20 Things You Never Knew About Clueless

6 minute read

Two decades after its premiere, Clueless is still keeping it real. The modern classic is being feted with a vinyl rerelease of the soundtrack, a new musical and a book, As If!: The Oral History of Clueless as Told by Amy Heckerling, the Cast, and the Crew. The compilation of interviews by Jen Chaney, out July 7, details everything that went into making the film, from casting to costumes. In honor of the anniversary on July 19, we rounded up 20 of the most fascinating facts from the book.

1. Writer/director Amy Heckerling’s grandparents were like Cher and Josh.

Studio executives were concerned that Cher and Josh’s relationship would read as too incestuous, but Heckerling couldn’t really see it. “The thing is,” she says, “my grandparents were stepbrother and stepsister.” Their parents had married after the deaths of their respective spouses, so her grandparents were teenagers when they met. “I mean, it’s the Jewish ghetto. You don’t leave a woman out on the street, because she has no money and how will she feed the kids? Widowers marry widows and that’s how it is, and [their respective children] are not related.”

2. Scott Rudin saved Clueless from development doom.

Fox had decided not to produce the movie, and things were looking grim until producer Scott Rudin signed on. “It became an important film the moment he signed on to produce it,” said coproducer and unit production manager Barry Berg.

3. Heckerling wanted Alicia Silverstone because of those Aerosmith videos.

“I was watching an Aerosmith video of ‘Cryin,'” she said. “That was the first video she was in. And I just fell in love with her. Then my friend Carrie Frazier, who’s a casting director [and] who was [casting it] when we were doing it at Fox, said, ‘You have to see this girl in The Crush.’ And I was like, ‘No, I want the Aerosmith girl.’ Well, it was the same girl.”

4. Several other high-profile actresses were considered for the role.

Not all of them necessarily auditioned, but Heckerling was also encouraged to consider Keri Russell, Gwyneth Paltrow and Angelina Jolie.

5. And Lauryn Hill was in the running for Dionne.

But Stacey Dash was pretty confident. “I knew it was my role,” she said.

6. Mr. Hall was based on a real-life Beverly Hills teacher…

Named Mr. Hall. He ended up playing the principal in the movie.

7. Breckin Meyer did a lot of his own skateboarding stunts as Travis.

He injured himself shooting the half-pipe scene.

8. Paul Rudd bought everyone gifts when shooting wrapped.

He got everyone a necklace with their name written on a grain of rice.

9. Alicia Silverstone had 63 costume changes.

The set dressers tried to put some of the clothing she would actually wear in the film in the fancy dry cleaners-style closet at the beginning of the movie.

10. Cher’s yellow plaid skirt ensemble was an original Jean Paul Gaultier.

It was one of the few pieces costume director Mona May had the budget to splurge on.

11. Silverstone got to keep most of her wardrobe.

But before you get totally jealous, you should know that she thinks she gave it all away.

12. Paul Rudd wore a lot of his own clothes.

Like the Amnesty International tee-shirt.

13. Donald Faison’s braces were fake.

“I had an extra tooth,” he said, “and they wanted to hide that because it kind of looked weird when I smiled. So they put braces on me.”

14. Alicia Silverstone actually mispronounced Haitians.

Cher’s classic mispronunciation of the word “Hay-tee-ans” was not written into the script. When the actress flubbed it on set, Heckerling says, “the script woman and everybody started to run toward her to correct her and I had to block them all. I was like: ‘Stay away from the actress.’ She needed to have that assurance that she was saying it right. There’s a cockiness to Cher when she’s just going down the wrong track, and you just have to make sure people don’t mess with that.”

15. Cher’s last name was improvised by Wallace Shawn.

Heckerling didn’t write a last name into the script, so when Shawn, as Mr. Hall, was handing out tardy slips in a scene, he ad-libbed “Horowitz.” If you look closely, you’ll see her report card reads “Cher Hamilton.”

16. The extras making out in the pool at the Valley party ended up getting engaged.

Heckerling and her assistant directors asked if two extras would volunteer to play a couple in the swimming pool. Two people said yes. “Years later,” she says, “I was walking down Melrose and I hear some people going, ‘Amy! Amy!’ And I turn around, and it was them. They met that night. They’re engaged…I don’t know how that marriage worked out, but it was really sweet.”

17. Cher’s hair clip from the concert scene showed up in another teen movie.

Lead hairstylist Nina Paskowitz kept the barrette Cher wore on a pegboard that she would bring to other shoots, and several years later, she ended up doing Amanda Bynes’ hair for She’s the Man. “I said [to Amanda], ‘You know, I put this clip in Alicia’s hair in Clueless.’ She’s like, ‘Oh my God, that’s my favorite movie.’ She started screaming. I said, ‘Would you like to wear it in the scene?’ And she almost had a heart attack she was so excited and honored.”

18. Silverstone napped in the driver’s seat between takes in the DMV scene.

“I was just supertired and trying to sleep whenever I could,” she said.

19. Cher’s revelation in front of the fountain that she loves Josh was inspired by Gigi.

“In Gigi,” Heckerling says, “when [Gaston] decides, ‘Wait a minute,’ and he’s walking and he’s silhouetted and then he turns around and [there’s] the color and the fountain: of course, that’s France and this is Wilshire Boulevard. But I wanted that.”

20. Heckerling played Miss Geist’s bridesmaid at the wedding.

“If I was going to get married,” said actress Twink Caplan, who was close friends with Heckerling, “Amy would have been my maid of honor. She edited most of herself out and she was shy, you know, to be on that side of the camera. But she did it for me and I loved it.”

