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Alicia Silverstone sings Shakespeare's praises

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Alicia Silverstone
New Line Cinema

Alicia Silverstone, diva of song and screen? The 22 year old actress (and former Aerosmith video star) is not only tackling Shakespeare on screen in Kenneth Branagh’s new musical production of ”Love’s Labour’s Lost,” she’s relying on her very own vocal chords to warble her way through the role. The daredevil blond who snagged a $10 million production deal before she was old enough to drink says she warmed up to the part with the help of a vocal coach. ”At first, I was like, ‘God, my jaw hurts and my throat hurts,’ because I’d never sung before,” Silverstone tells EW Online. ”Everything was really sore for the first couple of days.”

But even if critics ultimately deem her less Celine Dion than Cybill Shepherd, Silverstone, who’s been lambasted for everything from putting on a few pounds while filming ”Batman & Robin” to producing the flop ”Excess Baggage,” is prepared to shrug off most of the slings and arrows. ”I’m pretty open and sensitive, a big baby, really,” she says. ”But the good news is that I don’t care what anybody says that I don’t know and respect. If my best friend didn’t like something, it would kill, but that superficial nonsense doesn’t phase me one bit.”

Even if worse turns to worst, Silverstone figures she’s picked up at least one useful skill. Singing lessons ”help me with my breathing for everything else,” she shrugs, ”because I have, um, a really hard time breathing.”

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