It’s been 20 years since “Clueless” hit theaters in 1995, but the movie’s clothes, slang and fashion are still front of mind. To celebrate the anniversary of this iconic teen movie, journalist Jen Chaney rounded up the cast, crew and other crucial “Clueless” players to spill behind-the-scenes secrets about the movie. All the juicy stories are in her new book “As If” (out June 7), but we couldn’t resist spilling a few here.
1. Reese Witherspoon almost played Cher. And that’s not the only cast change surprise. Ben Affleck was almost cast as Josh and Dionne’s boyfriend Murray was almost played by Dave Chappelle. Was the casting director buggin’ or what?
2. Another shocker who was almost cast: Angelina Jolie. Yep, she too was considered for the role of Cher, but in the end Alicia Silverstone beat out everyone.
3. The clothing budget wasn’t outlandish. What ‘90s girl didn’t envy Cher’s closet? But costume designer Mona May didn’t want the girls to look like runway models; she wanted them to look like mall rats. Her clothing budget for 63 outfit changes was $200,000, quite modest for a big blockbuster film. One of the few splurges for the film: the plaid Jean Paul Gaultier outfit Cher wore for the first day of school.
4. Alicia Silverstone got to keep that plaid outfit. Actually, she got to keep all her clothes from the movie. But she told Entertainment Weekly in 2012 that she actually gave most of the clothes away. She doesn’t even have the red Alia dress anymore. It was auctioned off in London in 2000. The auction house doesn’t have the exact selling amount, but believe it was sold for between £200 and £400.
5. Murray’s braces were fake. “I did not have braces. I never had braces in my life,” actor Donald Faison says in the book. “[The braces in the movie] are fake because I had an extra tooth and they wanted to hide that because it kind of looked weird when I smiled. So they put braces on me,” he says. Well, now you know!
6. California Pizza Kitchen wasn’t on board. According to the script, the restaurant scenes were originally going to be shot at California Pizza Kitchen. But when the chain’s CEOs read the breadstick-penis jokes, they put the kibosh on filming there.
7. Cher’s report card has her wrong last name. A close look at Cher’s report card says her name is Cher Hamilton, but her teacher Mr. Hall calls her Cher Horowitz in class. The discrepancy is a total mistake due to the fact that in the script, Cher didn’t actually have a last name, so when Mr. Hall, played by Wallace Shawn, was handing out tardy slips, he had to improvise and called her Cher Horowitz. The last name stuck, but the report card prop wasn’t switched out.
8. BJ-jokes got all the laughs on set. “I loved saying [‘There goes your social life’]," Stacey Dash, who played Dionne says in the book, referring to the comeback made to mean girl Amber (Elise Donovan) when Amber says she couldn’t do any activities where balls fly at her new nose. “It’s my favorite line in the movie,” Dash says, adding that the line made the girls giggle so much, it took several takes for them to shoot it. But Donovan didn’t understand the joke at the time. “The joke was totally lost on me!” she admits in “As If.”
9. In real life, Brittany Murphy was the virgin who couldn’t drive. One of the biggest burns in the movie is when Tai (Brittany Murphy) calls Cher a “virgin who can’t drive,” after Cher fails her driving test. But on the “Clueless” Blu-ray release, Murphy says when they filmed it, the dis could be made about her 17-year-old real life self.
10. Director Amy Heckerling hasn’t completely let go of Brittany Murphy. Murphy’s untimely death in 2009 was felt by everyone she worked with in “Clueless,” many of which share their favorite memories of her in “As if.” Heckerling has her own special way of remembering her: “I have Brittany Murphy’s silver Doc Martins that she wore to the dance,” she says. “They fit me. I just like having a piece of her.”
Book event with author Jen Chaney:
June 6, 7 p.m.
628 Broadway, 212-473-1452
Follow Emily on Twitter: @EmLaurence