- Share this article on Facebook
- Share this article on Twitter
- Share this article on Flipboard
- Share this article on Email
- Show additional share options
- Share this article on Linkedin
- Share this article on Pinit
- Share this article on Reddit
- Share this article on Tumblr
- Share this article on Whatsapp
- Share this article on Print
- Share this article on Comment
For a new Super Bowl ad for cash-back shopping platform Rakuten, Alicia Silverstone slipped into a yellow tartan skirt to reprise her star-making turn in Amy Heckerling’s iconic 1995 comedy Clueless. But when it comes to the big game, it turns out Silverstone is just as adorably oblivious as Cher Horowitz.
“I don’t know if I’ve ever watched the Super Bowl in my life,” the actress tells THR by phone from Amsterdam, where she’s shooting a movie. “If I didn’t have this commercial for Rakuten, I wouldn’t know when the Super Bowl was.”
No doubt countless Clueless fans are glad she got that sorted out so they can see her opposite Elisa Donovan’s Amber in the well-known (and much quoted) debate scene. “It was nothing short of surreal,” Donovan told THR of getting the gang back together for the spot that was developed by Rakuten’s in-house marketing team, directed by Will Speck and Josh Gordon, and produced by Furlined with the film’s original cinematographer Bill Pope on board as DP. “To step back into Amber’s shoes and walk onto a set that looked nearly identical to the original, with Bill Pope behind the camera and Alicia in her yellow plaid — I turned to her and said, ‘I feel like I’m hallucinating. Is this actually happening?'”
Silverstone also drafted her good friend and fashion collaborator Christian Siriano to update her look for the commercial as well as make a cameo. Below, THR catches up with Silverstone to get her take on how it felt to slip back into Cher’s ensemble, what Heckerling had to say about all of it and whether the hunger for Clueless content means there might be more life left for Cher after all.
Why did you say yes to reprising your role as Cher?
I thought it was a really creative, fun thing to do. I knew that we’d get a good director and that I’d get to play with all the clothes again. I know people really enjoy the character because it comes up all the time for me. In terms of revisiting the character, I’ve dabbled in the TikTok world, but I have always felt a little cringy doing it because I just worry that it’s … I had to learn to let go and have fun. Obviously, that’s why I do it. I’m just having fun. But there has been this feeling inside of me that says, “Oh my god, what if this is a disaster?” When Rakuten asked me to do it, I thought it was a really smart idea — like, completely perfect — because Cher is one of film history’s most iconic shoppers. (Laughs.)
Rakuten would really appeal to Cher because she’s getting cash back for doing her favorite activity, right? Um, duh! I just had to get over the voice in my head that I was going to screw it all up and be terrible and just go for it. I did and it was so fun. I loved it — I truly didn’t want it to end.
You launched your Tik Tok account with Cher in a clip that went viral. Did that positive feedback persuade you at all to take on something like this because it proved the fandom is still so strong ?
Not consciously because to be honest, for the last 25 years or so, I’ve been hearing almost on the daily that people want more. They love this character and they love this movie. People have been sharing it with their children. I can’t tell you how many times boys, or even men, tell me that they’ve watched it so many times. I ask them if their sisters made them? It’s really interesting to know how it’s reached so many different people. So often little girls in other countries come up to me and ask, “Are you the girl from Clueless?” They’re so excited.
I’ve been aware of that all along with people asking me both publicly and privately if there was going to be more of Cher or why hasn’t there been another one. I just always knew that Amy Heckerling didn’t want to do that. Something has shifted in the air where I get to do this now with Rakuten, and I think this is such a great marriage. It makes the most sense in the world for Rakuten and Cher to go together.
Speaking of Amy Heckerling, do you reach out to her to get her blessing or is she involved?
Amy’s not involved but I did give her a shout out, a little warning. I just told her the other day, “I did this thing. I’m not supposed to tell you about it” — so sorry, Rakuten (Laughs.) — “but I need you to know and I hope you don’t get mad and I hope we didn’t ruin it. But I think you’re going to like it.” She was like, “OK, cool.” She’s fine. She and I are in communication [a lot]. She’s been a big part of my life over the last, I’d say 16 years, strangely not the whole 25 years. We didn’t connect as much after we did the film but in the last, I don’t know, 16 or 17 years or maybe even 20 years, we really connected in a beautiful way.
We’ll always have so much love, admiration and respect for each other. She’s a genius, and we share something so deep. It’s a strange thing to have this [movie] that so many people love and that you get to share with the world. Anyone who is in this funny movie industry, who has that? I’m sure you can think of some people, like Julia Roberts with Pretty Woman and her people, right? People who have made something that has its own essence [and impact]. It’s impossible to explain but it creates this bond that you can’t undo. When Stacey Dash and I see each other, there’s so much love in exchange. When Elisa Donovan and I saw each other on set, there’s so much love. It’s a sort of knowing or shared thing with another person that you may not have seen since a long time ago, but you’re connected forever.
