Clueless is a 1995 coming-of-age teen comedy that has developed a cult following for its iconic lines, outfits, and plot. Australian rapper Iggy Azalea used the film as inspiration for her 2014 music video for Fancy featuring Charli XCX. With many other pop-culture references, this movie follows the life of popular and rich high-schooler Cher Horowitz, played by Alicia Silverstone. Written and directed by Amy Heckerling, Clueless also stars Stacey Dash, Brittany Murphy and Paul Rudd. Check out various Clueless screen facts below.
Originally a TV Series Pilot
Writer Amy Heckerling had originally written Clueless as a TV pilot for Fox who wanted a series on “cool” high school teenagers. Originally titled No Worries, Fox felt there were too many female characters for anyone to hold an interest in the concept. Heckerling would work with the project and rename it to I Was a Teenage Teenager and Clueless in California. Finally, she showed the pilot to someone who told her the project was too big for TV. She eventually turned the script into the cult classic screenplay. After Clueless’ release, a TV series was created and ran for 3 seasons until 1999.
Modern-Day Version of Jane Austen’s Emma
While not an exact copy of Jane Austin’s classic, Amy Heckerling has made it very clear Emma was used as inspiration for Clueless. The main inspiration being a modern-day retelling of a journey of love but set in Beverly hills. To get her final inspiration for the script, Heckerling sat in various high school classes of teenagers to understand how they spoke. Cher’s iconic “AS IF!” notably comes from the LA lesbian community. The clueless script is a blend of many different sources.
Reese Witherspoon Almost Starred as Cher
Reese Witherspoon and Sarah Michelle Gellar, who went on to star in Buffy the Vampire Slayer, were both considered for the leading role of Cher. Gellar was offered the role but had to turn it down based on scheduling conflicts with another project. At the time of Clueless’ filming, these stars were newcomers who had done some projects but had not blown up yet. The production studio wasn’t pressuring for a huge star. Giving Amy Heckerling a lot of freedom to cast who she wanted. She landed on Alicia Silverstone, who Heckerling wanted upon seeing her in an Aerosmith music video. Silverstone met the studio’s only criteria of having “that Marilyn Monroe thing”. Silverstone didn’t even have to audition for the role, she just had a lunch meeting with Heckerling and was cast. Clueless would launch Silverstone’s film career.
Mispronunciation of “Haitians” was an Accident
While filming the debate scene, Silverstone accidentally mispronounced Haitians. She pronounced it as “Hate-ti-ans” because she genuinely did not know how to pronounce the word. Producers were about to jump in and correct the actress, but when director Amy Heckerling insisted, they let it roll and even included the mistake in the final movie. Stating “It was much funnier the way she said it. That was Cher.”