It would be unfair to say that Alicia Silverstone is back, because she never went away. Although she burst on the scene as a teenager in those famous Aerosmith videos and solidified her '90s poster girl status as Cher Horowitz in “Clueless,” Silverstone has been working steadily in film and television ever since.
She has also been keeping busy with her passion for health. The dedicated vegan has written two books, “The Kind Diet” and “The Kind Mama” about her journey to eating a completely plant-based diet and motherhood. (Her son Bear Blu Jarecki is 7.) She also launched a line of vitamins and health products called My Kind Organics.
On top of that, she has returned to television with a starring role in Paramount’s new series “American Woman.” Created by Kyle Richards of “Real Housewives of Beverly Hills,” Silverstone plays a woman named Bonnie Nolan (who is based on Richard’s mother). She plays a rich Los Angeles housewife who thinks she has it made, but after finding out her husband is cheating on her, she abruptly finds herself a single mother and career woman in the swinging and turbulent 1970s.
Travel + Leisure spoke with Silverstone about her new role, some of her amazing trips, and the surprising thing she loves to do when she travels.
T+L: What drew you to this new role?
Alicia Silverstone: “I read the script and I thought what a juicy, meaty character for me. Bonnie goes through so much in the first and episode and then, of course, the whole season. There was just so much to sink my teeth into.”
You are traveling a lot right now for the show and for your film. How do you pack for a trip?
“My favorite way of packing is to plan out exactly what I need. Look at the weather and look at what I’m doing, and then bring one pair of shoes that works for everything and one jacket that works for everything. That’s my favorite way — but when I’m rushed and too crazy sometimes I am not very good at that. That’s when I pack everything in the world. It takes a few good hours to really pack well but when you do, it is so worth it. You have everything you need.”
What do you always bring when you travel?
“This is a shameless plug but I always travel with My Kind Organics Vitamin B spray and Vitamin C spray. That will keep me well wherever I go. I created it for that exact reason. There are those times when you’re traveling and you can’t get what you need. I can eat vegan, but that doesn’t mean it is going to be the greens that I want or the brown rice that I want. That’s why I have these vitamins that I want and bring my gummies. In the midst of all of this I am also shooting a film and the whole set has been having these gummies as an afternoon snack pick me up. It’s like that when you’re traveling. You need sustenance to keep going and when you can’t get what you need that’s why I created it.
“I also look at HappyCow.net [a vegan restaurant locator] to see where the nearest healthiest place to eat is because I do like to have fun and eat delicious food. My favorite thing is to eat so I love going to the best restaurants! But at the same time you still need the basics. In New York City I always love to go to all the delicious, yummy places like NIX and Candle 79 but I always have to go to Souen as my base. That’s the place where I know I can get my greens and my brown rice.
“I also always travel with a water bottle with a filter in it. Once I get through security I can fill it up and it doesn’t get you all the way through the flight, but it helps. And, of course, my sprays. It helps me not get sick.”
Do you have a plane uniform?
“No, I need to figure that out! I’m working on that. I wore a dress on the plane this time and it worked out just fine. It was comfy.”
What are some of the best trips you've been on?
“I’ve been on many great trips in my life. The most recent one that was the most wonderful was 18 or 19 days alone with my son in Hawaii at a friend’s place in Kauai. He was out of town and we stayed in his house for nine days and that was divine, and then we stayed at my friend’s organic farm in Kīpahulu. Just being with my son for that long all by ourselves and being completely free to do whatever we wanted was amazing.”
Do you have a favorite hotel?
“I love to do Airbnbs because I love a kitchen and then I can make breakfast. But there are some amazing hotels I have stayed at. The Post Ranch Inn in Big Sur is insane.”
Do you like to cook when you travel?
“With cooking while traveling it’s more that I want to feel my best. I enjoy it the most. At least knowing where I can get one or two meals that I’m controlling and that are super healthy then I can feel good about going out and enjoying something else. If I go away and eat three meals a day at the mercy of the world I’m not going to feel good. It is also really relaxing to cook. In Hawaii I found myself cooking and cleaning a lot of the time and I was like, ‘I’m on vacation. Why am I doing this?’ But I felt so happy doing it. I loved having my little boy playing in the rain while I cooked.”
Where are you dying to travel to?
“There are so many trips that I would like to go on in this lifetime. Definitely New Zealand. I want to go back to Australia. I want to go back to Hawaii. I always love going to Big Sur and Lake Tahoe. I want to do a trip with my son in the car or in a supervan where we go to all the hot springs up north. But also just exploring more of Italy and France. All of that sounds not too shabby.
“I’ve been to Africa three times, all different parts. I’ve been to Peru, down the Amazon. That was a great trip I did with Woody Harrelson a long time ago. And I love Ireland, I’m going to go back soon. It’s one of my favorite places. I’ve been many times. Lithuania was so cool, too. I shot a film there.”
Because “Clueless” is the best film ever, can you name an amazing memory from that set?
“Just how important costumes are. At the time I didn’t really understand that it was its own character in the movie. It was exhausting at the time. All the fittings were so annoying because I wasn’t into fashion when I was young. I was just, ‘Ugh, I have to keep trying on clothes,’ cause I was a kid. But then when I saw the movie I had such an appreciation for it.”
Editor's note: This interview has been lightly edited for length and clarity.