When it comes to Clueless, you’d be hard-pressed to find a better actor to play Cher Horowitz than Alicia Silverstone. Somehow, Silverstone managed to find success by bringing charm and heart to an otherwise ditzy character. The end result of this “beautiful popular girl” trope flipped on its head made you want to root for Silverstone’s Cher, rather than against her.
There are plenty of reasons why Clueless has become a cult-classic and is still being discovered and revered 25 years after it premiered. But, Silverstone’s portrayal of Cher certainly helped contribute to the film’s success and continued longevity. One only has to look to the eponymous TV series, from which Silverstone is famously absent, to see that the Cher Horowitz’s character just isn’t as successful without Silverstone in the driver’s seat.
Alicia Silverstone had no idea the fame ‘Clueless’ would bring her and the cast
While Silverstone seemed to enjoy her time filming Clueless, (with the exception of the endless costume changes) she wasn’t prepared for the success of the film. Almost overnight, the actor went from diligently working on her acting to career to being Hollywood’s latest “it girl.” Silverstone certainly wasn’t prepared for the fame that Clueless would bring her. In fact, she had no idea she was even in a big movie.
In a recent interview with Vogue, Silverstone reflected on the experience that she had while filming Clueless. As the activist was in nearly every frame of the film, she was concentrating on the work exclusively, rather than the fame the film would bring her. She admitted that she and her late co-star, Brittany Murphy, (who were the only teenagers in the film to nab lead roles) were pretty oblivious to how big of a deal Clueless was.
Silverstone shares that she and Brittany Murphy didn’t know they were in a big film
“I don’t think we had any intellectual idea about us being up-and-comers in a big movie because we didn’t know we were in a big movie. Maybe other people knew, but I was so innocent and never really paying attention to career stuff at all. I was just doing another job. It was a really great acting part that was different because…Well, first of all, I didn’t know I was funny,” Silverstone shared about Clueless being her first comedic role.
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But, even though Silverstone enjoyed being Cher, the intense fame that she received from Clueless, was something that she struggled to cope with. In fact, the incessant attention that the role brought her actually turned her off of acting for quite a while. Instead, she found herself gravitating toward other passions where she’d receive less scrutiny.
‘Clueless’ turned Silverstone off from acting
“It was really intense. I didn’t expect any of the reaction that we got. It was a lot, and I think if anything it all pushed me away from doing this job for a while and got me so much more into my activism. I eventually found my love of acting again, but at the time I didn’t know anything about what I was stepping into,” the Clueless star confessed.
Though she struggled with the fame that came with Clueless at the time, now Silverstone is in a better headspace. She admits that she still doesn’t know why Clueless became such a hit, but, at the end of the day, she’s grateful for it. “I don’t know how to explain why or what made Clueless what it was, but I know it happened and I know that people continue to love it. And it never gets old, so that’s the good news.”