Indeed, impressed by her star quality in the Aerosmith videos, director Amy Heckerling gave her the leading part of Cher Horowitz in Clueless. The loose adaptation of Jane Austen’s Emma became a huge hit on its 1995 release, largely 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.
Silverstone’s next major role was Batgirl in Joel Schumacher’s Batman and Robin. Like the film itself, her performance was largely considered a misfire and she picked up a Worst Supporting Actress at the Razzie Awards. She also experienced disappointment when Excess Baggage, the first film released by her own production company, flopped at the box office.
After starring alongside Brendan Fraser in Blast from the Past, Silverstone chose to pursue more interesting and less commercial roles. She appeared in Kenneth Branagh’s adaptation of Shakespeare play Love’s Labour’s Lost as the Princess of France. She then appeared in indie comedy Global Heresy and took to the Broadway stage for the first time in The Graduate.