“That definitely wasn’t my favorite film-making experience,” the actress said of her role as Batgirl in the 1997 movie

By Julie Mazziotta
April 20, 2020 02:00 PM
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Alicia Silverstone landed one of the biggest roles of her career when she was tapped to play Batgirl in the 1997 film Batman & Robin — but filming and promoting the movie turned out to be a “hurtful” experience as she dealt with severe body shaming.

Silverstone, 43, was nicknamed “Fatgirl” by paparazzi and the tabloids who repeatedly mocked her body, and was even asked for her bra size while doing press for the movie

“They would make fun of my body when I was younger,” she told The Guardian, while reflecting on that time. “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, that doesn’t seem like the right thing to be doing to a human.”

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“That definitely wasn’t my favorite film-making experience,” she said. “There were working circumstances that were less than favorable in terms of how things went down.”

Silverstone was just in her early twenties at the time, but she recognized that she could learn from this experience.

“I didn’t say ‘f— you’ and come out like a warrior but I would just walk away and go, ‘Okay, I know what that is and I’m done, I’m not going near that again,’ ” she said.

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Silverstone said that she “stopped loving acting for a very long time,” after her experience with Batman & Robin, but it also taught only seek out the roles she truly believes in, which ended up reigniting her passion for the job.

The animal rights activist and mom to 8-year-old son Bear has since taken on roles in smaller-budget films and TV shows, from the series American Woman to The Killing of a Sacred Deer. Her next movie is the indie Valley Girl, and she’s got more on the docket.

“Suddenly everything is coming at once,” Silverstone told PEOPLE last week.