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Donald Faison Didn’t Think ‘Clueless’ Would Be Successful

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When it came to Clueless becoming a cult classic success, Donald Faison was saying, “As if.”

“I had no clue [the film would take off,]” Faison, 49, exclusively tells Us Weekly while promoting NBC’s Extended Family. “I was just happy to be in a studio film, to be honest with you.”

Faison says film producer Adam Schroeder assured him that the 1995 comedy was “going to be a big hit,” — but he wasn’t so sure.

“[I looked] at him like, ‘You’re out of your mind. I don’t even understand what we’re saying in this. There’s no way America’s going to understand. … If I don’t understand it, there’s no way,’” he recalls. “And I was completely wrong. I’m so happy I was wrong, too, because 30 years later we’re still talking about it.”

Since its release, Clueless has cemented its status as an iconic film. The movie follows high school student Cher (Alicia Silverstone) who’s the queen bee of her class in Beverly Hills. When she gives new student Tai (Brittany Murphy) a makeover, she watches as Tai’s popularity soars. (Clueless also subsequently became a sitcom in 1996, airing for three seasons.)

Faison played Dion’s boyfriend, Murray, in the film, later reprising his role for the sitcom spinoff, which ran from 1996 to 1999. The actor recalls attempting to channel Ice Cube with his character, calling Murray a “gangster wannabe.”

“I came in with bandanas every audition,” he says. “I came in with a bandana, tied, baggy a-s jeans. My pants were hanging already.”

As for where Murray is today, Faison jokes he’s “still in Africa running the country,” (Murray moved to Africa during the Clueless series.)

When asked whether he’d be interested in a potential revival, Faison says he “absolutely” would reprise his role — but only if Amy Heckerling, who penned and directed the original film, returns to write it.

Faison adds that there are “often” talks of a Clueless reboot, and he knew it was “officially official” when Paul Rudd said he was game. However, Faison notes that getting the cast together would be a “tough” challenge as “everybody’s doing their own thing.”

“There’s a lot that’s happened in the last 30 years,” he adds.

For now, Faison is focused on NBC’s Extended Family. The sitcom follows Jim (Jon Cryer) and ex-wife Julia (Abigail Spencer) navigating a coparenting relationship while she moves on with her new fiancé, Trey (Faison).

“It’s a great time,” Faison tells Us, adding that it’s “been a dream” of his to work alongside Cryer, 58.

Extended Family airs on NBC Tuesdays at 8:30 p.m. ET and streams the next day on Peacock.

With reporting by Christina Garibaldi

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