To honor the 20th anniversary of Amy Heckerling's cult-loved meditation on '90s teen culture, we'll be checking in with the cast, reflecting on the film's cultural significance, and breaking in our proverbial purple clogs. Are you totally buggin' yet, or what?
When you get Clueless writer-director Amy Heckerling on the phone, it's hard not to feel like Hazel Grace in the presence of Van Houten. (Yeah, it's a Fault in Our Stars reference. Deal with it). After all, this is the woman who wrote lines such as, 'No sh*t, you guys got Coke here?' and 'That's Ren and Stimpy. They're way existential.' And because we've already grilled costume stylist Mona May on the lasting impact of her characters' style, we decided to ask all of our burning questions—from fan fic-related queries (where are Cher and Josh now) to insider tips on dominating a game of Suck and Blow.
Below, 11 mind-blowing revelations.
Heckerling's favorite quote is somewhat obscure: 'I don't know if it's the iconic line or whatever,' she says, 'but I like when Cher says, 'It does not say R.S.V.P. on the Statue of Liberty!' I've always loved the way she says it with such assurance.
Cher almost didn't set Tai up with Elton: "I think there was a version of the script where Travis got injured," she recalls. "And through Tai's taking care of him, Cher was able to see that that was the real relationship, and that she should stop messing with them."
The answer to Elton's question, "Don't you know who my father is?": "I would assume he was somebody at Universal Records," Heckerling says. [Ed's note: This is curious because at the time of the film's release, Elton's beloved The Cranberries were signed to Island Record. Universal, however, did go on to release a collection of the Irish rock band's videos in 2007.]
You weren't the only one with a crush on Summer: "There really wasn't a character written, but I kind of needed an extra friend to periodically fill up the space. So I decided to cast somebody who could deliver. [Nicole Bilderback] was great and I thought, 'It would be great to give all the extra lines we have to one person rather than split them up between a bunch of arbitrary people.'"
The future is bright for Cher and Josh: "I think that they would probably come together and grow apart periodically," Heckerling says, "but I think ultimately they'd be perfect for each other, and that they should find each other at the appropriate time."
Heckerling thinks Cher could have benefitted from finding that white, collarless shirt from Fred Segal: "I like what she wears to go driving, because that's what she considers responsible—a very sparkly shirt and a white argyle mini skirt," Heckerling says. "The idea that people would see her in that and go, 'What a responsible person!' is funny to me.
The freeway scene was a total pain in the ass to film: "Driving is always a pain in the neck, but having to also keep the emotional momentum up while you're dealing with logistics was very, very difficult."
There's an art to playing Suck and Blow: "It depends on what you use," Heckerling says. "It's hard if you use a plastic credit card. A museum card or a student ID works much better."
Tai's Marvin the Martian doodles are a porthole into the character's psyche: "I was talking to high school kids about what characters they like to put on their notebooks and things, and somebody must have had Marvin the Martian and liked it a lot," Heckerling says. "I thought, 'That's kind of endearing and cute and childish in a way. It would be sweet if she was really proud that she drew that even though it's a copy of something.'"
A little-known band named No Doubt almost scored the opening scene: "I like Kids in America, of course," Heckerling says. "But Just a Girl, which had a very small placement in that movie, I just love that song. It sort of came to us late, and though I wanted to put it into the opening credits, we'd already made a promise to The Muffs. I couldn't find a more prominent place for it."
Heckerling kept a memento from the film's most cringe-worthy scene: "When Tai comes to the frat party she's wearing silver Dr. Martens, which I kept," Heckerling says with a laugh. "Yes, the ones she's wearing when she trips."
From the editors of ELLE.com as part of their Clueless Celebration.