwes.

She told the outlet that “things started to happen right away,” from winning awards like best newcomer and best villain at the MTV Movie Awards, to appearing in Aerosmith videos. “I was working a ton, I was working in France with Alain Corneau, I did films with James Gandolfini, with Jeff Goldblum and Christine Lahti, all these different movies. I was very young but I took my acting very seriously.”

But when she got the lead in “Clueless,” Silverstone said “it really shifted. I had been the girl from ‘Crush,’ then I was the Aerosmith chick, and then, after that, I was Cher.”

Silverstone continued, saying that “it was very complicated and I don’t think I knew how to manage it: I didn’t have the foundation, the good tools to deal with it, I wasn’t prepared for it in any way, shape, or form. I really had no idea what was happening, and it didn’t feel comfortable.”

She nabbed a few more film roles in the 1990s, but that uncomfortable shift ended up propelling her away from movies and towards the stage.

In 2002, she made her Broadway debut in a stage version of “The Graduate” and now that she’s making a more serious return to film, she says the roles she’s choosing are “sort of continuing the journey I started in the theater. I started to be able to do really interesting things in film too.”

What’s next for the ‘90s it girl? Silverstone is reuniting with Benicio Del Toro in the crime thriller “Reptile,” 27 years after they worked together in “Excess Baggage.” She’ll join Hasan Minhaj and Rizwan Manji in the dramedy “Mustache,” and she is also is dipping her toe into noir with “Perpetrator,” which premiered at the Berlin Film Festival this month. “I’m really happy with my life,” she said.

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Featured Image Photo Credit: Bryan Bedder/Getty Images