‘Clueless’ Stars Dish on the Pressures of Teenage Stardom
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Fame can be a double-edged sword, and Alicia Silverstone said that her sudden fast-track into the spotlight in the 1990s took its toll. “It was very overwhelming, the whole thing,” she explained during the Clueless panel at 90s Con in Hartford, Connecticut.
At just 17 years old in 1993, she broke hearts in a series of hugely popular Aerosmith music videos before she was thrust onto the silver screen with a starring role in The Crush. Although she was a bona fide teenage bombshell already, it wasn’t until 1995’s Clueless that she truly reached superstardom. From there, she became a box office staple with Batman & Robin, The Babysitter, Hideaway, True Crime, and Blast from the Past. Her quick rise to star of screens big and small wasn’t all she had hoped it would be.
“It was too much for me. I was so young. That’s a lot to happen, and there’s no school where they teach you this is going to happen to you. I didn’t know that was going to happen and how to manage it. I went to Africa, Peru, the Rain Forrest […] then dove into what was keeping me sane. That was what was real for me. I sort of unfortunately pushed it all away a little bit.”
Sunday afternoon, Silverstone was joined on the 90s Con stage by her Clueless castmates Stacey Dash, Elisa Donovan, and Breckin Meyer. They echoed Silverstone’s comments, with Donovan describing the fame as almost dreamlike. “It was a very surreal experience,” she said. “I remember looking over and thinking, ‘What is happening here right now?’
“It was weird. It was weird for me, but it must have been really weird for Alicia. I started working on these other shows […], and it was all of these things that were so big at the time. It was odd. It was fun, but it was a lot of sort of…I was nervous.”
For her part, Dash had a more positive perspective on her Clueless stardom. “It was exciting. Different,” she said.
Leave it to Meyer to offer some levity. Playing stoner Travis Birkenstock in Clueless, he said fans would often mistake him for his character. “I was offered weed a lot.”