You see, director Amy Heckerling, impressed by Silverstone’s star quality in the Aerosmith videos, gave her the leading part of Cher Horowitz in Clueless. The loose adaptation of Jane Austen’s Emma then became a huge hit on its 1995 release, partly thanks to Silverstone’s turn as the sweet-natured high school student. She subsequently landed a contract with Columbia-TriStar worth up to $10 million.
Yet Silverstone’s next major role came in 1997 as Batgirl in Joel Schumacher’s Batman and Robin. And unfortunately, this superhero flick, and Silverstone’s part in it, was largely considered a misfire. Silverstone even picked up a Worst Supporting Actress at the Razzie Awards for her performance. She also experienced disappointment that year when Excess Baggage, the first film released by her own production company, flopped at the box office.
So, after starring alongside Brendan Fraser in Blast from the Past, Silverstone seemingly chose to pursue more interesting and less commercial roles. In 2000, for instance, she appeared as the Princess of France in Kenneth Branagh’s adaptation of Shakespeare’s Love’s Labour’s Lost. She then appeared in indie comedy Global Heresy and took to the Broadway stage for the first time in The Graduate.