Alicia Silverstone Reminisced About Brittany Murphy’s ‘Clueless’ Audition
The 25th anniversary of the release of Clueless was July 19th, and in honor of the big, where-did-the-time-go milestone, the woman behind Cher Horowitz did a little reminiscing. In an interview with Vogue, Alicia Silverstone looked back on her time making Clueless, including meeting Brittany Murphy when she auditioned for the role of Tai.
“I just remember thinking she was so great for the part,” Silverston told Vogue. “I can't remember how many girls came in to audition for Tai that day and I don't know if I saw a few girls for it or just her, but I remember Brittany being really adorable.” She added of Murphy, who grew up in New Jersey, “She's so good at the little accent because she had one already, but I think she just pushed it to new heights.”
Clueless is an adaptation of Jane Austen’s Emma, and Murphy’s Tai is the Harriet Smith, an outsider who Cher/Emma decides to makeover and set up with an appropriate guy. Of course, Cher learns a lesson about meddling in other people’s business, and Tai ends up with the guy she had her sights set on: Travis Birkenstock (Breckin Meyer), with whom she shares a love of Marvin the Martian.
“I found her so wonderful and I said to [director] Amy [Heckerling] right away ‘I think she's the one! She was the best one you guys!’ hoping they would agree,” Silverstone said of Murphy’s audition.
“She was like ‘Uh yeah duh. Of course she was the best, she’s the one.’” In hindsight, Silverstone says Murphy wasn’t at all like Tai. (The actor who is the most like their character in her eyes? Paul Rudd.)
Murphy and Silverstone ended up being the two cast members who were actually teens when the movie shot. “I remember her mom was on set a lot,” Silverston told Vogue. “I brought my mom around a little bit and we would all spend time together. But 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.”
Tragically, Murphy died in 2009 at only 32 years old. It’s impossible not to think about her when these anniversaries roll around. But, her legacy will always live on with the film, which, as Silverstone notes, is only continuing to gain fans.
“So many moms who were my age when it came out are so excited to show it to their sons and daughters now,” Silverstone told Vogue. Makeover montages are for every generation.