Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Alicia Silverstone

Alicia Silverstone (born October 4, 1976) is an American actress and former fashion model. She first came to widespread attention in music videos for Aerosmith and is best recalled for her roles in Hollywood films such as Clueless (1995) and Batman & Robin (1997).

Silverstone won a leading part in the 1993 film The Crush, playing a teenaged girl who sets out to ruin an older man after her affections are spurned; she won two awards at the 1994 MTV Movie Awards for the role for Best Breakthrough Performance and Best Villain. Silverstone became legally emancipated at the age of 15 in order to work the hours required for the shooting schedule of the film. After seeing her in The Crush, Marty Callner decided she'd be perfect for a role in a music video he was directing for the band Aerosmith, called "Cryin'", and then the following two videos "Amazing" and "Crazy". These were hugely successful both for the band and Silverstone, making her a household name (and also gaining her the nickname, "the Aerosmith chick"). They also got her noticed by film maker Amy Heckerling, who after seeing them decided to cast her in Clueless.

Clueless became a sleeper hit and critical darling during the summer of 1995. Silverstone's performance was well received, and she was branded the spokeswoman for an emerging young generation. As a result, she signed a deal with Columbia-TriStar worth $10 million. As part of the package, she got a three-year first-look deal for her own production company, First Kiss Productions. Silverstone also won "Best Female Performance" and "Most Desirable Female" by the MTV Movie Awards in 1996 for her performance in the film.

Silverstone's next role was as Batgirl in Batman & Robin, which was neither a critical nor a financial success. Silverstone won a Razzie Award for Worst Supporting Actress. She suffered further bad press for allegedly striking a pedestrian with her vehicle in a crosswalk. She also starred in 1997's dark comedy Excess Baggage, which was the first movie to be released by her production company. In the film, Silverstone played a rich brat who fakes her own kidnapping in order to get her father's attention. While not as reviled as Batman & Robin, the film was not as critically or commercially embraced as Clueless.

Silverstone appeared in Kenneth Branagh's film adaptation of the Shakespeare play Love's Labour's Lost in 2000, in which she was required to sing and dance. In 2001, Silverstone provided the voice of Sharon Spitz, the lead character in the Canadian animated television Braceface. After removing herself from the public eye for a few years, she resurfaced in the 2003 NBC television show Miss Match, which was then cancelled after 18 episodes. Silverstone later acknowledged that she hates the trappings of fame. According to Silverstone, "Fame is not anything I wish on anyone. You start acting because you love it. Then success arrives, and suddenly you're on show".

After the cancellation of Miss Match in 2003, she did a pilot with FOX called Queen B, in which she would have played a former high school prom queen named Beatrice (Bea), who has found out that the real world is nothing like high school. In 2005, she co-starred with Queen Latifah in Beauty Shop, a spin-off of the BarberShop films. She played one of the stylists in the beauty shop. For the pilot season of 2006-2007, she surfaced on a pilot being developed by ABC called Pink Collar, in which she would have worked in a law firm. Silverstone's most recent movie, Stormbreaker, was released in the UK on July 21, 2006, and in North America on October 13, 2006. She appeared alongside Ewan McGregor and Sophie Okonedo. In November 2006, she starred in the made-for-TV movie Candles on Bay Street for Hallmark Hall of Fame, based on the book by Cathie Pelletier.


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