© Jean-Paul Aussenard/WireImage.com
Silverstone Strikes BackDespite some career missteps, the '90s 'It' girl is back
in top form
By Angela Dawson
Entertainment News Wire
Alicia Silverstone was the "It Girl" of the 1990s with her
unforgettable turns as the sexy teen vixen in "The Crush" and the well-meaning but ditzy high school heroine
in "Clueless." She was later tripped up by career missteps such as
"Batman & Robin" and "Excess Baggage." But, like a phoenix rising from the ashes,
Silverstone, 27, is back.
Over the past year or so, the blond beauty has
gained new ground and re-established herself, making her Broadway debut in "The
Graduate" and starring in the promising NBC comedy series "Miss Match." She's
currently appearing in a small but pivotal role in the comedy sequel "Scooby-Doo 2: Monsters Unleashed," playing a gossipy TV
Silverstone is busy behind the scenes as well. Her company,
First Kiss Productions, produces the Emmy-nominated animated children's series
"Braceface" on ABC Family channel.
"I feel lucky," Silverstone says,
fidgeting with an empty water bottle. "I have a great life. I'm always learning
new things and I'm into self-growth. I always have things I'm working
Silverstone still possesses the girl-next-door-with-attitude charm
that made her an overnight sensation in the early 1990s. But she also appears to
have gained more confidence in herself as she's traveled the bumpy road of show
Committing to nine months on "The Graduate," starring Kathleen Turner (as Mrs. Robinson) and Jason Biggs, was a big step for the native San Franciscan. With
little stage experience, jumping into the demanding role of Elaine Robinson in
the touring company and then on Broadway was a big deal for
"Whenever I'm offered something, it becomes the biggest decision
ever," she explains, her green eyes widening. "I'm a Libra, so decision-making
is incredibly excruciating. At a restaurant, I can look at a menu for an hour
and a half. I have to ask people to be quiet and not talk to me while I'm
deciding. Same thing with clothes -- 'Will I wear this?' So you can
imagine, for me to pick something that's going to consume a big part of my life,
I have to sit down and weigh all the pros and cons."
She is thoroughly
satisfied with her decision, declaring that performing in "The Graduate" was
"the best time of my life."
"I wanted to go back to the roots of why I
liked acting in the first place," she recalls, sitting with her feet tucked
under her on a hotel love seat. "Like when I did 'The Crush' and stuff. As a
15-year-old, I was just present and in the moment, making things up and going
crazy (with the part). That's what's fun about acting."
gave Silverstone a rush she hadn't experienced in a long time, she says. Even on
nights when she was feeling tired, she always got a burst of adrenaline right
before her cue to go onstage. She cried during her final curtain because she
felt so sad that she wouldn't be performing the role again. "I hope to do
(theater) again as soon as possible," she says.
For now, though, she'll
be acting in movies and working on her TV series.
She agreed to play
pesky reporter Heather Jasper-Howe in "Scooby-Doo 2" because the character
appealed to her. "When they asked me to take a look at (the role), I watched the
first movie because I hadn't seen it," she says. "I expected to not like it
because, you know, I'm 27 and this is 'Scooby-Doo.' But I really loved it. It
was such a great movie for young people and I thought it was so cute and
"It seemed like a great job: a small part in Vancouver," she
recalls. "I had a great time. I went on romantic dinners with myself while I was
there and met a really nice girl that I became good friends
Silverstone, who watched "Scooby-Doo" as a child, is a longtime
fan of the classic TV show. "My favorite character has always been Scooby," she
Most of Silverstone's scenes in "Scooby-Doo 2" are with Sarah Michelle Gellar and Freddie Prinze Jr., who respectively play Daphne and Fred, the
leaders of the mystery-solving gang. With her good looks and clever wordplay,
Silverstone's reporter manages to dupe Prinze's Fred into saying things which
she later replays out of context on her news program.
For an actress who
has had her share of bad press -- she was blasted for gaining weight before
her "Batman & Robin" role and she's been romantically linked over the years
with various Hollywood hunks -- it would seem a golden opportunity to exact
revenge. But Silverstone doesn't see it that way.
"It's fun to think
about now, but I never thought about it before," she insists. "Heather believes
she's the finest journalist in the world. I never thought of any specific
journalist and I never thought of it as revenge."
"It's funny in the part
where she says, 'My editor made me do it,'" she continues. "That happens a lot.
But I think it's true and I think people really do say it. I think editors ask
for crazy things."
As for her sitcom "Miss Match," the show recently
wrapped production on its first season and is awaiting word from NBC on whether
it will return in the fall. Silverstone plays a lawyer who moonlights as a
matchmaker. Ryan O'Neal portrays her father.
established Friday prime-time shows, "Miss Match" has struggled in the ratings.
"It's hard when you're on Friday night," Silverstone says. "My mom would tell me
that she taped the show. My mother's in her 60s and she's taping the show
because she's got busy plans on Friday night! Everybody's got plans on Friday
The actress is crossing her fingers, but whether or not the show
is renewed, she says the experience has been rewarding. She made great friends
with the cast and crew as well as NBC president Jeff Zucker and producer Brian
Having twice played a matchmaker on-screen ("Clueless," "Miss
Match"), has Silverstone ever played cupid in real life? "I'm a terrible
matchmaker," she reveals with a giggle. "I know about 30 single women looking
for a guy and only one single guy and that guy is gay."
says she wouldn't want to accept the responsibility that goes along with hooking
people up, "so it's best that I stay out of it."
The single actress says
no one has ever tried to set her up on a date. There's no point in doing it now,
though. She has a boyfriend.
A longtime animal rights advocate,
Silverstone shares her Los Angeles home with three dogs she rescued from the
pound -- Butterfly, a pit bull; Lacy, a Chow mix; and Sampson, a mutt she's
had for years. She calls Butterfly the princess of her house and admits to
spoiling her. "I'm obsessed with her belly," Silverstone says. "I love rubbing
her belly. It's so soft."
She says pit bulls get a bad rap because some
people train them to be aggressive. Her love of animals has led her to support
various animal rights groups. She's also a longtime vegan. Eliminating meat
products from her diet, she says, helped her slim down.
While eager to
resume her TV series in the fall, Silverstone isn't waiting for the phone to
ring. Instead, she's perusing scripts and fixing up her house. "I haven't been
home for, like, the past two years," she says. "My big thing I want to do right
now is organize my house. It's driving me insane. If I can get the closet
finished before my next project, I'll be happy."