5 Things You NEVER Knew About Clueless

Clueless is turning 20 (!) this month, and while many of us are Clueless trivia pros, there are still some things that we have yet to learn. For example, why oh why did Josh (Paul Rudd) have to be a stepbrother to Cher (Alicia Silverstone)? And where can we get our hands on a closet like Cher's? Lucky for Clueless fans everywhere, all these questions are answered in a book out today: As If! The Oral History of Clueless as told by Amy Heckerling and the Cast and Crew. Packed with awesome behind-the-scenes shots, old-fashioned Polaroids, and every factoid you'll ever need to know, the book should be a bible for Clueless trivia contestants and über-fans everywhere. Here, we answer five questions you've always had about Heckerling's 20th-century, SoCal revisiting of Jane Austen.

1. Why did they make Josh Cher's ex-stepbrother? (Ew!)
To clarify the storyline: Josh's mother married Cher's father, and then they divorced. They were stepsiblings, and then they were not — and that divorce happened five years ago. So to be clear: Josh and Cher are not related. Still...kinda weird? Not at all, according to writer and director Heckerling. She based Josh and Cher's relationship on one of the strongest unions she'd ever witnessed: her grandparents'. "The thing is, my grandparents were stepbrother and stepsister," Heckerling explains in As If. "Totally not blood-related...They knew each other from the time they were teenagers. He was almost 100 when he died; she was in her late 80s. So they were fighting for, like, 80 years. I mean, fighting. But when one got sick, they were completely lost. They were so dependent on each other and so angry all the time with each other." 2. Where did the idea for Cher's enviable closet come from? You know, the one that's arranged by color and season and is hooked up to a computer database?
Cher's dreamy wardrobe had two main inspirations. One was a closet in the home of a record producer who "didn't want his clothes to be tucked away so that he wouldn't see them," Heckerling recalls. Production designer Steven Jordan also came across a similar set-up, this time belonging to a sports memorabilia collector who was part-owner of the Yankees. Hidden behind a painting, the collector had jerseys and uniforms "going back to the turn of the century in baseball," all lined up on a conveyor. To make the closet, the team rented a rack system from a dry-cleaning source, and then photographed Cher's clothes. They found a graphic designer to animate the outfit-matching system. "I think today someone could do it and finish the whole thing by lunchtime," Jordan says. "You know, the computers were very early; it was 20 years ago. It was quite a difficult thing." 3. What's the story behind: "This is an Alaïa!"?
Turns out, this robbery actually happened to someone IRL. "I was having dinner with some agents...and they were telling me about this other agent they knew, who used to be a big slob and then got married and this woman did a makeover on him and got him all these nice suits," Heckerling says. "He had an Armani suit. He gets held up and the [robber] tells him to get on the ground." And, of course, he initially refuses — "I can't, this is Armani," Heckerling says. "I liked the idea that you could be threatened with something so drastic, and something so stupid would mean more to you."
4. Whatever happened to the guy who played Christian?
That would be Justin Walker, who has returned to life as a private citizen. He's the chairman of a Los Angeles nonprofit and vice president of a historic neighborhood association. Post-Clueless, Walker was "in a bunch of TV pilots," he explains in the book. "I did a bunch of crappy movies...I was up for everything. Everything. Pretty much every teen movie that came out within two or three years of [Clueless]." He still gets recognized on the street — not always in a good way. Once, at an event in Ohio, he recalls, "One guy standing on the side of the road yelled out to me, 'Hey you're that faggot from Clueless, right?'" 5. Paul Rudd: Good or bad kisser?
Paul Rudd was 26 when Clueless came out, and he remembers this as one of his first kissing scenes. "It was pretty chaste," he says. The actor has three kissing scenes: one with his college girlfriend Heather (Susan Mohun) and two with Cher (on the steps and at the wedding). "Paul Rudd could not be nicer...I felt very at ease with him," Mohun says. He also gets a thumbs-up from Silverstone. "It was really easy with Paul — especially the wedding kiss," she says. For his part, Rudd remembers getting ready for his smooch with Silverstone and thinking, "'I'm kissing the girl from the Aerosmith videos.' And being fairly psyched about it myself, might I add. I remember thinking, this is pretty awesome...I sound like a total perv." You're forgiven, Paul.

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