What was your chemistry like with Elisa on set?
Well, as you know, unfortunately Cher and Amber don’t like each other very much so I barely got to see her face. (Laughs.) We were standing there in character and I’m giving a speech like Cher does, so I don’t really get to see her except for one second. But when we weren’t shooting, it was so nice to see her face and do this together. We got to look at each other and go, “What are we doing? What is going on right now? Is this happening? Is this real? OK, good!” (Laughs.)
Christian Siriano makes a cameo, your good friend and longtime fashion collaborator. How did that come about?
He was obviously the first person I thought of because when they told me they wanted to update everything, I was like, of course I have to do this with my buddy. He only did the one outfit. The truth about this is that nothing would exist without the genius of [Clueless costume designer] Mona May. Mona May and Amy Heckerling are really the true geniuses behind all of the clothes. They are the reason why people are still talking about it 25 years later. It resonated so much with people, and fashion designers are always touching on it and referencing it in collections over the years. That’s all because of Mona and Amy. All we did is copy and update it.
Do you have plans to attend or watch the Super Bowl? Are you a fan of the Eagles or the Chiefs?
I don’t know if I’ve ever watched the Super Bowl in my life. I’ve seen moments of it probably when I was married to my son’s dad. We were together for 20 years and I know he watched it and maybe I would pop in or out. My favorite thing to do was to make people my dip from The Kind Diet, this cheesy guacamole dip that is so insanely delicious. It’s perfect for the Super Bowl. But I barely even know anything about the Super Bowl. If I didn’t have this commercial for Rakuten, I wouldn’t know when the Super Bowl was. I definitely didn’t know who those teams are that you mentioned. I’m so lame.
It’s not that I’m against it or that I don’t support it. I probably would enjoy it if I watched it, it’s just never been a priority. There are many things that I need to do that it just never occurred to me to watch it. But I bet I’d love it. I just haven’t take the time to sit down and get into it. Maybe I’ll try, I don’t know. This year, I’m in Amsterdam shooting a film that is so insanely fun and wonderful that I think usually I end up shooting something but honestly, it’s not even on my radar except for Rakuten.
When you shoot an ad like this for Rakuten, do you have something in your contract that specifies that craft services be vegan? How does that work?
Usually it is when we’re doing something like a photo shoot. Often, they will do everything vegan if we ask but on this one, because they shot it like a film, they couldn’t do that for some reason. Sometimes the film crews will rebel, or especially the [transportation department], in my experience, will rebel. But you know, the cool thing about being in Amsterdam right now is that it’s so vegan and conscious on set. I wish American film sets could step up their game and become like European ones. There’s no plastic bottles on set anywhere. They don’t exist. Wow. They just only feed the amount of people that need to be fed. There’s just enough food and half of it is vegan and then there’s a little bit that’s a meat thing but everything else is vegan or vegetarian. It’s not 7,000 options that end up being wasteful. It’s just one thing that they make everyone eats it and loves it and there’s no food wasted. It’s so conscious and it makes me insane that American sets don’t know how to do that. There is such gluttony and waste. It makes me insane.
When this ad debuts, people are going to say, “We want more Cher. We want more Alicia Silverstone.” Is there more life left for you with Cher?
Hell yeah. It was so fun. We’d have to come up with a really smart way to do it. But I’m game. I really enjoyed it. I’ve always thought it would be really fun and it was. I was just nervous before making it but now I don’t feel nervous. Now I’m like, bring it.
The 30-second spot from Rakuten’s campaign will air during the Super Bowl on Sunday, Feb. 12.
This story first appeared in the Feb. 8 issue of The Hollywood Reporter magazine. Click here to subscribe.
Sign up for THR news straight to your inbox every day
More from The Hollywood Reporter
Neil Patrick Harris Says Filming for ‘Uncoupled’ Season 2 Is “on Pause” Due to Writers Strike
Writers Guild Members Get Candid About What Makes This Writers Strike Different Than Previous Ones: “We’re Mad”
The Good Fight
Script to Scene: ‘The Good Fight’ Scribes Detail the Paramount+ Drama’s Final Moments
The Good Wife
Hollywood Flashback: ‘The Good Wife’ Won Showrunners Robert and Michelle King Their First Case
Sydney Sweeney Says Two Family Members Turned Off ‘Euphoria’ and “Walked Out” of the Room