Clueless: 25 facts to celebrate its 25th birthday

Prepare to roll with the homies and watch out for Bettys. Because teen movie classic Clueless has turned 25.

Amy Heckerling's sly update of Jane Austen's story Emma is now cemented as one of the defining teen movies of the 1990s. It shot Alicia Silverstone to fame as the meddling yet vulnerable Cher Horowitz, and turned Los Angeles teen slang into a hot commodity.

So, it's time to re-arrange that fashion ensemble as we present 25 fun facts about the movie. Scroll down to find out more.


1. Reese Witherspoon auditioned to play the role of Cher Horowitz.

2. And she wasn't the only one – Django Unchained's Kerry Washington also tried out for the part.

3. Sarah Michelle Gellar was offered the role but had to turn it down because of scheduling conflicts.

4. Alicia Silverstone nabbed the part on the basis of her appearance in the video for Aerosmith's 'Cryin''.

5. Paul Rudd auditioned for the roles of Christian and Murray before he was cast as Cher's step-brother Josh.

6. Rudd claimed he was intrigued by a Hollywood script that focused on a "cool, gay kid character".

7. Rudd didn't realise the character of Murray was African-American before auditioning, describing him as "a funny hip-hop wannabe".

8. Fellow Avenger Jeremy Renner also auditioned, for the roles of Christian and Josh.

9. Ex-Iron Man actor Terrence Howard tried out for the role of Murray, eventually taken by Donald Faison.

10. The late Brittany Murphy (who played Tai) was actually a virgin who couldn't drive when she uttered the line, "You're a virgin who can't drive."

11. Writer-director Amy Heckerling initially pitched the movie as a Beverly Hills, 90210-style show for TV network Fox, called No Worries.

12. Fox eventually bailed on the idea and it passed to Paramount, where it grew from TV show into movie.

13. Heckerling invented most of the teen-speak heard in the movie, including "Betty" and "Baldwin".

14. However, Silverstone's mispronunciation of "Haitians" was an accident; Heckerling opted to leave it in as it was authentic to Cher's character.

15. In order to promote the movie, Paramount released a book of phraseology called 'How to Speak Cluelessly'.

16. Heckerling attended high school classes to help ensure that her script sounded authentic.

17. Heckerling saw people playing "Suck and Blow" at a party her friend threw while she was working on the movie, and decided to write it into the Val party scene.

18. Donald Faison ad-libbed the line "keep it real".

19. Chanel creative director Karl Lagerfeld was so impressed with the water bottle and phone cases created for the movie that he came up with his own designs.

20. The high school in the film was named after Bronson Alcott, an early proponent of feminism and vegan diets, and father of Little Women author Louisa May Alcott.

21. Heckerling said of her Jane Austen inspiration: "I tried to take all the things that were in this sort of pretty 1800s world and see what would that be like if it was in Beverly Hills."

22. Clueless was a box office hit upon its release, grossing $56 million against a $12 million budget.

23. In 2008, Entertainment Weekly listed the movie as the 19th best comedy of the last 25 years.

24. Iggy Azalea styled her music video 'Fancy' after the costumes and designs of Clueless.

25. A Clueless musical opened in 2018 in New York, using songs from the eighties and nineties such as 'Say My Name' by Destiny's Child.


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