Alicia Silverstone Doesn't Know Why Everyone Is Making a Big Deal About Wonder Woman

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 WomanWonder 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.’”

Contributing Writer, writing my first book for the Dial Press called The Lonely Hunter, follow me on Twitter @alutkin



I was all ready to storm in, guns blazing, in defense of Wonder Woman but after perusing the article, I’m...not quite sure what question is she’s even being asked, or even what the point is she’s trying to get to, really, and ended up realizing the flow of the conversation seems really strange and almost, in a way, unfair to Silverstone.

Asking a woman about a completely different movie simply because it’s made by another woman and is doing well is the kind of question we rarely, if ever, see on the opposite end of the spectrum. “So, you are a man and you are starring in a piece of media that involves the story of a man. Here’s this superbeing action movie that was recently produced by a man and stars a man but has no actual thematic relationship whatsoever to the work you’re promoting; rather than talk about your work, but because you are also a man, what do you think about its success and influence?”

I’d like to get to the point where successful women-helmed movies are unremarkable enough that this isn’t a talking point.

She also has a point in that there are a lot of woman-helmed and woman-centric stories that either don’t get made or have to fight to get made, or when they’re made fly completely under the radar for various reasons.

If we’re going by the comparison made by this dumb headline - Wonder Woman vs. Clueless - why not both?