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Alicia Silverstone reflects on being body-shamed while making Batman & Robin

By Josh Grossberg
Alicia Silverstone Batman & Robin

In a new interview with The Guardian, Alicia Silverstone opened up about the emotional toll she suffered being shamed by the tabloids while filming her role as Batgirl in 1997's Batman & Robin.

Of course, that's the Joel Schumacher-helmed critical and commercial fiasco that gave George Clooney's Caped Crusader nipples (for which the director subsequently issued a mea culpa) and Arnold Schwarzenegger top billing as Mr. Freeze, while uttering lines like "Chill." It nearly killed the franchise until Christopher Nolan's The Dark Knight trilogy came to the rescue.

Batman & Robin

"That definitely wasn't my favorite filmmaking experience," Silverstone told the paper, noting that it eventually prompted her to take a step back from Hollywood, despite her "it girl" status at the time thanks to her breakout role in 1995's comedy classic Clueless.

The now 43-year-old actress, who was just 18 when they shot Batman & Robin, talked of being constantly trailed by paparazzi, who would chant "Fatgirl" and poke fun at her weight.

"They would make fun of my body when I was younger. It was hurtful but I knew they were wrong. I wasn’t confused," she said. "I knew that it was not right to make fun of someone’s body shape, that doesn’t seem like the right thing to be doing to a human."

Batman & Robin 2

One particularly awful memory, she recalled, was sitting down with a journalist who asked about her bra size.

Looking back 25 years from the vantage of the #MeToo era, Silverstone admitted she handled the toxicity as best she could under "less than favorable" circumstances.

"I didn’t say ‘f--- you’ and come out like a warrior but I would just walk away and go, OK I know what that is and I’m done, I’m not going near that again," she noted, adding that it stripped her for a while of her passion. "I stopped loving acting for a very long time."

Alicia Silverstone, George Clooney and Chris O'Donnell in Batman & Robin

Silverstone only really recovered her love for her profession when she returned to the boards for a David Mamet play.

"My body was just like, this is what I’m meant to do, I love it so much, I need to find a way to do both, to be able to be an actress and be an activist at the same time so that’s what I did," she said.

Silverstone is currently starring in the indie film Bad Therapy, which is now streaming.

(via The Guardian)

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