OK, so you're probably going, "Is this like a Noxzema commercial or what?" But seriously, Alicia Silverstone's career has been somewhat normal in terms of how a young, classically beautiful woman is treated in Hollywood. No doubt, when you think of the squeaky clean blonde queen, your mind races straight toward Cher, the plaid-wearing Valley girl from '95's Clueless. Or perhaps to those three, somewhat questionable Aerosmith videos. Or to Batman & Robin — but for the sake of everyone involved, let's not dwell on that.
Needless to say, since #AliciaSilverstone's '90s heyday — the time when just one flick of her locks sent teenage boys into a giant, prepubescent, global spasm — she's hardly been hitting the headlines (unless you count that time she fed her child like a bird, of course). As briefly mentioned above, in many ways her career has followed the path tread by many teen icons: When they're young and typically "hot," they're cast in as many groin-provoking movies as possible — The Crush, Clueless, The Babysitter — but then after bagging a few MTV and Teen Choice Awards, they go on to appear in a number of B movies before becoming marred by critic reviews and sliding off the Hollywood radar. Then, if they're lucky, they'll return to the scene some decades later with a cooler, older "edge," a la Winona Ryder with Stranger Things, Nicole Kidman and Laura Dern with Big Little Lies, Drew Barrymore in Santa Clarita Diet, and the list goes on.
And that seems to be exactly what's happening here: Twenty years after Clueless, which, let's be honest, remains her biggest hit to date, Alicia Silverstone is finally making her comeback. While her current IMDb profile isn't overflowing with projects, her next two look like they have the potential to project her into a new arena; one with the power to make you see her in a totally different light.
Firstly though, to say that she's been panned by critics throughout her career is far from the truth and far from fair. Since 2010, Silverstone's work in independent productions has earned her serious credibility kudos: The New York Times said of a 2014 theater performance that she "brings warmth, actorly intelligence, and delicate humor," and Entertainment Weekly dubbed her presence in another as "magnetic." Yet it's rare that the same feels have transferred to the silver screen.
"A delight" is how The Hollywood Reporter have described Silverstone's performance in upcoming psychological thriller, The Killing of a Sacred Deer, which hails from the absurd, deeply dark humored director Yorgos Lanthimos (The Lobster, Dogtooth, Alps). Starring alongside Colin Farrell, Nicole Kidman and Bill Camp, Silverstone plays the mother of Martin, a sinister teenage boy who forms a bond with his surgeon and invites him into the family home. The results, as you might expect from Lanthimos, are pretty far from comfortable. Here's a taster:
After showing at Cannes earlier this year, #TheKillingOfASacredDeer, which hits US theaters this November, was met with many a fresh red tomato — 73 of them, in fact. And while there seems to be a universal consensus that this movie is the trickiest of Lanthimos's movies to digest, it certainly seems like it'll separate Silverstone from that girl-next-door image many of us still attach to her.
As should American Woman, the second listing on her profile, a dramedy inspired by the life of Real Housewives of Beverly Hills star, Kyle Richards. While Silverstone will play the mother again, this time she's a single, independent woman who's struggling to raise her two daughters. Per Variety's report:
Set amid the sexual revolution and the rise of second-wave feminism, “American Woman” follows Bonnie (Silverstone), an unconventional mother struggling to raise her two daughters (Makenna James and Lia Ryan McHugh) after leaving her husband. With the help of her two best friends, Kathleen (Suvari) and Diana (Bartels), these three women will each discover their own brand of independence in a world reluctant to give it.
The show was greenlit by TV Land in 2016 and is slated for a 2017 release, but rumors suggest it could be pushed back to early 2018. Either way, considering this stars not one, but two of your favorite '90s teen stars — hi, Mena Suvari fans — it'll be well worth the wait.
Are you ready for Alicia Silverstone's return?