Little Known Trivia About 'Pretty Woman' That Will Steal Your Heart
"She walked off the street, into his life and stole his heart," read the tagline of Pretty Woman. This story was a new spin on the fairytale Cinderella, creating a movie star of leading lady, Julia Roberts, and reigniting the career of leading man, Richard Gere. This romantic comedy has gone down in history as one of the most beloved and quoted movies of all time. Go behind the scenes of this iconic Hollywood classic.
A Completely Different Script
Although Pretty Woman is now known as the quintessential romantic comedy, it was originally written to be a gritty drama about the dangers of drugs and prostitution. In the script, Vivian was a drug addict and Edward paid $3,000 to help her quit drugs and spend the week with him.
A Confusing Title
The price that Vivian charged for the week, could have been the title of the classic movie audiences adore. 3,000 was the title of the drama that the original script called for. Vivian charged Edward $3,000 for a week of her companionship, but the title diminished the movie's central theme of love.
The Original Vivian
Although Pretty Woman made Julia Roberts a star, the role was originally offered to Molly Ringwald. Ms. Ringwald was a huge success at the box office thanks to Sixteen Candles and Pretty in Pink, and the studios wanted a big name for the role of Vivian Ward. Ringwald fit the bill, but the role wasn't meant to be.
The Road To Julia
If scheduling conflicts hadn't happened, Diane Lane would have starred as Vivian Ward. Lane went through costume fittings and worked on the script, but had to walk away from the role once she was unable to make her schedule work.
A Link To Disney
Although Pretty Woman is an R-rated adult romantic comedy, the production company behind it happens to the family-friendly studio, Disney. The original screenplay for 3,000 was purchased by Disney and subsequently produced by Touchstone Pictures, the mature film banner of the Disney production house.
Saved By Gary Marshall
Before being cast to play Vivian Ward, Julia Roberts was an up and coming actress, who was only known for her role in Mystic Pizza. Landing the lead of Vivian was a huge breakthrough for the actress, although the excitement was short-lived and she was let go after a week.
Casting The Prince
Richard Gere revived his career with his magnetic performance as Richard Lewis. It is impossible to imagine anyone else in the role that Gere made his own. So, it is even harder to believe that Gere almost passed on the role!
Chemistry In New York
The role of Edward Lewis was originally written as a cold businessman. This made Richard Gere hesitant to take on the part, insisting that anyone could play the role of a "suit". It would take a special trip from the leading lady to convince him.
A Gag Gone Wrong
One of the things that everyone loved about the character of Vivian was that she was vulnerable, a bit rough around the edges and had a heart of gold. One of the scenes that endeared audiences to Vivian was when she blew her nose into the hotel concierge's handkerchief.
The Perfect Prank
One of the most memorable scenes in the movie actually started out as a prank. On their way to the Opera, Edward presents Vivian with a diamond necklace to wear with her evening gown. As Vivian looks down at the diamond and goes to touch the necklace Edward snaps the box shut on her hand, leading Vivian to burst into laughter and shock.
Happens All The Time
Another memorable scene is where Vivian tries and fails to eat escargot. As Vivian attempts to grab the escargot with tongs, it shoots across the room. A waiter catches it, stating "it happens all the time", leading to one of the movie's best quotes.
Julia Roberts Weakness
Who can forget Julia Roberts's iconic laugh as she is lying on the hotel room floor watching reruns of I Love Lucy episodes? It was one of the moments that got Edward's attention! An unknown fact is that Roberts' hysterical laugh was not from the reruns but from some mischievous crew members.
The $30 Dollar Purchase
One of the movie's iconic outfits is the tight dress, thigh-high boots, and red jacket that Vivian wears when she meets Edward on the street corner. The jacket seems like a seamless part of the wardrobe, but it was actually a last-minute addition.
The Speeding Actress
Speeding down Hollywood Boulevard in a sports car sounds like anyone's dream. Apparently, it was one of Julia Roberts' favorite scenes as well. When asked about one of her favorite memories from the movie, she stated: "I don’t know, driving around in the car in Hollywood was pretty hilarious."
