There are some movies that will forever go down in history as pretty darn epic, and the rom-com Pretty Woman is one of them. However, that isn’t just because we’re obsessed with Julia Roberts and Richard Gere. Okay, maybe it is a little bit!
After debuting onto the silver screen in 1990, Pretty Woman immediately won over film fanatics from across the world with its risque storyline of love, lust, and romance, with a little bit of comedy thrust in the middle. It was an absolute hit. This movie follows the life of Vivian Ward, a lady of the night with really, really tall boots who is hired by a big-shot businessman to accompany him to various events over the course of one whole week.
Yes, that’s a week of pancakes and parties, so of course, she accepts his offer. However, things start to take a slightly different turn when both Vivian and Edward realize that their agreement might have a little more to it than a wad of cash at the end of the week and a pretty woman on his arm.
It’s a classic love story that has broken boundaries and brought Julia Roberts to the forefront of our attention – so for that, we thank you! If you count yourself a Pretty Woman fan, or whether you just want to brush up on your knowledge, here are the things you probably never knew about Pretty Woman.
Julia Roberts wasn’t the first choice
Nowadays, it seems silly to think of anyone other Julia Roberts taking the role of the call girl. After all, who else could pull off those hoops and those boots? Nevertheless, it seems as though Julia Roberts wasn’t actually the first choice to play Vivian. The part was initially offered to the Brat Pack legend, Molly Ringwald. After Ringwald rose to fame in teen movies such as The Breakfast Club, Sixteen Candles, Pretty in Pink and more, Molly was supposedly the perfect candidate. Thankfully for us, she turned the offer down after she read the script and read what the story was about.
Gere wasn’t in gear
Just like Julia Roberts, Richard Gere was the perfect fit for his role in Pretty Woman – but he wasn’t convinced when he first saw the script for the movie. In fact, the casting agents had struggled for months to find the perfect Edward, as many actors kept turning the offer down. They finally found an exceptional actor in the form of Richard Gere, but even he almost turned the offer down! In his eyes, the role of Edward was not exciting enough, and he didn’t know if he wanted to take on such a boring character. He eventually took the role when he knew that he could be playing alongside Julia Roberts. Don’t blame ya, pal.
Vivian’s red hair is one of the main things we loved about her in Pretty Woman, but we all know that Julia Roberts doesn’t have red hair in real life. She had to dye her hair for the role but found this a little problematic during the bathtub scene. To make the bath extra bubbly, the producers used laundry detergent and poured it into the water. Unfortunately, they didn’t account for the fact that laundry detergent strips away hair dye! Before shooting the next scene, Julia had to have her hair re-dyed.
A Hollywood movie would not be a Hollywood movie without an impeccable script, but there are always some instances where actors decide to go off-script and do their own thing for a while – and that’s exactly what Richard Gere did! During the adorable diamond necklace scene, Edward was not supposed to jokingly close the jewelry box on Vivian, but Richard had decided to play a prank on his fellow cast member. The producer of the movie loved this little joke and decided to keep it in the final cut.
A bit of a tickle
We couldn’t help but fall in love with Julia Roberts during the scene where she was laughing her head off as she lay on the floor watching the sitcom, I Love Lucy. However, have you ever wondered how she managed to act out such a genuine laugh? Well, it seems we have the crew to thank for that. As Julia Roberts was lying on the floor, the crew were tickling her feet in an attempt to make her really laugh. It certainly did the trick.
Movie fanatics will often try to find inaccuracies and faults within the production of their favorite film, and Pretty Woman fans are no different. During their intense viewings of this movie, they discovered that Vivian likes to eat magic food! Yes, during the breakfast scene, Edward and Vivian start talking about their life while eating breakfast. As we watch this scene, you can see that Vivian is eating a delicious croissant, but within seconds this croissant has transformed into a pancake. We really need that super power.
The story could have been very different
Pretty Woman is known as an awesome rom-com that makes us all believe in love and romance. Sure, it might be a little warped, but what Hollywood movie isn’t? Well, it seems our favorite movie could have been pretty different. The original Pretty Woman screenplay actually featured dark undertones and explicit themes such as narcotics addiction, death, and abandonment. Yes, in the original movie Edward abandons her at the side of the road because she proves too much for him, and they don’t have a happily-ever-after!
What’s in a name?
Because we’re all pretty obsessed with Pretty Woman, it seems bizarre to think that this movie was once going to be called something completely different! Before the creators of the movie settled on the final name, they were seriously considering the name, “3000.” This was in reference to the price Vivian charged for her week with Edward and seemed like the perfect title for the movie. Thankfully, big bosses stepped in and told the creators of Pretty Woman that this title was too confusing and ambiguous for fans, so they changed it.
Getting stage fright
Considering Vivian is a lady of the night, it should come as no surprise to learn that there are various intimate scenes within Pretty Woman. Although in the finished product Richard and Julia look as cool as cucumbers, Julia Roberts wasn’t quite as calm on the set. During their first saucy scene together, Julia was so nervous her head had to be massaged to calm down the vein that was popping out! The second time was no different, and she even broke out in a severe case of hives.
A completely different poster
Although the movie itself is iconic, it’s fair to say that the poster for Pretty Woman has also gone down in history. Unfortunately, the poster is not what it seems! While Julia Roberts’ head does make an appearance, she isn’t actually attached to her own body. Her head was photoshopped onto the body of her body-double for the sake of the poster – but it doesn’t stop there. Richard Gere’s hair was also dyed black… even though it’s grey in the actual movie. Now you won’t be able to un-see it!
A musical talent
If you fell in love with Richard Gere during the piano scene, you’re not alone. We totally did too. While you might have assumed that Richard was not really playing, or was using a body double to make our knees buckle, you would be wrong! This Hollywood actor is actually a hugely talented pianist and even composed the piece that he was playing on the piano in the movie. Could he be any more talented if he tried? We can’t believe he has been hiding this talent for so long!
Rough around the edges
There are countless iconic moments within Pretty Woman, but one of our favorites just has to be the handkerchief scene, where Julia Roberts blows her nose in the hotel. This action was not introduced into the script and was something Julia chose to do on her own accord. However, she regretted this decision instantly, as she believed it was gross to blow her nose on camera. Despite this, the director loved it and thought it made Vivian look even more rough around the edges, but sweet inside.
The red jacket
Everything Vivian ever wore in Pretty Woman was eclectic and extravagant – so of course, we absolutely loved it all. However, one of her most legendary items was a red jacket. While many believe the costume department picked up a designer jacket for an impressive price, it’s actually the complete opposite. The jacket actually belonged to a random woman who was walking down the street. Although the costume department originally offered to buy it from her for more, she eventually handed it over for just $30!
These boots weren’t made for walking
Everyone on the set of Pretty Woman had their favorite moments during filming, but it seems Richard Gere was not alone with his favorite scene. He has since noted that he loved any scene where Julia Roberts had to wear her tall leather boots. This is because they were extremely difficult to walk in, and Julia often struggled to walk in a straight line, or even walking without squeaking! He confessed that the whole cast and crew found it extremely funny when she had to try.
Struggling to find a car
Many car manufacturers will spend thousands of dollars to get their cars and their brands in big Hollywood movies, but nobody wanted to work with Pretty Woman. It’s been confirmed that these companies did not want their cars associated with a movie that features a lady of the night, and refused to hand over the keys. Eventually, Lotus agreed to let them use their famous 1989 Esprit SE. Lotus for the movie – which worked in their favor when everyone wanted one after the movie was released!