It’s been 20 years since Clueless, the hit teen film adaptation of Jane Austen’s Emma, first made stars out of Alicia Silverstone, Paul Rudd, and the late Brittany Murphy.
While mandatory viewing for any teenager now, no one could have predicted the massive success it would become. Ahead of the anniversary, ET sat down with the cast -- while older, they still look practically the same -- to reflect on the film’s lasting impact.
“I was just a little actress doing another job and I had no idea,” said Silverstone, who played the unflappable, and always stylish Cher. “I had no idea what was to come.”
Much like the rest of the cast, Silverstone was a relative unknown with a few credits to her name. In fact, director Amy Heckerling only discovered her after she appeared in an Aerosmith music video.
“The entire experience was thrilling from beginning to end, and here we are talking about its 20 year anniversary,” said Rudd, who played step brother Josh Lucas to Silverstone’s Cher. “It's very gratifying and slightly disturbing that it’s 20 years old.”
Rudd eventually proved to be the film’s biggest breakout star. He followed Clueless with more and more high-profile roles, starring in everything from the ensemble comedy, Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy, to the bromance, I Love You, Man, opposite of Jason Segel. Now, the 46-year-old actor is the Marvel’s latest hero, Ant-Man, to get the big-screen treatment and will reprise his Wet Hot American Summer role in Netflix’s original prequel series, First Day of Camp.
While ET was able to talk to Heckerling, Silverstone, Rudd, and Elisa Donovan, who played Cher’s frenemy Amber, Murphy’s presence was definitely missed -- but most certainly not forgotten.
“She was incredibly sweet-spirited and incredibly light and very energetic. Super, super talented,” Donovan said of her co-star, who died at the age of 32 in 2009. “It's just so tragic what happened to her. It is very sad. She was really fun and very funny.”
Murphy followed her turn as ugly duckling, Tai Frasier, with standout roles in Eminem’s 8 Mile, Girl, Interrupted, and Sin City.
As for Donovan, who also reprised the role of Amber for three seasons on the TV adaptation, she found it hard to shed the legacy of her character. “It took me until I was 30 to play a nice person, you know, to play someone who was just nice,” she told ET.
Whatever Amber, you were, like totally the original mean girl -- and we will always love you for that.
Check out ETonline all week for continued coverage of Clueless 20th anniversary!