Sitting in an LA hotel, Alicia Silverstone slurps on a fruit smoothie and smiles.
'You could say I've been on a journey. The journey of life.' Four years since claiming the title of world's most famous teenager, Alicia reckons she's happier and more sussed than ever.
Wearing virtually no make-up, a T-shirt and jeans, she adds: 'I used to be so serious about life. Now I've learned to enjoy!'
Working in the adult world of Hollywood, it's not surprising Alicia was so serious. She had to grow up fast - and not in the same way most teenagers do.
'I was never like Cher Horowitz when I was younger,' Alicia says of the supercool, shopaholic airhead she played in hit teen movie Clueless. 'I was such a loser, I didn't care about clothes or boys and went nowhere near the popular kids.' Even a term at Beverly Hills High (the inspiration for the 90210 TV series) didn't get her into mobile phones, designer labels and the in-crowd.
What she was passionate about was acting. 'Going to the theatre was my favourite thing to do,' she says. That meant focusing on drama lessons, getting a break and being the best.
'I got my first film role when I was 14,' remembers Alicia. 'And all I worried about was being respected. I didn't really know what that meant, but I knew it was important because all the actresses I looked up to were 'respected'.'
Looking back, Alicia needn't have got stressed out. That first film, The Crush, got her noticed and cast in Clueless - the movie which made her a star around the world. Not that that was enough for Ms Silverstone.
'As I read through new scripts, I realised there just weren't enough great roles out there for young women,' she says. 'So I thought, 'Why don't I just make up my own?'.' The result was Excess Baggage - a film that she not only starred in but also produced.
'I worked on it for two years and cared about it so much,' she says. 'It taught me you can do whatever you want if you put your heart and soul into it.'
Alicia puts some of her own feistiness into her screen roles. Take her most recent part, in the movie Blast From The Past.
'I wanted to make my character Eve shine,' she says. 'She doesn't let anyone - not even her boyfriend - mess her around.'
Neither does Alicia. She lives a quite un-Hollywood lifestyle in her little house with her three dogs. 'My dogs are all rescued,' she says. 'I don't believe in pet stores. We're all vegan - we eat no meat, no dairy products, nothing like that.'
A dedicated animal-lover, Alicia is a spokesman for the charity PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals). She makes videos and advertisements for the organisation, as well as giving talks at schools to raise awareness of the cruelties that animals have to suffer.
Days after we spoke, Alicia was due to leave for London (she's here now!) to play the princess in Kenneth Branagh's musical film version of Shakespeare's Love's Labour's Lost.
'I can't wait,' she beams. 'I've been having lots of singing lessons.'
Would she have been taking her dogs along if Britain's new pet passport scheme was already in place?
'Are you kidding? Of course I would! I'm going to miss them so much. They just better remember who I am when I get home!'