Pretty Woman was one of the most iconic movies of the '90s. But even if you’re a die-hard fan of it, there’s no way you would have known these behind-the-scenes secrets. Read on to find out! If you don’t, that would be a "big mistake. Big. Huge!"
1. The Original Movie Was Super Dark.
Today, Pretty Woman is known as a classic romantic comedy we all love. However, it was initially a dark cautionary tale about drugs and sex work. In the script, Vivian was an addict, and Edward paid her $3,000 to spend the week with him but ended up throwing her out of his car. Luckily, when the rights to the movie were sold off to Disney, its president Jeffrey Katzenberg insisted the film be rewritten. We’re glad the old version of the movie didn't happen.
2. Almost No Julia Roberts
Julia Roberts was originally cast as Vivian in Pretty Woman. However, when Disney took over the film, its higher-ups were against having Roberts in the movie, as she was an unknown actress at that time. Roberts had to audition for a second time for the new director, Garry Marshall, and the rest was history.
3. Other Possible Vivians
While it's hard to imagine Vivian being played by anyone other than Julia Roberts, several other actresses including Molly Ringwald, Diane Lane, Daryl Hannah, and Michelle Pfeiffer were offered the role before Roberts. However, they all turned it down. Hope Roberts wasn't hurt over being the director's last choice!
4. Richard Gere Turned Down The Movie Several Times.
It seemed like Richard Gere was meant for the role of Edward Lewis, but originally, Gere turned down the offer not once but several times, thinking the part was bland and had no personality. He even jokingly said that you could have put a suit on a goat and it would have turned out the same. So why did he eventually change his mind?
5. Chemistry Off The Set
It all thanks to Julia Roberts. To convince Gere to accept the role, Roberts went to New York to talk with him. While they met, the two hit it off immediately. When the director called, Roberts gave Gere a post-it note with the words "please say yes", and he did.
6. The Deceptive Poster
We can clearly see Julia Roberts on the classic Pretty Woman poster, but her body is not hers. It actually belongs to her body double, Shelley Michelle. Michelle posed for the photo, and Roberts’ head was later superimposed onto Michelle's body. Bet you never knew that! Another thing you might also not notice is Richard Gere's hair. In the movie, his hair is grey, but on the poster, it is black.
7. The Secret Behind That Perfect Laugh
The scene where Julia Roberts was hysterically laughing at old reruns of I Love Lucy on the floor of Edward's hotel room wasn't all just amazing acting. Off camera, the crew was actually tickling Roberts' feet. So, the laugh was 100% genuine! Watch out, Roberts! Now we all know your weakness!
8. An Unscripted But Classic Scene
Do you still remember the classic scene where Edward presented Vivian with the diamond necklace for the opera and jokingly closed the box? Gere actually improvised the snapping shut, and Julia Roberts’ reaction was so natural and lovable that the director decided to leave it in the final cut.
9. The Diamond Necklace Was Worth $250,000.
The diamond necklace that Edward gave Vivian wasn't a prop. It was an actual diamond necklace worth $250,000 borrowed from a jewelry store. Because of its high value, the jeweler insisted on sending a security guard to the set to watch over it.
10. The Iconic Red Jacket Was Bought Off The Street!
Julia Roberts as Vivian became iconic for the mini dress, thigh-high boots, and red jacket. But when the crew reached the street to film the scene, they didn't have the jacket mentioned in the script. So, they had to get one from the crowds and found a girl wearing a red jacket they liked. They bought it for $30.
11. The Magic Croissant
While most movies have mistakes, only those with sharp eyes can spot them. In Pretty Woman, one error happened when Vivian was eating a croissant while asking Edward what he did for a living. The camera cut to Edward when he started answering her question. But when it cut back to Vivian, her croissant was replaced by a pancake! So, you see the magic here...
12. The Scene With The Snails
One of the funniest scenes is where Vivian tried to eat escargot but it slipped out of her hands. The waiter caught it and said, "It happens all the time." The director decided to recreate this scene in his later film, The Princess Diaries when Mia Thermopolis broke a champagne glass and the same waiter from Pretty Woman reused his now-famous line.
13. The First Love Scene
There were many intimate scenes in the movie and Roberts was very nervous while filming each of them. In the very first love scene she performed with Richard Gere, she was so nervous that she broke out in hives. Director Marshall had to climb into bed with the two to comfort her while she was given calamine lotion to relieve her irritated skin. Though Roberts delayed the filming, who can blame her?
14. The Movie Was Originally Called '3000'.
The original script was called "3000", a reference to the fee Edward paid Vivian. But during the testing, the title turned out to be too confusing for audiences, good thing they changed it to Pretty Woman. But where did the new name come from?
15. The New Name “Pretty Woman” Came From A Song!
It might surprise you to hear that the name Pretty Woman came from a famous song, "Oh, Pretty Woman" sung by Roy Orbison. Once the movie got the rights to use the song, the producers decided to change the title. And what title would be better than Pretty Woman?
16. The Big, Huge Mistake Porsche And Ferrari Made
In the movie, Edward is a wealthy bachelor living a lavish life. But why did he drive a pretty modest Lotus? It turned out that producers had wanted him to drive around Beverly Hills in a Porsche or Ferrari, but neither of the car companies agreed to offer a car in the movie containing adult themes. Eventually, Lotus got the contract, and their sales tripled after the film came out. Bet the Porsche and Ferrari must have regretted their choice.
17. Hidden Opera Meanings
The opera that Edward took Vivian to see was an Italian opera called La Traviata. Ironically, it was about a rich man who fell in love with a lady of the night, almost a mirror of what happened in Pretty Woman. The opera, however, ended tragically with the lady dying in her lover's arms.
18. Julia Roberts' Favorite Scene
When asked what her favorite scene of the movie was, Julia Roberts said it was the one where she drove Edward's car down Hollywood Boulevard. She also admitted that she didn't know how to drive very well back then. Nonetheless, the director believed in her. Funnily enough, Roberts drove so fast that the cameramen could hardly keep up.
19. Richard Gere’s Favorite Scene
As for Richard Gere, he said his favorite scene was anytime Roberts had to walk. "It was fun watching her maneuver in her thigh-high boots and hooker outfit. That was fun for everyone", said Gere. He was, however, spoke highly of Roberts' look in the film, claiming that she was "all about the legs."
20. Highest Grossing Movie
Pretty Woman did fantastic at the box office, selling around 42.1 million tickets. It remains, to this date, the highest grossing R-rated Disney movie. Usually, when a movie does so well, you can always expect a sequel in the following years. But why did we never see Pretty Woman 2?
21. Why We Never Saw Pretty Woman Sequel
Well, it turned out that Richard Gere, Julia Roberts, and director Garry Marshall had vowed to never do a sequel unless all three of them were involved. Considering Marshall was no longer with us, it looks like there will only ever be one Pretty Woman.