See Photos of the Stars of TGIF, Then and Now


John Stamos. Though Stamos’ post-Full House career seems to have largely taken place in the pages of tabloids, he has had recurring appearances of ER, Glee and The New Normal, making him a consistent presence on the small screen. He most recently appeared as Connor McClane on the series Necessary Roughness in 2013. Getty Images (2)
Candace Cameron. Though she had a handful of roles after Full House ended its run in 1995, Cameron’s biggest TV appearance after TGIF was in the 2014 season of Dancing With the Stars, where she placed third. A resolute religious conservative, she has also penned two books, 2011’s Reshaping It All: Motivation for Physical and Spiritual Fitness and 2014’s Balancing It All: My Story of Juggling Priorities and Purpose.Getty Images (2)
Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen. 
Inarguably the most successful of all the TGIF alumni, the Olsen twins spun their Full House fame into an empire and launched a series of successful fashion labels including The Row and Elizabeth & James. Getty Images (2)

Bob Saget. For nearly a decade Saget played Danny Tanner, the doting father on the super cuddly Full House. That might explain why he has since taken up a host of non-G rated projects. From directing 1998’s Dirty Work to his adult stand-up routine to guest starring on Entourage, Saget has moved far away from his TGIF days. (Though he did voice the future Ted Mosby in CBS’s largely sweet sitcom How I Met Your Mother.) To cap it all off, this year Saget released his memoir called Dirty Daddy: The Chronicles of a Family Man Turned Filthy Comedian. Getty Images (2)
Jodie Sweetin. The former child actor moved on from Full House to work irregularly in television throughout the late ‘90s and into the aughts. In 2009, she penned the memoir 'unsweetened,' in which she revealed that she had long grappled with a meth addiction. Getty Images (2)

Dave Coulier
. Since playing Uncle Joey on Full House, Coulier has juggled stand-up comedy, voice work and TV presenting with occasional appearances on reality series such as The Surreal Life. In 2013, he appeared as himself on an episode of How I Met Your Mother. Getty Images (2)
Jaleel White. The man behind Steve Urkel—the most famous of all TGIF’s characters—went on to study film and television production at UCLA. He also continued to act, doing television guest spots and voice work. This year, fans might have spotted him playing Grandmaster Caz on Comedy Central’s Drunk History. Getty Images (2)
Reginald VelJohnson. The Family Matters patriarch has worked steadily since the show ended, guest-starring on everything from Bones to General Hospital to Mike & Molly, in addition to film and theater roles. Most recently VelJohnson has had a recurring role on the Rachel Bilson vehicle Hart of Dixie, playing a small-town blogger. Getty Images (2)
Darius McCrary. 

Since appearing as Eddie Winslow on Family Matters, McCrary has provided the voice for Jazz in 2007’s Transformers and had recurring roles on Freedom, Committed and The Young and the Restless. He most recently appeared as a regular on the Charlie Sheen series, Anger Management. Getty Images (2)
Ben Savage. After graduating from Stanford and taking sporadic TV and film parts, the boy who once met the world returned to role of Cory Matthews in this year’s Disney Channel spin-off Girl Meets World. Getty Images (2)
Danielle Fishel. After taking on a handful of film and television roles and earning a degree in psychology from the California State University, Fullerton, Fishel joined her former castmates and reprised the role of Topanga in Girl Meets World.Getty Images (2)
Will Friedle. 
Once Boy Meets World ended, Friedle continued to work in kids’ television, voicing a number of animated characters such as Ron Stoppable from Kim Possible. Getty Images (2)

Rider Strong. 
After playing Shawn Hunter, Strong continued to work in TV and starred in a number of horror movies. He also earned a BA from Columbia University and an MFA from Bennington College and took up directing. Like Savage, Strong returned to his Boy Meets World role for Girl Meets World and also directed a couple of episodes. Getty Images (2)
Mark Curry. 
The star of Hangin’ With Mr. Cooper hit dark times in the mid-aughts after an accident in his home left him with burns on 18% of his body. The actor later said he contemplated suicide, before receiving support from friends and loved ones. He’s now the star of Bounce TV’s One Love, where he plays Pastor William Winters opposite Sheryl Lee Ralph of Moesha fame. Getty Images (2)
Melissa Joan Hart. Since starring in Sabrina The Teenage Witch, Hart made numerous onscreen appearances, mostly playing herself. Since 2010, however, she has teamed up with another former-child star Joey Lawrence for the sitcom Melissa & Joey on ABC Family. Getty Images (2)
Patrick Duffy. 
By the time Duffy appeared as Frank Lambert on the Brady Bunch-esque Step by Step, he was already famous for his role Bobby Ewing on Dallas in the ‘70s and ‘80s. Duffy revived his classic role in 2012, when Warner Bros. Television brought back the soap opera. Getty Images (2)

Suzanne Somers. After playing the matriarch on Step By Step, Somers continued to work in television, most recently hosting her own show in 2012, called The Suzanne Show, and briefly appearing on The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills in 2013. However, these days she’s best known for her controversial health theories, which she has promoted in a series of books on diet, aging, cancer treatments and wellness.Getty Images (2)
Christine Lakin. Lakin has worked in TV and film consistently since landing her role on Step By Step. Recent highlights include voicing the news anchor Joyce Kinney on Family Guy from 2009 until 2013 and appearing in this year’s Veronica Mars movie alongside Kristen Bell and Jason Dohring.Getty Images (2)

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