Wonder Woman has broken records for a film helmed by a woman director, and swept the box office, but Alicia Silverstone would like to remind you there have been a number of female-led movies like—ahem—Clueless, for example, before Gal Gadot ever strapped on her flashy breastplate.
Silverstone and Mena Suvari sat down with Variety at Cannes Lions to promote their new comedy pilot American Woman, which according to The Hollywood Reporter, is based on the life of Real Housewives’ Kyle Richards and is set in the 1970s. Because they’re two women leading a film, they were asked about the biggest woman-led movie of our current moment and had some things to say about it, though Silverstone is not a hundred percent sure of the title.
“Before Wonder Woman—Wonder Woman?” she asked the interviewer for reassurance, then continues, “Before Wonder Woman there have been many movies with female leads, so I get a little confused about the conver—I understand that we are not in a place—this is what the show [American Woman] is about.”
For awhile, Silverstone explained that though the ‘70s don’t seem far away, her experience as character Bonnie Nolan in American Woman re-awoke her to the huge strides women have made in politics and culture, though there’s still so far to go. But not that far, if you think about all the great movies starring women, right?
“We have made strides of course, because I think about, what about all those wonderful comedians who are females who have had massive hits? There’s Bridesmaids. There’s a movie out right now… with tons of girls?”
The reporter interjected to say she is probably describing Rough Night starring Scarlett Johansson.
“I’m sure it’s killing it, right?” asked Silverstone, rhetorically.
“I don’t know. I just feel like, over the years, there was Mean Girls, there was Clueless, over time we have had so many movies that have been female-driven,” she continued. “But we have also always had these pay issues, so it’s a few steps forward a few steps back.”
It seems like Silverstone attributes Wonder Woman’s success to the special effects and loud noises, which were certainly lacking Clueless.
“It has to be Wonder Woman. It has to have tons of flash, right?” Silverstone said. “Like when you’re looking at children’s films now, as a mom, I don’t want my kid to see all that [she does a series of sound effects with her mouth]. Loud effects, all the stuff that’s like stimulate, stimulate! Raaahhh! But that’s what audiences want, so it’s a tricky thing. Sometimes it’s just the quieter more interesting things sometimes get seen because they touch someone enough. The Good Wife? I love the Good Wife. I feel like there’s so many female shows.”
Interestingly, in another segment, Silverstone talked about the difficulty of getting Clueless made, saying, “One studio said no to it because they didn’t think anybody was interested in watching a movie about a young girl. Those people now do kick themselves that they were not a part of that film, but the movie was set up at a studio—and we were all set to go—and they were like ‘We just don’t think anyone is going to care.’”