Alicia Silverstone got her start in entertainment after appearing in three major ’90’s music videos for Aerosmith, including “Cryin'” and “Crazy.” In 1994, she was cast by director Amy Heckerling in arguably her greatest role as Cher Horowitz in “Clueless” (via The Washington Post). A modern remake of Jane Austen’s “Emma” set in the consumer paradise of Beverly Hills, the bubbly Cher tries to help the people around her fall in love even though she’s no expert herself.
Aided by a smart script, Silverstone ably played the privileged but well-meaning Beverly Hills high schooler with a self-aware wit. The ensemble cast that included Paul Rudd, Brittany Murphy, and Stacey Dash all contributed to the film’s success, but without Silverstone’s performance, “Clueless” wouldn’t have worked nearly as well.
The film’s clever humor and memorable catchphrases made it a solid sleeper hit, grossing $56 million on a $12 million budget (via Box Office Mojo) in 1995, and it quickly became a beloved cult film on video too. Silverstone’s stardom seemed all but assured.