All About The Walk
Next time you watch Pretty Woman, take time to focus on Julia Roberts' walk. Apparently, watching Roberts try to walk and not stumble in her thigh-high boots was one of Richard Gere's favorite scenes in the movie.
The Wardrobe Change
What if Vivian had worn a classic black dress to the opera? Would it have had the same impact? That is the question costume designer Marilyn Vance-Straker had to beg as executives fought her over her choice of the red dress. The top executives originally wanted a simple black dress for Vivian to wear to her big opera experience.
The Most Expensive Prop
Vivian and Edward had a security guard following them to the opera. The diamond that Edwards wraps around Vivian's neck as her gift for a night at the opera was actually a $250,000 necklace on loan from a prominent jewelry store.
The Song Behind The Title
Once the movie was purchased by Disney, the original title 3,000 was left on the cutting room floor. So, how did they come up with the now-famous title Pretty Woman? It came straight from one of the most popular songs in history. The recognizable song by Roy Orbison was the perfect match for the Cinderella story of Vivian.
The Disappearing Crew
In another behind the scenes prank, Julia Roberts went underwater and came back to the surface to find an empty room! While filming the famous bathtub scene where Edward offers Vivian $3,000 to be his companion for the week, Roberts is supposed to sink under the bathtub of bubbles shouting for joy.
The Case Of The Fading Hair Color
In one of the more humorous behind the scenes facts, Julia Roberts had a mishap involving the bubble bath scene and her hair color. While filming the bubble bath scene, Roberts had to repeatedly submerge herself underwater, yet in a twist of movie trickery, the bubbles were created using heavy-duty laundry detergent.
The Race Car
Having your car featured in a major motion picture might sound like a slam dunk, but there were notoriously two very famous car manufacturers that refused to be associated with the movie. The studios approached both Ferrari and Porsche, who immediately declined due to the subject matter of the movie and streetwalker subplot.
The Homeless Man
In a "blink and you missed it moment", the director of the movie Garry Marshall made a cameo in the movie. Marshall was also an actor who loved to make random cameos in his movies, and Pretty Woman was no different.
The Transforming Pancake
Sometimes, even the best movies mess up their props and continuity. In between resets for multiple takes of the same scene, props get mixed up. This was the case with the croissant and pancake during Edward and Vivian's first breakfast together.
Bringing Back A Genre
Due to the chemistry or Richard Gere and Julia Roberts and the romantic fairy tale plot, Pretty Woman was a huge box office success. Not only did it make Julia Roberts a superstar, but it brought back the Romantic Comedy (Rom-Com) genre. The '90s has now become synonymous with the Rom-Com.
Prepping For The Role
Most actors take time to research and prepare for a role, especially if the role is based on an unknown industry. Julian Roberts prepared for the role of Vivian by visiting a Los Angeles free clinic that represented streetwalkers, homeless people and addicts like those that surrounded her character.
No Love For The Love Scene
No one said love scenes are fun to film, but the very thought of shooting a love scene made Julia Roberts break out in hives. Although Roberts had a few love scenes in the romantic movie, it took quite a bit of work behind the scenes to get her comfortable.
The Body Double
The now-classic movie poster for Pretty Woman has a ton of secrets and movie trickery in it. Did you know that the body in the poster isn't, in fact, Julia Roberts but her body double, Shelley Michelle? The production company wanted to make sure the body matched the scenes where Michelle was shown wearing and putting on the infamous dress and therefore preformed some photoshop magic.
The Hidden Talent
Actors have many talents, and Richard Gere is no exception. Besides being an award-winning actor, Gere is also an accomplished pianist. In the scene where Edward is quietly playing the piano in an empty conference room, Gere was actually performing one of his original scores.
Dental Work Needed
A fake fight in movies can often turn heated for the actors involved. Richard Gere injured himself during his fight with Jason Alexander, who played his corrupt lawyer, Phillip Stuckey. During the scene, Gere knocked a crown loose in his mouth, injuring his tooth. Both actors took the scene seriously and took their fight full-on.
Breaking The Records
Over 20 years later, Pretty Woman is still adored by people all over the world. It still holds the record for the highest-grossing rated R-rated Disney movie and highest ticket sale numbers for a Rom-Com in the United States.