It’s hard to imagine Clueless without Alicia Silverstone as Cher. Filmmakers of the movie wanted Silverstone from the beginning but apparently, film executives at the studio weren’t fully convinced of a 17-year-old Silverstone. Several other young actors were considered at the time for the now iconic film.
Who else was considered for the role of Cher?
Amy Hecklering wanted Silverstone from the beginning, but casting executives on the film wanted to do an expansive search. At the time, there were several actors on the rise and vetted for an audition.
Related: ‘Clueless’ Director, Amy Heckerling, Got the Idea for Cher’s Virtual Closet From a Hollywood Producer
“I saw Alicia Witt,” Hecklering told Vanity Fair in 2015. “Tiffani Thiessen. The one that—she was in that show and she cut her hair and everybody was mad? Keri Russell, yes. Then they [casting] goes, ‘You’ve got to see the girl in [Flesh and Bone].’ I never got to see her. I guess she was off on other things. That turned out to be Gwyneth Paltrow.”
Future Legally Blonde star Reese Witherspoon also wanted the part. “Everyone said, ‘This girl’s amazing,” she said of Witherspoon. “She’s going to be huge.”
But Heckering had her mind made up and championed hard for Silverspoon. A dinner date with Silverspoon would seal the deal.
Why filmmakers wanted Alicia Silverstone
Hecklering first saw Silverstone in a string of Aerosmith music videos when she was writing the script for Clueless.
“I saw her in the first one, and videotaped it so when I handed in the script I could show them the girl that I liked,” Heckerling once told The Telegraph, as reported by E! News. Ironically, the casting director and Heckerling’s friend Carrie Frazier also was enamored by Silverstone.
Related: What Is the Cast of ‘Clueless’ Worth Today?
“[She] kept telling me I had to see this girl, she was in The Crush. Her name was Alicia Silverstone,” Heckerling recalled. “And I was like, ‘but I want the Aerosmith Girl!’ Ultimately we were talking about the same person.”
Silverstone impressed Hecklering even more during a dinner meeting. “When she was sipping her drink through a straw, instead of taking the glass and straw to her face, Alicia leaned over the table to sip the straw from the glass,” associate producer Twink Caplan once remembered. “And Amy thought: ‘Oh my god, this is my girl.’ Alicia was Cher, she is just the sweetest girl, she still is.”
Alicia Silverstone related to all parts of Cher except her fashion style
While Silverstone had Cher’s personality and mannerisms down pact, she admits she did not relate to Cher as a fashionable teen.
She told The Allentown Morning Call during a 1995 interview, “I had to do a lot of research for this role because I hate putting nice clothes on. I like to wear black sweats and a T-shirt. I’m down-to-earth, a total tomboy.”
Related: ‘Clueless’ Pushed Alicia Silverstone Away From Acting for Awhile
Silverstone shared similar sentiments during a 2019 panel at the Chicago Comic and Entertainment Expo, saying she typically wears “the same green T-shirt and jeans” all the time.
But Silverstone had to adjust, as Cher wore a whopping 64 outfits throughout the 100-minute movie.
Clueless went on to earn $56 million at the box office and became a cult classic.
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