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The Real Reason Alicia Silverstone Didn't Enjoy Filming Batman & Robin

In light of the many adaptations of Batman, it seems unlikely that the 1997 film "Batman & Robin" will fall on anyone's favorite list. Directed by Joel Schumacher, the film received heavy criticism, even from star George Clooney himself who said that the film "destroyed" the franchise (via Variety). The film leans heavily into camp territory with costuming and near constant ice puns from Mr. Freeze (Arnold Schwarzenegger). The tone of the film is starkly different from the darker sense of the later Nolan movies starring Christian Bale. Nolan's films opted for realism over the cartoonish nature that Schumacher had decided on (via The Ringer).

The making of "Batman & Robin" was unequivocally full of questionable choices, but one of the worst was directed at the film's co-lead Alicia Silverstone. In the film, the actor portrays Batgirl, who aligns herself with Batman (Clooney) and Robin (Chris O'Donnell) against the forces of Mr. Freeze and Poison Ivy (Uma Thurman). Silverstone had reached incredible fame with her previous film "Clueless" and it seemed as though her career path was paved. But even though she was in high demand, her experience on the "Batman & Robin" set was something no one should have to endure.

Silverstone was publicly body shamed as Batgirl

At only 19 years old, Silverstone had been cast as a classic comic book character and was quickly met with harsh criticism. In an article for The Guardian, the actor revealed that she had been the target of cruel body shaming, with publications crassly calling attention to her weight. "They would make fun of my body," Silverstone stated. "It was hurtful but I knew they were wrong. I wasn't confused. I knew that it was not right to make fun of someone's body shape."

The cruelty she experienced was not just relegated to the tabloids. It even spread to crew members on the set. One storyboard artist, Tim Burgard, drew a tasteless cartoon of Batgirl fitting into a corset, and claimed that it was a private joke between him and the art department (via The Hollywood Reporter). Hollywood's beauty standards have a long and toxic history. Demanding Silverstone lose weight and shaming her may have been a common story for many actors in the industry, but it affected her on a fundamental level. These comments were so vicious that it shook Silverstone's confidence. Because of the comments it was some time before she returned to her chosen profession and started acting in theater. Such blatant fat shaming has become less acceptable, but these impossible beauty standards are still in place (via The Guardian). Many actors have come out with harrowing details about how they have been treated and report its devastating consequences.