Alicia Silverstone is paying her most extensive homage yet to her iconic Clueless character, Cher Horowitz, since the hit coming-of-age teen comedy was released in 1995. The actress stepped back into some of Cher’s classic outfits for Rakuten’s Super Bowl LVII commercial. In the ad, the actress recreated the movie’s debate scene with her co-star, Elisa Donovan, who portrayed Amber Mariens in the feature.
Silverstone agreed to reprise her acclaimed character in the commercial because Rakuten is a shopping platform that offers cash back on purchases, which is an appropriate match for the clothing-obsessed Cher. The actress told EW her character is “one of film’s most historic shopaholics,” she pointed out. “So the idea that she would be able to use this app would be the greatest hack ever. Getting cash back on all your shopping? I just feel like she’d want everyone in the world to know that.”
During the ad, Silverstone and Donovan prove not much has changed between their characters since their mid-’90s debate days. They appear at the front of a high school class at their podiums to discuss the benefits of using Rakuten to get cash back while shopping online.
The commercial begins with Silverstone saying: “I used to be pretty clueless about shopping,” before Donovan, fires back: “Among other things.”
“Like when I heard I could save while getting cash back with Rakuten, I was like, as if!” the actress continues, quoting one of Cher’s signature catchphrases. “But then I was like, ugh, why didn’t I do this sooner?!”
The rest of the ad features Silverstone showing off several of Cher’s iconic outfits from the comedy. She also shows off her tech-powered closet in her Beverly Hills home.
“In conclusion, you’d have to be butt-crazy to shop without Rakuten,” Silverstone ends her speech as Christian Siriano, who curated a Clueless-inspired collection for the site. The designer then throws her a heart hand signal from the front row.
“Um, hello, do I even get a rebuttal?” Donovan then asked. “I’m sure it’d be rebrutal,” replies Silverstone, leading Donovan to toss back another of her signature catchphrases, “Whatever!” with its accompanying W hand sign.
Silverstone ends the commercial by stretching her gum from her mouth, similar to how her character did in the movie at the end of her first classroom debate with Amber. She then took her seat among the students and winks at the camera.
“It felt really good,” Silverstone also told EW about reprising her role of Cher again in the ad, which Rakuten released in full yesterday ahead of its airing during the Super Bowl this Sunday, February 12. “The clothes were lovely, but even more than the clothes, just getting to be her again was so fun.”
The Emmy Award-nominated actress also said that she thought about how she should prepare for the commercial when she first signed on. “I had no idea if I could do it or not, but I just went for it. And I had fun. Cher is so confident and bossy – but passionate – and believes so clearly in what she’s talking about. She has a huge heart. There are a lot of fun things about her, and they make her really happy.”
Silverstone also spoke to PEOPLE about appearing in the ad, saying: “Rakuten makes it easy to save while you shop, and working with them to revive Clueless for the Super Bowl stage made sense with how much Cher loved shopping – no doubt she would have tons of Cash Back.”
Donovan also spoke to PEOPLE in June 2021 about whether she’d ever reprise her role of Amber if a Clueless sequel is ever made. The actress said that she wouldn’t hesitate, as she thinks “it would be hilarious to see these people as adults.
“Amber would probably be running her own fashion line, bossing a lot of people around – and driving a very wealthy husband crazy,” the actress joked.
In the years since Clueless was released, Silverstone has referenced her iconic performance as Cher, especially since she joined TikTok in 2021. She has recreated scenes from the movie with Bear, and also reunited with another one of her costars, Stacey Dash, who played Dionne in the film.
The characters’ classic wardrobe in the comedy, including the yellow plaid skirt-and-jacket combo Silverstone wore in Rakuten’s Super Bowl commercial, was created by the feature’s costume designer, Mona May. Silverstone, who insisted on collaborating with May on several of her movies that she starred in after Clueless, recalls getting to celebrate her work at a screening of the comedy in L.A. years ago.
“I saw it with my son when he was 5. (He’s now 11.) It was at the Hollywood Forever Cemetery on a huge screen,” the actress recalled. “Something like 4,000 people came to watch it.”
Silverstone continued: “So I went and saw that and presented it to the crowd. That was amazing because when I saw it that time, I really saw the costumes. Even though I’d seen them however many times before, this time I brought Mona May to see it with us, and whenever a costume came out I kept smacking her like, ‘Oh my God, look at that one!’ They really make entrances, those costumes!”
As for why Clueless continues to resonate with audiences decades after it originally offered an insight into ’90s youth culture, Silverstone quotes the film’s director, Amy Heckerling.
“Amy says it well: This character is really optimistic, she really sees the brightness and lightness in most things,” the actress says. “So even though she’s walking around saying ‘whatever’ and ‘as if’ and judging the stoners or whoever else she’s judging at that moment, her heart is big and she radiates joy. People like feeling that!”