Clueless At 25: Alicia Silverstone Talks The Movie's Legacy And Being More Than ‘The Aerosmith Chick’
Clueless turns 25 this year? As if. It feels like only yesterday when Cher (Alicia Silverstone), Tai (Brittany Murphy), Dionne (Stacey Dash) and their crew were applying the societal norms of Jane Austen’s 1815 novel Emma to Los Angeles, circa 1995. And in the process, they were catapulting the cast to superstardom, creating a seminal teen comedy that continues to speak to kids of all generations as they grapple with “Sex. Clothes. Popularity. Whatever.”
Standing on the shoulders of John Hughes (The Breakfast Club, Ferris Bueller’s Day Off), Clueless comprehended how Southern California teens were communicating – in class, at home with their parents, at parties or with their significant others. Audiences have been rollin’ with the homies and citing the filmography of Mel Gibson ever since.
We haven’t tired of talking about Clueless. The timeless staple seems to grow more mature and intelligent with age. Probably because teenagers don’t evolve quite as much as they might be led to believe. But how does Cher herself, Alicia Silverstone, feel about the pop-culture staple. After all, she’s been fielding questions about it from fans for 25 years… or, the better part of her professional life. Silverstone recently came on our ReelBlend podcast to promote her latest film, Bad Therapy. When we asked if, like William Shatner and Star Trek, she ever reached a point in her life where she grew tired of talking about Clueless, the actress candidly replied:
The thing about a Hollywood career, though, is that you never really know what is going to hit, even when you are working on it. Alicia Silverstone, in 1995, had a string of mid-sized successes before she even accepted the role of Cher in Clueless. And with each role, she was becoming more and more of a household name. And that, she recalls, brought its own unique pressures.
One unfortunate side effect of being that famous, at such a young age? Sometimes you get pigeonholed by pop culture, and massive fanbases only see you as one thing. You might assume that the persona of Cher stuck to Alicia Silverstone like a tight-fitting Calvin Klein dress. She says, though, that it was another role from that time frame:
We all look back fondly on Clueless. Even Silverstone. But as the comedy turns 25, she credits it for teaching her how different – and in this case, better – once she had some distance from the fame. In Silverstone’s own words, she found activism, which sent her down paths that led to her own Kind Life brand. (Read either The Kind Diet or The Kind Mama, to get an idea of her beliefs in those realms.) And her post-Clueless life led her a s far away from Beverly Hills as you might imagine. Yes, even south of Sunset. Silverstone said:
And 25 years after the movie made its debut, fans still care, and for that, Silverstone is thankful.
The actress has been on a hot streak as of late, juggling projects as diverse as the Diary of a Wimpy Kid series, and Yorgo Lanthomos’ The Killing of a Sacred Deer. We spoke to her on behalf of the dark relationship drama Bad Therapy, which will make its VOD debut on April 17.
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Sean O’Connell is a journalist and CinemaBlend’s Managing Editor. He's frequently found on Twitter at @Sean_OConnell. ReelBlend cohost. A movie junkie who's Infatuated with comic-book films. Helped get the Snyder Cut released, then wrote a book about it.
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